Girls basketball | Southeast's DeAngela Mathis, John Harder earn state's top honors in Class 5A

adell@bradenton.comMarch 18, 2014 

When DeAngela Mathis entered Southeast four years ago, two of her goals were to win a state basketball championship and earn player of the year honors.

The state title was secured last month, and Mathis reached her other goal Monday when she was named the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 5A Player of the Year award.

“It’s exciting to still receive recognition for something that happened a month ago. To win the player of the year award was a goal I set as a freshman,” Mathis said.

Mathis is now one of eight finalists for the Dairy Farmers Miss Basketball Award, which goes to the best female high school basketball player in the state.

“It will be competitive, but I think I have a chance,” Mathis said.

In winning his third state title in his 30th year running the Southeast program, John Harder was named Class 5A Coach of The Year and is a finalist for the Dairy Farmers Coach of The Year for all classifications.

It is believed Harder has the state record for most years between state titles. He won his last state championship in 1990 and has been to five state final fours.

After finishing 31-1, Harder has won 718 career victories and is only three short of tying his long time nemesis Al Austin, who won eight state championships for Jacksonville Ribault before he retired. Harder has won three state titles.

Mathis averaged 14.9 points and 6.7 rebounds along with 3.1 steals and 2.9 assists per game and finished with 473 points for the season.

The competition for girls player of the year will be stiff. Six of the eight classification players of the year won a state championship.

The leader could be senior Nyala Shuler (6A), who led Orlando Edgewater to its third consecutive state title. Others who won a state title were Kyala Allison (7A) from Wekiva, Beatrice Mompremier (8A), Miami Senior; Danielle Minott (3A), Miami Country Day; and Vionise Pierre-Louis (2A), Grandview Prep. The players of the year who did not win a state championship are Destine Walker (4A) from Lake Highland Prep and Amanda Paschal (1A) of Chipley.

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