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Friday, October 24, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Washington-Marion's Mark Vital has been named the Big Schools MVP for the All-Southwest Louisiana Basketball Team. (Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press)

Washington-Marion's Mark Vital has been named the Big Schools MVP for the All-Southwest Louisiana Basketball Team. (Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press)

Washington-Marion's Vital repeats as MVP

Last Modified: Monday, March 24, 2014 12:20 PM

By Albert Burford / American Press

For Washington-Marion’s Mark Vital, a sophomore slump is as real as the boogeyman.

The Charging Indians forward improved on his impressive freshman campaign to earn his second consecutive American Press All-Southwest Louisiana Big Schools Boys Player of the Year award.

Fairview’s Brennan Maddox, also a sophomore, won the small schools honor.

The 6-foot-5 Vital sparked the W-M offense with a penchant for crowd-pleasing slam dunks, and defensively he showed his ability to block shots with authority.

Vital averaged 21.3 points per game as the Charging Indians claimed the District 4-4A title before losing to Northside in the regional round of the state playoffs.

“We are always proud of Mark and he plays an instrumental part in what we are trying to do, but he is always trying to do something to excite the crowd and school,” said W-M coach Albert Hartwell. “His teammates and him are so close and they play well together.”

Maddox led Fairview to an upset of No. 1 seed Florien in the state semifinals and into the state title game, where the Panthers lost to Midland, 61-51. The run was the most successful boys basketball season in school history.

Midland coach Todd Briley said after the state championship that his team had no answer for Maddox in the final.

“He was a beast out there,” Briley said. “We started to double team Maddox, but towards the end of the game we realized that you can’t really stop him so we decided to shut out their guards. We felt like we could beat them with our guard play and just let Maddox try to make difficult shots on his own.”

Maddox was named MVP after his tournament performances. He averaged 22.2 points and 16.4 rebounds per game for the season.

Along with Vital, St. Louis’ Kelvin Henry (13.7 ppg), Jennings’ Draylon Perkins (18.7 ppg), Iowa’s Taray Martin (18.3 ppg) and Westlake’s Jacobe Escolovon (15.1) ppg fill out the big schools first team.

Martin is the lone senior on the team, so many of those names will likely be heard from again next season.

On the small schools first team, Maddox is joined by Oberlin’s Kendric Cole (17 ppg), Hamilton Christian’s Kenan Fontenot (14.3 ppg), Anacoco’s Will Reese (16.5 ppg) and Lacassine’s Chase Guillory (13.5 ppg).

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