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Survey says ... McClung, Reynolds best of SW Virginia

Kevin Mays • Mar 29, 2020 at 3:30 PM

Mac McClung and Logan Reynolds are the best high school basketball players ever to play the game in Southwest Virginia.

So say the results of our completely informal, unscientific poll conducted via Facebook and Twitter.

Nearly 300 responses were posted and recorded over four-day period, and McClung edged former high-flying Castlewood and East Tennessee State great Calvin Talford for the No. 1 boys spot.

“IT’S HUMBLING”

“That’s a big honor. It’s humbling,” McClung said when informed of the survey results.

McClung led Gate City to the VHSL Class 2 championship in 2018 and finished his high school career as the leading scorer in VHSL history with 2,801 points.

The Georgetown sophomore averaged 13.1 points per game his freshman season, during which he scored a career-high 38 points against Little Rock.

After being selected to the Big East’s all-freshman team, McClung emerged as a team leader for the Hoyas during his sophomore year, averaging 15.7 points before being sidelined with an injury.

McClung said he still has a strong connection with Gate City and its community. But he’s also connected to all of Southwest Virginia and the Kingsport area because people from throughout the region have supported him.

“A lot of people have come to watch me play (at Georgetown) and they come up to me and tell me where they’re from. I sort of carry Southwest Virginia on my back when I play and it’s a great feeling to have that kind of support,” McClung said.

WHAT A TEAM

The next four top vote-getters plus McClung would make a formidable group had they been given the chance to wear the same colors on the court.

Talford is a member of the ETSU, VHSL and Castlewood halls of fame.

The four-sport star at Castlewood was all-state in basketball all four years. His career included a 59-point game against Chilhowie in which he outscored the entire Warriors team.

Also among the top five vote-getters was Council’s Brad Nuckles, the only Cobras player ever to score over 2,000 points. Nuckles led Council to the 2001 state championship.

Completing the top five were Ervinton great Trazel Silvers and Twin Springs legend Stacy Ervin, the third-leading scorer in VHSL history with 2,687 career points.

Several other greats received voter recognition.

Others garnering at least 10% of the votes were: Duffy Gilmore, Ervinton; Barry Hamler, Powell Valley; Steve Marsee, Pennington Gap; Zac Ervin, Gate City; Bradley Dean, Gate City; Doug Campbell, J.I. Burton; Zack Moore, Pound; Josh Shoemaker, Gate City; Luke Lawson, Eastside; Danis Simmons, J.J. Kelly; Andrew Adkins, Coeburn; Winston Terry, Jonesville; Glenn Roberts, Christopher Gist (Pound); Tanner Robinette, Honaker; and David Mitchell, Coeburn.

REYNOLDS RULES

Reynolds, the top female vote-getter, starred at Wise Central and James Madison.

She led the Lady Warriors to the first of their five VHSL championships in 2014.

The VHSL player of the year that season, Reynolds went onto a stellar college career. She ranks fifth in JMU history in steals (198) and 10th in assists (369).

THE RINGS TEAM

The other four top girls selections also boast state championship rings.

Roshana Jackson led Appalachia — which had only eight players on the squad — to the 2000 state championship. Jackson went on to become a third-team junior-college All-American.

Twins Sarah and Rachel Helton were part of a dynamic force that led J.J. Kelly to a 30-0 season and the 2002 state championship. The NCAA Division I prospects stayed close to home for college and in 2006 led Virginia-Wise to its only trip to the NAIA tournament. Sarah Helton is a member of the UVA Wise Hall of Fame and still holds the school record for most career points with 2,316.

Ra’shelle Miller Stanley guided J.I. Burton to its only state championship in 2011.

Other players receiving at least 10% of the votes were: Kayla Mullins, Clintwood and Ridgeview; Shannon Casteel, Castlewood; Julie Adkins, J.J. Kelly, Peyton Carter, Abingdon; Katie Jo Lester Dockery, Twin Valley; Dee Cvetnich, Wise Central; Brooklyn Porter, Wise Central; Misty Davis Miller, Honaker; Chelsea Cluesman, Lee High; Carrie Myers, Lee High; Christy Gray, Coeburn; Jamie Cluesman, Lee High; Tracy Lyle, Clintwood; and Hannah Wyrick, Eastside.

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