The Wharton Runnin’ Tigers basketball season ended sooner than they hoped for, but during district played well, finished in second place and earned some top all-district honors.
Wharton was awarded four all-district honors. Runnin’ Tiger junior Raymond Hudson III was named the District 24-4A Defensive MVP and sophomore JaKorian Baldridge earned Newcomer Of the Year, sharing the award with a player from Brookshire Royal.
Hudson was the Runnin’ Tigers lone returning starter, he was a tough defender and all-around standout throughout the season.
“Raymond was named for the Defensive MVP, but he did an outstanding job in multiple other aspects,” Wharton coach Clavin King said. “He was our best ball handler, and at times would lead us in scoring. (Being) our only returning starter from last year’s regional quarterfinals appearance I knew he would be a key contributor to this year’s team. It has been fun to watch him grow as a player.”
Baldridge knocked down a lot of shots for Wharton and could get to the rim easily.
“JaKorian is a player that had a ton of potential, but I wasn’t sure how big that impact would be until about halfway through our season,” King said. “He can score, handle the ball, and was constantly active on defense. JaKorian is one of our hardest (workers) in the program as well. He will get better and better as he continues to grow. The fact that he has two more years of eligibility left should put fear in the district for years to come.”
Rounding out the Runnin’ Tigers honors were junior Edward Sanders who was named to the first team, sophomore CJ Scott earned second-team honors and senior Sonny Smith received an honorable mention.
Wharton graduated nine seniors a year before, this year only two, with the entire core of the Runnin’ Tigers returning.
King sees good things moving forward for the Runnin’ Tigers.
“This group had a year to develop together as a group, and with so many guys returning next year I feel very confident in saying that they are in for a big season if they can stay healthy,” King said.
The Lady Tigers had a tough time this past season, but District 24 coaches gave Wharton an all-district award.
Wharton sophomore Kadyn Smith earned the Lady Tigers lone second-team honor.
“I’ve seen growth throughout the year from her as a player and a leader,” Wharton coach Ratysha Hardy said.
Lady Tiger freshman Sinahyah Martinez earned an honorable mention.