Stone Memorial High School recognized the members of the basketball teams Sunday afternoon at their annual awards luncheon in the school cafeteria.
"It was a dream season for everyone," said retiring Lady Panther Coach Tim Smith. "I want to thank everyone for a great year."
Smith then turned the microphone over to Panther Coach Mike Buck.
"I appreciate everything you've done for us this season. Thanks to everyone for being there for us. If we were playing today, we would have had a full roster," added Buck, who had several players absent from the banquet.
"Our team is made up of tough-minded young men. They are super, super guys, who will be successful in whatever they do," added Buck. "Tim, thank you for being a friend for the last eight years. We've always had a good working relationship. Both programs have supported each other."
The Panthers posted 26 wins, which was the most ever for SMHS.
Parker Hill and Tyler Roberts were the only freshmen players in attendance, while Mitchell Ball was the only sophomore at the banquet.
Seniors Cameron Thompson, Robert Troino and Dustin Dishman were the only ones present.
"I have a ton of respect for them," said Buck.
"Most players would quit when things didn't go their way. I'm very thankful Cameron didn't quit. He will be successful in whatever he goes into. Dustin will be another success in life. He's always been a leader and did the dirty work on the court. He put the team over self. I have a lot of respect for him," added Buck.
"I've seen Robert take a lot of crazy falls. He's as tough as a pine knot. He won a couple of games for us on last second shots," said Buck.
Troino, Brandon Cole and junior Brock Rowan were named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association's Class AA All-State team, after helping the Panthers to their second straight appearance in the state tournament and their first-ever state tourney victory in March.
Cole was named the Knoxville News-Sentinel's PrepXtra Player of the Year and fist team, while Rowan and Troino were named to the PrepXtra Second Team.
Troino received the Lions Club Shoot for Sight award for his three-point shooting prowess.
Cole, Rowan, Breeden, Matt Troino, Jon Presley, Luke Mathews, Justin Simmons, Tyler Yoder, Tucker Cain, Frankie Heilmeir, Gage Spence, Austin Robertson, Trace Cage, Tayler Orme, Taylor Smith, Brad Smith, Thomas Whited, Brandon Thomas, Collin Russell, Bo Newcombe, Cole McDaniel, Hunter Smallings and Lane Burton were all absent and will receive the awards at school.
Also absent were assistant coaches Neil Capps, Randy Knowles and Ray Buck.
"It has been an amazing year provided by the girls basketball team. They fought through adversity and came out of nowhere at the end of the year," added Buck.
Joked Smith, "I am not as tall, but better looking."
Junior varsity/freshman coach Jess Raby, along with volunteer assistant coach Louie DeLorenzo presented their team their awards. Over the last two years, the freshman/JV team has posted a 32-10 record, including 17-7 this season.
They scored 68 points in one game and had 12 three-pointers in another.
Team members were Meghan Hayes, Courtney White, Makayla Kington, Faith Van Ruden, Abby Griffin, Tiffany Cokkinias, Sydney Early, Jordan Thompson and Kerigan Smith.
Not present were Kirsten Potter, Kaitlin Carver, Elaine Music, Bailey Rutledge, Emily Rutledge, Aly Murphy and Mady Green.
"I am extremely proud of these girls," said Raby. "It has been an honor and a privilege to coach them."
"This is kind of bittersweet. Someone will be up here next year to talk about basketball. I want to thank Mike. I got closer to God with him. More than anything, he's been like a brother to me. I appreciate Jess for working with the freshmen," added Smith. "Louie is a quality person and has a quality family. It has been that kind of year. There was always someone out there to motiviate me. After a loss to Loudon, they decided to hang their heads on defense. I credit Louie for that. We held teams to 43 points per game."
This was a special year as both teams went to the final four.
The Lady Panthers were tied 8-8 at halftime against Waverly, which didn't matter to his team, as they "did enough to take care of business. We had a hard time at Chucky-Doak. We won at a tough place," according to Smith.
Smith had "four very special freshmen" on the varsity in Tiffany Cokkinias, Abby Griffin, Faith VanRuden and Meghan Hayes. The six sophomores were Kerigan Smith, Jordan Thompsons, Sydney Early, Courtney White, Jackie Livesey and Jessica Bertram.
Emily Bryan and Makayla Kington were the junior members of the team.
"For the seniors, it has been a long four years. It is amazing how time flies," added Smith.
The seniors were Nicole Hassler, Ashley Cox, Morgan Bridges, Tessa Cokkinias, Riley Kennedy, Brooke Kennedy and Julia Webb.
Cox, Hassler and Bridges all signed with Roane State Community College for 2012-'13, while Cox was named to the Knoxville News Sentinel PrepXtra's girls third team.
Managers Kristen Barnett, Bryanna Guerrin and Abby Hedgecoth were also recognized.
Several of the girls were also absent and will receive the awards at school.