- Associated Press - Friday, April 4, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - West Craven’s Jamie Cherry was one of the state’s best every year of her career and now has a final honor to go with it.

Shelby’s Gabe DeVoe treated his senior season as a chance to make his case as the state’s top player.

The two were named the 2013-14 Associated Press prep basketball players of the year for North Carolina on Friday.

Cherry earned 15 of 25 votes from sports writers across the state to earn the women’s award. The high-scoring point guard headed to UNC finished her career as the No. 2 scorer in state history and was named to the AP all-state team for the fourth straight year earlier this week.

“She steps on the floor with a different confidence than everybody else,” West Craven coach David Fernandez said. “It’s, ‘You’re going to have to play with me and I’m going to play at a high level.’ That elevated our whole program the last four years.”

The 5-foot-6 Cherry averaged 33.2 points and set a state record with 12 3-pointers in a playoff win against Erwin Triton. She said she has modeled her game after former Tar Heels star Ivory Latta, who will be her assistant coach at UNC next year.

“When I was younger, I always watched film on her just so I could be able to do things like she did,” Cherry said. “I felt like we had similarities in our game and I guess because we’re the same height and I feel we have the same attitude and same love for the game.”

Charlotte Providence Day’s Jatarie White, last year’s player of the year and a South Carolina recruit, was second with four votes. Duke recruit Azura Stevens of Cary and three-time AP all-state pick Madi Story of Catawba Bandys each received two votes.

On the men’s side, DeVoe, a Clemson recruit, earned nine votes to win the honor after leading the state by averaging 34 points per game. The Parade all-American also averaged 10.4 points and was a two-time AP all-state pick.

DeVoe said he worked on improving his ball-handling and expanding his game during the offseason. He also tried to learn what he could from former Shelby players while playing pickup games or working out with them in hopes of making “a statement” as a senior.

“In AAU you see a lot of good players and a lot of the rankings and stuff,” DeVoe said. “I guess being from a small area you don’t get the exposure and the things you would like, so I just wanted to prove that I’m one of the best players in the state.”

Cincinnati recruit Gary Clark of Clayton was second with six votes, while High Point Wesleyan Christian’s Theo Pinson - a UNC recruit - was third with four votes.


Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap



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