Lady Indians junior guard Te’a Cooper was named the Girls Metro Player of the Year by the club.
Cooper averaged 19.3 points per game during the regular season, while also averaging 5.4 assists and 4.5 steals. Just hours from a championship game, Cooper still was elated with the news of the individual recognition.
“I’m really excited,” Cooper said. “It means a lot. I had no idea I was getting the award.
“It’s a big award, but winning state is even bigger. Hopefully I can end up with both of them.”
Cooper wasn’t the only member of the squad to earn high praise.
McEachern coach Phyllis Arthur earned the Bobby Cremins Girls Coach of the Year award, just days after the Lady Indians (27-2) defeated South Forsyth 64-27 in the state semifinals.
“I didn’t even realize she won it,” Cooper said. “But, I honestly think she deserves it. She’s a wonderful person outside of basketball, too. She and I are really close and have known each other for a long time, so it means a lot to me to hear that.”
McEachern forward Caliya Robinson, who averaged 11.9 points and 10.6 rebounds this year, was named All-Metro First Team along with Hillgrove’s Mackenzie Engram, while the Lady Indians’ senior and Wake Forest commit Taylor Gordon placed on the second team. The only first teamer from Cobb for the boys was Whitefield’s Eric Lockett, who averaged 16.4 points and 8.3 rebounds as a senior.
Cobb is also home to the Bobby Cremins Boys Coach of the Year in Allatoona head coach Markus Hood. Hood, a McEachern alum, was faced with the challenge of replacing five seniors—four being starters—from last year’s squad, but still managed to lead the Buccaneers to a 29-2 record and an appearance in the state quarterfinals.
“When I first got the call I was speechless and humbled,” said Hood. “I really didn’t have anything to say but thanks.
“I just try to surround myself with great coaches and players.”
Hood not only had to replace experience this year, but also had to find a way to get the most out of a team who’s tallest player was just 6-foot-3.
“We set up a schedule to play a lot of big guys,” Hood said. “The way we have to overcome is to be smarter, more disciplined and unselfish, and not care who gets credit.”
Hood has compiled a 119-55 record in six seasons at Allatoona, and has had a perfect region record in the past two seasons. Before coming back to Cobb County, Hood led the Hiram Hornets to a final four appearance in 2004.
“To get this award in Cobb, where I grew up, just makes it more special to me.”
Bobby Cremins Girls Coach of the Year:
Phyllis Arthur, McEachern
Bobby Cremins Boys Coach of the Year:
Markus Hood, Allatoona
Metro Atlanta Girls Player of the Year:
Te’a Cooper, McEachern
All-Metro Atlanta Girls First Team:
Mackenzie Engram, Hillgrove
Caliya Robinson, McEachern
All-Metro Atlanta Boys First Team:
Eric Lockett, Whitefield
All-Metro Atlanta Girls Second Team:
Taylor Gordon, McEachern
All-Metro Atlanta Boys Second Team:
Jaylen Brown, Wheeler; Kyle Castlin, Hillgrove; Daniel Fowler, Allatoona
All-Metro Atlanta Boys Third Team:
Avery Patterson, Wheeler
All-Metro Atlanta Girls Honorable Mention:
Nikira Goings, Osborne
All-Metro Atlanta Boys Honorable Mention:
Kendall Crute, North Cobb Christian; Ty Hudson, Pebblebrook; Elijah Weems, Walton