Lady Knights' Brown Voted 12-6A Defensive Player of the Year

When it came to protecting her team’s hoop and sticking to opponents on the perimeter, no player in District 12-6A was deemed to do all of that better than Harker Heights’ Nia Brown.


Brown, a senior, was voted by the league’s coaches the district’s Defensive Player of the Year.


The superlative highlighted the Lady Knights’ district awards haul, which included three first-team selections.


Taking the shotLooking for a reboundBrown was joined by junior Arianna Jennings and sophomore Amanda Grate as first-team recipients. Senior Aaliyah White was voted second team, and senior Amaiyah Rivera, senior Makayla Beckett and sophomore Makaya Gaston were honorable mention.


Beckett, Grate, Rivera and White earned academic all-district honors.


Brown averaged 3.9 deflections, 2.1 steals and 2.5 blocks per game, to go with 5.6 points and 8.5 rebounds. Jennings, a forward, scored nearly 18 points an outing (17.7), and pulled down 6.4 rebounds, dished out 4.4 assists and chipped in 3.5 steals per game. Grate, a guard, averaged 16.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 3.1 steals.


The Lady Knights (22-13) won the final four games of the regular season, including a victory over District 12-6A runner-up Bryan in the finale, to earn the league’s third seed into the playoffs. There, they encountered No.1 ranked DeSoto in a first-round loss.


Most Valuable Player — Taler Thorton, sr., Bryan


Offensive player of the year — Rihyana Kinsey, so., Waco Midway


Defensive player of the year — Nia Brown, sr., Harker Heights


Newcomer of the year — Taylor Hicks, so., Hutto


Coaches of the year — Selena Winbush, Midway; Chris Jones, Bryan



First Team

Harker Heights — Arianna Jennings, jr.; Amanda Grate, so.; Nia Brown, sr.


Bryan — Avery Archer, so.; Taler Thorton, sr.


Copperas Cove — Taylor Wilson, sr.


Midway — Rihyana Kinsey, so.; Sarah Brown, so.


Hutto — Charlize Williams, sr.; Alyssa Batton, sr.


Second Team

Harker Heights — Aaliyah White, sr.


Bryan — Madison Wells, jr.; Ka’Lanndrea Gooden, sr.


Copperas Cove — Shakaira Zeigler, sr.


Midway — Elaina Burns, sr.; Kamil Ajose, so.


Pflugerville Weiss — Tamara Dilworth, sr.; Serese Williams, sr.


Temple — Tierney Perkins, so.; Paris Morris, jr.



Honorable Mention

Harker Heights — Amaiyah Rivera, sr.; Makayla Beckett, sr.; Makaya Gaston, so.


Bryan — Kayleighy Murphy, jr.; Taylor Montgomery, sr.


Copperas Cove — Chloe Tuiasosopo, jr.; Lean Sanchez Perez, jr.


Midway — Kori Pillette, sr.; Kiara Poole, sr.; Sakeena Gordon, sr.


Hutto — Victoria Escobedo, so.


Weiss — Saniyah Fowler, so.; Lelah Massaaquoi, sr.; Trinity Jenkins, sr.; Braelynn Gray, fr.


Temple — Jessie Johnson, so.; Dejah Thomas, jr.; Jayla Govan, jr.; Teareia Edwards, sr.


Academic All-District

Harker Heights — Amaiyah Rivera; Makayla Beckett;  Aaliyah White; Amanda Grate