Vandebilt tandem highlights boys team

Vandebilt Catholic's Lionheart Leslie was named the MVP on the All-Region boys basketball team. (Photo by File)

Of the 12 area Louisiana High School Athletic Association boys basketball teams in the The Courier and Daily Comet's coverage region, eight qualified for the playoffs this season.

But only one team made the playoffs as a district champion and only one team had its district MVP.

That team is Vandebilt Catholic.

For leading the 23-7 Terriers to the District 8-4A title as the league's offensive and defensive MVP with 21 points, seven rebounds and 2.6 steals a game, Terriers junior guard Lionheart "Fuddy" Leslie has been named The Courier and Daily Comet's All-Region MVP for the 2011-12 season.

"We had an excellent season," Leslie said. "We did all we could do. We didn't have that much height so we played fast-paced basketball. Coach drew some things up, and we worked on it. We upset a lot of teams this year. This means a lot to me because I work hard, but I am going to work even harder."

Leslie's coach, Hank Washington, is the newspapers' All-Region Coach of the Year after leading the Terriers to another district title and to a first-round playoff victory.

It's the second straight All-Region Coach of the Year Award for Washington and the second straight 8-4A title for his Terriers.

"It just means I probably have the team of the year," Washington said of the honor. "They do everything I ask. They pass the ball. They play defense. They work well together. We don't have a lot of bad days or practices. They are pretty consistent."

The Terriers finished the season with an 83-63 loss at Huntington in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs after losing their second-leading scorer and point Elijah McGuire in the regular-season finale to a broken foot.

"It changed our whole game plan because teams could not match up with Elijah and Lionheart," Washington said. "It did help that we got some younger players on the floor though."

Joining Leslie on the First Team is fellow second-team Class 4A All-State player Gibby Talbot of Ellender.

Talbot, a 6-foot-9 senior center, helped Ellender to a 23-9 record and the second round of the playoffs with 23.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and two blocks per contest.

E.D. White Catholic senior Ja'Dante Frye is another First Team player and was the catalyst for the Cardinals this season after he led the team to the second round of the Class 3A playoffs with 14.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, while hitting 40 percent of this 3-point shots.

Ja'Dante' Frye was also an honorable mention Class 3A All-State selection.

His cousin Nate Frye, a junior, who plays many roles for Houma Christian, is also on the First Team. Nate Frye was an honorable mention All-State Class 1A selection after averaging 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals a game. The Warriors made the second round of the playoffs.

DeShaun Diggs, a junior guard from Terrebonne High, and Deonta Ward, a senior guard from H.L. Bourgeois, round out The Courier and Daily Comet's first team.

Both players helped their teams to the playoffs this season and both were honorable mention Class 5A All-State selections.

Diggs averaged 24.3 points and 8.6 rebounds a game, and Ward poured in 17.8 points a game to go with 4.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per outing.

Houston Chatman, a senior from Ellender, McGuire, a junior from Vandebilt, Darius Coleman, a senior from Thibodaux, Traevon Evans, a junior from South Lafourche, Kaven Bernard, a senior from Assumption and Jared Wiggins, a junior from St. James, makeup the All-Region Second Team.

Chatman, McGuire and Evans were also honorable mention all-state selections in their respective classes this season.