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Barnett, Argent assist as Players of the Year

Adi Argent and Lilly Barnett of Thorsby have developed into quite a guard tandem that opponents must deal with when facing the Rebels. (Photo by Anthony Richards / Advertiser)

Adi Argent and Lilly Barnett of Thorsby have developed into quite a guard tandem that opponents must deal with when facing the Rebels. (Photo by Anthony Richards / Advertiser)

By Anthony Richards | anthony.richards@clantonadvertiser.com

Lilly Barnett and Adi Argent were named the 2016 Co-Players of the Year in girls basketball by The Clanton Advertiser.

They joined current teammate Keri Robinson, who was selected as Player of the Year in girls basketball a year ago.

The Thorsby program seems to be in a position for sustained future success thanks to an unselfish atmosphere and a team dynamic that begins off the court.

“It is an honor,” Barnett said. “I think that three players coming back next year who have already wrapped up Player of the Year is definitely an intimidating factor.”

The key to Thorsby’s success as a team is due to their balanced approach on both ends of the court.

Opponents struggled to defend the Rebels’ offense, as the scoring is spread nearly evenly among the five starters with valuable contributions from the bench as well.

“If someone is hot that night, we have a tendency to get them the ball,” Argent said. “We’re playing for the team, not our point total.”

Barnett and Argent combined to score an average of 31 points and grabbed five rebounds per game.

As guards on the team, they oftentimes shared responsibility in making sure the ball was facilitated and that the entire unit maintained involvement within the game plan.

“We all have our strengths, and we seem to even each other out as a team,” Barnett said.

Thorsby’s basketball team is devised of members that have been involved in the program for quite some time. This creates an uncanny cohesion between players that range from seventh grade to seniors in high school.

“We’ve all played together since we were in seventh grade, so I feel like we’re all seasoned,” Barnett said.

While most teams were experimenting and learning each other’s tendencies in the early part of the season, the Rebels continued to hone relationships that had already been established.

“There are a lot of teams that argue because everybody has an opinion,” Argent said. “That is something that we rarely have a problem with. We know that we can go to each other with any problem even outside of basketball.”

Barnett exhibits a commanding presence on and off the court, which is also an aspect that has been noticed and embraced by her fellow teammates.

“She is definitely the leader on the team,” Argent said. “As a younger player, when I look at her I know that everything will be OK.”

Throughout the season, Argent frustrated opponents with her active hands on the defensive end. She showed a knack for stealing the ball and quickly turning it into easy baskets at the other end.

Although Argent was a catalyst on defense, with a team-leading 59 steals and an average of three per game, she understands that there is always room to grow.

“I need to work on my fouls, because that can tend to be an issue with me due to my aggressive style,” Argent said. “I need to understand to trust my defensive position, and that there’s no need to reach on every play.”

“I didn’t play a lot in seventh grade, but I got the experience of getting to watch and learn,” Argent said. “That’s when the relationships really started building with everyone on the team.”

That statement is sure to send fear into opposing coaches on Thorsby’s schedule next season.

Thorsby took another step forward in 2016, as the Rebels advanced to the Class 2A Regional Semifinals with a 56-52 victory over Cleveland in the Sub-Regional.

“We did a good job of staying relaxed and using our team communication,” Argent said. “That seemed to work pretty good.”

 

All-Area Basketball Team

First Team

Synia Chattman, Isabella, So., Guard

Lilly Barnett, Thorsby, Jr., Guard

Lexis Blackmon, Chilton County, So., Guard

Adi Argent, Thorsby, Fr., Guard

Cassani Steele, Jemison, Jr. Center

 

Second Team

Candice Williams, Verbena, Jr., Guard

Abby Tindol, Billingsley, So., Guard

Kerri Robinson, Thorsby, Jr., Forward

Caley Booth, Isabella, Sr., Forward

Kaley Lucas, Chilton County, Jr., Forward