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Rank’em: Boys Midseason MVP List

Rank the players from the Midseason MVP Watch List by click on the Up Arrow or Down Arrow next to each player’s name.

Each MVP Watch List candidate has a bio below. The MVP Watch List is brought to you by Clear View Auto Glass.

Editor’s Note: The players were originally listed as Front Runners, Contenders and Dark Horses, and listed alphabetically within each section. Since then, the voting has moved them around. This is not an actual award, it’s designed for the public to give their opinion on who is the MVP at the midpoint of the season. Votes tallied will be announced Monday on SCS’s social media accounts.

FRONTRUNNERS

JT Beasley | Guard | Shasta | Senior
The silky smooth senior has inside-out game in that he can fill it up from range as well as finish in transition.

He’s averaging 13.4 points per game – leading Shasta – while also playing the point for Jordan Freilich’s Wolves – meaning often in a facilitation role vs. a guy looked at to be a pure scorer. He’s averaging about 4 dimes per game with 65 rebounds as well.

The point role also means the defensively stout Beasley is usually locked up on the other team’s premier ball handler – the battles between he and Demarreya Lewis-Cooper thus far have been a thrilling part of the game within the game. He’s got 32 steals on the year and epitomizes the old coaching cliché of hustle never taking a night off.

Demarreya Lewis-Cooper | Guard | Enterprise | Soph
If you’ve seen any Enterprise game this season, you’ll witness the maturing process right before your eyes. The youngest on this entire midseason MVP list is not only elevating his teammates around him but he’s developing a confidence that has him on a path to being the best player in Shasta County.

Lewis-Cooper averages team-highs with 15.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.4 blocks per game and a 73 percent clip from the free throw line. He has shown he can take over a game and it seems like “DLC” is consistently trending in the right direction.

Luke Lindsey | Forward | Foothill | Senior
The athletic senior continues to be a spark plug with a non-stop motor. He’s grown into a leadership role this year as a reliant player for the Cougars in their quest for a Northern Section title.

Lindsey averages 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.8 steals and is as consistent as they come. It’s not easy for a player to flat out “get it” but Lindsey displays his MVP potential on a nightly basis for the top boys team in the North State.

Drew Nelson-Crowell | Center | Redding Christian | Junior
The ‘big man’ is exactly that — a 6-foot-10 towering presence for the 17-2 Lions. Opponents can’t help but give him all of the attention they can at both ends of the floor. If you don’t double him or help doesn’t arrive early enough, he’ll dominate you in the paint. On defense, just him clogging up the middle alters shots and the opposing offensive strategy.

Nelson-Crowell has 13 double-doubles this season and averaging 15.5 points, 12.8 rebounds, 4.2 blocks and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 66 percent from the field. You can’t ask for better production than that from the top player on the best small school team in the section, which is ranked No. 9 in the latest NSCIF Power Rankings.

Josiah Palumbo | Guard | Foothill | Senior
Before the season, Palumbo was expected to be a solid contributor, fast with the ball and quick on defense and run the Cougars’ offense. But the point guard’s role morphed into stardom with the improved shooting and confidence. And Foothill’s success is following suit.

Palumbo is scoring a team-high 12.7 points per night to go with 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game, showcasing his all-around talent for the best team in the Northern Section. He dropped 22 on the road in the win at PV and leads the team in 3-point shooting with 43 downtown buckets. The offense moves through Palumbo and Foothill’s rolling right now.

Tanner Stephens | Forward | U-Prep | Junior
Stephens is quietly a leading candidate for Northern Athletic League MVP so it comes as no question he’s one of the top choices for the top player in Shasta County.

The lanky and fundamentally sound Stephens is putting up 13.2 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Panthers, who have won all four NAL contests by double-digits. Stephens is living up to expectations at this point in the year, guiding U-Prep to a possible repeat D-IV section title and continues to impress with his ability to work his way around the rim and on the perimeter. It’s hard to find as versatile of a threat in the area.

CONTENDERS

Trevor Jones | Guard | U-Prep | Senior
Full of energy and a deadly scorer, Jones continues to give U-Prep the edge on the offensive side. He’s just as comfortable being the leading scorer as he is dropping buckets and fueling runs as the Panthers pile up the wins.

The senior guard is averaging 11.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists ans 1.8 steals across 18 games this season.

Bekdoo Lewis | Guard/Forward | Foothill | Senior
A top five preseason ranked returner, Lewis still carries the same fear factor for opponents. The rare 6-foot-5 guard added strength in the offseason and it’s allowing him to be more successful at creating off the dribble and rebounding.

He was the Harlan Carter Invitational MVP in December and has put up 11.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.

Jermaine Mondaine | Guard | Enterprise | Senior
Everything about Mondaine’s game translates to success. He’s fluid with and without the ball, can score at will when given the opportunity and doesn’t get rattled when the pressure-packed moments can cripple other players.

The confidence has led Mondaine, who is pushing to be the breakout player of the year, to being a real MVP contender after putting up 14.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

Christian Teague | Guard | Anderson | Senior
If you’re looking for a guard who can do it all — score, board, dish and D-up, your search stops at Teague. The athletic stud for the Cubs is nearly averaging a double-double this season with 17.6 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, to go with 2.5 assists, 2.9 steals and 2.4 blocks per game.

If Teague could push Anderson into a run at the NAL and D-IV title, then he’s rising up the list fast.

Simon Turner | Forward | Shasta | Senior
Averaging 11.1 points and 9 rebounds per game, the scary part about Turner is that basketball isn’t his best sport. He’s a baseball whiz kid who punishes the stitches off the ball on the diamond in the spring.

But for Freilich’s Wolves, Turner is a rough-and-tumble guy who isn’t afraid to mix it up in the paint, but still possess the deft touch to dagger you from range if left open.

He’s gone for 10 points and five boards 10 times this season and, along with junior Jacob Singleton, Turner helps the Wolves with a 1-2 inside punch. And as physical as the post position can be, Turner’s unflappable attitude shows he’s all business.

DARK HORSES

Dojah Alido | Guard | Central Valley | Senior
The leading man for CV sticks to his true point guard role by looking to set up his teammates first and foremost for the best possible shot.

But when he has to, Alido can score to ignite energy into a Falcons squad that needs him to lead. The third-year varsity starter is putting up 14.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals across 17 games.

Marcus Francescut | Guard | West Valley | Senior
When senior Sean Proscher went down 11 game in with a torn ACL, the Eagles needed someone to step up. Francescut was doing some damage then and his role expanded.

He’s averaged 9.2 rebounds over his last seven games with Proscher out of the lineup and is scoring 8.2 points per game this season, second-most on the team to Proscher’s 20 PPG, and he’s hit on a team-high 30 3-pointers.

Marc Lopez | Forward| Burney | Junior
The 6-foot-5 Raider is doing all he can to get the program on the right track, averaging 19.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He’s reached at least 20 points in six of the 14 games (Burney is 4-2 in those games) and hit a season-high 34 points twice — against Butte Valley and Mercy. Burney might be struggling at 4-10 overall but Lopez is a standing out among the small school players.

Ryan Osborne | Forward | Fall River | Soph
There aren’t many sophomore who have the toughness and the strength to hold their own on a nightly basis at the varsity level. Osborne is playing above his years for a 15-3 Fall River team that’s in position to reach the D-VI section championship this season.

The 6-1, 185 forward is leading the Bulldogs in scoring (11.2 PPG) and rebounding (6.8 RPG)  this season and is also grabbing 2.2 steals per game.

Dilraj Sahota | Guard | Shasta | Senior
The four-year varsity player is dangerous — when he’s on there might not be a better player on the floor.

He’s got a pure jumper from anywhere in the gym and runs like a track star on the break, finishing with a finger roll for style or against contact. He’s dropping 10.6 per night on a Wolves’ team chock full of scorers.

A guy who wants the ball on offense, Raj’s biggest leap this season has been on the defensive end where Freilich challenged him to channel the same fire to the other side of the floor. He’s pulled 132 rebounds (6-plus per game) this season – 95 on the defensive windows – and added 20 steals.

Staff Reports is content produced by the Shasta County Sports team.

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