Valley District Stars
Posted: January 18, 2013
HARRISONBURG – Nobody is closer to averaging a double-double in the Valley District than Hyrum Weiler. But that’s not the only reason the Spotswood High School senior might be the Valley’s top player at the halfway point in league play.
Emphasis on “might.”
Listed as a 6-foot-2 guard, Weiler — who’s perhaps better described as a dynamic small forward in Spotswood’s system — is averaging 18.5 points and a league-high 8.9 rebounds per game. His stat line alone, though, isn’t enough to do him justice, as Weiler has been a true dynamo for the undefeated Trailblazers (15-0 overall, 6-0 in the Valley).
Think Energizer Bunny.
“He’s always asking for more,” SHS coach Chad Edwards said. “… Without him, we wouldn’t have the season we’re having.”
Weiler, who was named the MVP of Spotswood’s Tip-Off Tournament, transferred from Georgia as a point guard and played his first season at SHS last year, changing roles immediately because the Blazers had a roster full of ball-handlers.
He’s only gotten better in a forward’s role. Plus, in a year in which 6-foot-2 is tall, Weiler has been a consistent force on offense inside, as well as outside (10-of-23 from 3-point range) and at the free-throw line (78 percent of 109 attempts). He’s also averaging 2.7 assists per game.
“The first word would be versatile,” Edwards said. “I think the statistics point to that in terms of measuring that. He’s first or second in every category for us.”
But there are enough other talented basketball players in the Valley to give Weiler a run for an end-of-season MVP award — even on his own team.
Based on an informal poll of Valley District coaches this week, here are the other top five players as teams head into the final three weeks of the regular season (in alphabetical order):
— Chavez Harvey, Waynesboro: In a guard-heavy league, Harvey appears to be rounding into form as one of the top post players in the Valley.
Against Spotswood on Friday, the 6-foot-2 junior was unquestionably the most dominant inside presence on the floor, scoring 18 points with the team’s leading scorer, Zach Brown, benched for the game. He followed that up with a 21-point outing against Harrisonburg on Tuesday with Brown in the lineup.
“He’s very athletic and once he catches the ball, he’s tough to defend anywhere, but especially in the paint area,” WHS coach C. Jay DeWitt said of Harvey on Friday night.
— Seth Kardos, Harrisonburg: Kardos recently tweeted that stepping on his injured ankle felt like a knife was stabbing into it. Dealing with the injury since the spring, Kardos has still managed to be an invaluable weapon for the Blue Streaks. He’s averaging 17.8 points and six rebounds per game. At full strength, the 6-foot guard could easily be in the hunt for the league’s Player of the Year award.
“I think that foot is still giving him fits and he’s fighting through it,” Broadway coach Dwight Walton said. “If he was 100 percent, he’d be the toughest player in this league, in my opinion.”
— Shai Matthews, R.E. Lee: Leading the league with 24.5 points per game, Matthews has been dubbed the “most explosive player” in the Valley by coaches and has shown an ability to take over games when the Leemen need a pick-me-up.
The 6-foot guard flashes that same explosiveness on defense at times and is among the best free-throw shooters in the Valley, making him that much more dangerous when he slashes toward the basket. Like Kardos, Matthews was on every ballot as a unanimous top-five choice.
“He has that ability to score points in bunches,” Lee coach Jarrett Hatcher said. “He gets in a pretty good rhythm and he’s hard to handle.”
— Tucker McCoy, Spotswood: McCoy is leaning towards playing college baseball, but he also happens to be a stellar point guard.
The 1,000-point scorer leads the Blazers with 19.5 points and 3.5 assists per game, ranking second in the Valley in each statistical category.
What’s more impressive? McCoy is only a junior. His basketball talent goes beyond his stat line. McCoy began his career at SHS as a freshman without much help around him and averaged a league-high 21.9 points last season without any senior teammates.
Now, McCoy has plenty of assistance on one of the deepest teams in the area. Just ask Hatcher, who had a telling reaction when asked who he thought were the top five players in the Valley.
“Spotswood,” Hatcher said. “One through five.”
Also receiving votes from the district coaches: Fort Defiance’s Adam Frazier, Turner Ashby’s Justin Layman and Lee’s Dylan Horne. If the top five remains intact, those three could be vying for the final two spots on the seven-man All-Valley District first team over the second half of league play, which begins today.
Contact John Galle at 574-6285 or firstname.lastname@example.org