The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
District 20-4A saw three long playoff runs this season and it’s boys basketball teams continued to collect plaudits for it. Nederland’s Colton Weisbrod was named Best Center and Central’s Kristain Smith was named Best Swingman at the Raymond Depwe Basketball awards announced Saturday.
Silsbee junior Chris Elam was also honored, taking home the Best Guard award. The Depwe Awards were founded back in 2003 and were formerly known as the James Gamble Awards.
It was yet another set of honors for both Weisbrod and Smith, as the senior from Central was named 20-4A MVP while the sophomore took home the district’s Offensive Player of the Year award. Weisbrod averaged 16.5 points per game with 8.1 rebounds per game, leading the Bulldogs to the regional quarterfinals for a second straight season.
“I’m just happy to have all these opportunities, ” Weisbrod said. “I wouldn’t be here with my teammates, God and my family. It feels great (to be honored as a sophomore). I’ve got two more years now to come back and hopefully help my team become effective and win some ballgames.”
The 6-foot-4 sophomore was one of the area’s best post options. He showed a deft touch down low with an array of low-post moves to score however he could. More than his numbers, his intangibles also stood out on the court, much like the entire Nederland roster.
One of his biggest moments of the season came in the bidistrict round of the Class 4A playoffs. Weisbrod ignited a huge Nederland run, as the Bulldogs scored 29 points in the fourth quarter to overcome an eight-point deficit. The sophomore got things started by saving a loose ball, leaping between two Bronco defenders and flipping the ball to teammate (and fellow finalist) Zach English.
It’s the second straight year that Nederland has had two finalists. In 2011, both Kelvin Smith and Dionte Forney were named as finalists. Port Neches-Groves guard Brennan Doty took home last season’s Best Guard award, while Silsbee’s Elam marked the third straight winner for the Tigers. Last season, D.C. Stallworth took home his second straight Best Center award.
Other finalists on hand Saturday were Silsbee junior guard Jordan Holmes, West Brook senior guard Charlie Adkins, West Brook senior center Keenan Banks, Port Arthur Memorial senior guard Donovan Ford and West Brook senior center Corey Cooper while Kountze senior guard Laramine Linn and Silsbee senior guard Kelton Gaines were both honored but unable to attend.
All of the finalists, though, were clearly happy to be gathered together for the awards. Senior Port Arthur Memorial guard Donovan Ford echoed as much.
“I’ve just had a big smile on my face all night,” Ford said. “I’m friends with lots of the guys up here. To be honored along with them is very humbling. I’m very thankful for all the people who put this together.”