NASH COUNTY -- From whatever part of the county you look from, it was an exceptional season for Northern Nash and Southern Nash in the Big East Conference and beyond during the 2018-9 boys basketball campaign.
Northern Nash continued its amazing recent stretch by winning the Big East's regular season and tournaments en route to a fourth-round performance in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association's Class 3-A State Playoffs.
At Southern Nash, the Firebirds also excelled by reaching the third-round of the postseason, thanks in part to the heroics of senior Darius Edmundson -- the lone returning starter from the previous year's club.
Edmundson, a 6-foot-2 guard, averaged 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals on his way to earning honors as the Big East Conference Player of the Year.
Edmundson's points total led the league, and he also gained accolades and respect for his defensive abilities.
"We had a lot of question marks coming into the season,'' said SNHS head coach Robbie Kennedy. "Darius set the tone for us right from the beginning. He always gave great effort -- more than any kid I've coached. And he also guarded the other team's best perimeter player most of the time.''
Edmundson is joined on the All-Big East squad by teammate Artavius Allen, while SN's Chason Royal was an honorable mention selection.
Northern Nash's senior trio of Sam Page, Davontae Wiggins and Darquez Flowers were saluted, as was NN upperclassman Joseph Cherry-Blue (honorable mention).
NN's Henry Drake was tabbed as the Big East Coach of the Year after guiding the Fighting Knights to a sterling 27-2 worksheet.
"It was just a great year all-around for the conference,'' Kennedy said. "We had five teams in the league that won 12 or more games. I don't care who you are -- that is impressive. Our conference continues to be very strong.''
The complete 2018-19 All-Big East Conference Boys Basketball Team is as follows:
• Sam Page, Northern Nash
• Davontae Wiggins, Northern Nash
• Darquez Flowers, Northern Nash
• Darius Edmundson, Southern Nash
• Artavius Allen, Southern Nash High School
• Elijahwon Cooper, Wilson Fike
• Moses Parker, Wilson Fike
• Zion May, Wilson Hunt
• Victor Ward Jr., Rocky Mount
• Will Toman, Franklinton
• Joseph Cherry-Blue, Northern Nash
• Chason Royal, Southern Nash
• Jaylen Ward, Wilson Fike
• Davon Jones, Wilson Hunt
• Tybiaus Harrison, Rocky Mount
• Sadiq Spencer, Franklinton
• Big East Conference Boys Player of the Year -- Darius Edmundson, Southern Nash High School
• Big East Conference Boys Coach of the Year -- Henry Drake, Northern Nash
Pictured (Above): WITH EMPHASIS. Southern Nash's Darius Edmundson sends down a monstrous dunk for the Firebirds during their victory against long-time rival Wilson Hunt in the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 3-A State Basketball Playoffs. (Photos Submitted by Carl Copeland)