Polk County senior Jamal Wheeler

Polk County seniors Jamal Wheeler and Hayley Kropp have been named the Western Highlands Conference boys and girls basketball players of the year.

In addition, Wes Mullis, Autumn Owen and Ansley Lynch earned all-WHC honors.

A senior, Wheeler set a school record for most points scored in a season, averaging 21.7 points per game with 542 total points. That average currently leads all Western North Carolina boys players.

Wheeler also grabbed 4.8 rebounds per game and averaged three assists and 3.2 steals per game. He set a school single-game record in December, scoring 44 points in an overtime loss to Cosby, Tenn. He was named to the WHC all-tournament team.

Polk County’s Hayley Kropp

Kropp capped a career in which she became Polk County’s all-time leading scorer, male or female, with a single-season school record 604 points, averaging 26.3 points per game. She averaged 12.2 rebounds per game, with both her points and rebound totals currently tops among all Western North Carolina players.

Kropp also averaged three assists and 5.3 steals per game. She scored a school-record 38 points in a 68-61 loss to Owen on Feb. 5 and scored at least 17 points in every game this season.

Mullis, a senior, averaged 11.1 points and six rebounds per game. He scored a season-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in Polk County’s 74-63 upset of Owen in the Western Highlands Conference tournament semifinals. He was named to the WHC all-tournament team.

Owen, a sophomore, averaged 11.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. She had three straight games of at least 20 points in late December and back-to-back 22-point games against Hendersonville and Madison in January.

Lynch, a freshman, averaged three points and 5.3 rebounds per game this season. She had eight points and nine rebounds in a late-season loss to Avery.

The complete all-WHC girls team:
Avery: Jessica Hoilman, Heaven Nelson
Hendersonville: Tiara Gary
Madison: Brooke Vilcinskas, Kristin Davids, Chloe Schneider
Mountain Heritage: Haley Elkins, Ciera Chandler, Hali King, Hailey Crane
Owen: Chesney Gardner, Demetria Graves, Ashley Valencia
Polk County: Hayley Kropp, Autumn Owen, Ansley Lynch
Coach of the Year: Susie Shelton, Mountain Heritage
Player of the Year: Hayley Kropp, Polk County

The complete all-WHC boys team:
Avery: Jacob Waldroop, Jeffrey Puckett, Luke Crowe
Hendersonville: Qushawn Brown, Tykel Landrum, Michael Schmidt
Madison: Mitchell Ledford
Mitchell: Max Spurling, Drey Phillips, Alex McKinney
Mountain Heritage: Trey Robinson, Job Kennedy
Owen: Brian Bartlett, Mathew Brown, Ben Craig
Polk County: Wesley Mullis, Jamal Wheeler
Coach of the Year: Scott Polsgrove, Avery
Player of the Year: Jamal Wheeler, Polk County

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Boys Basketball
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