Reggie Upshaw's senior basketball season was disrupted by an injury, but his four-year history, including 10 games this season, were more than enough to qualify him as one of the three best players in the state in his school's classification.
The Baylor senior is one of two area finalists for the TSSAA Mr. and Miss Basketball awards. Upshaw is up for the Division II-AA boys' honor, while McMinn Central's Elizabeth Masengil is a finalist again in Class AA after winning the award last season.
The awards will be presented during the state tournaments. The D-II awards will be given March 2 at Lipscomb University's Allen Arena, and the Division I Miss Basketball presentations will be one week later at Middle Tennessee State's Murphy Center.
Upshaw played in two games at the beginning of the season, then missed the next 15 with a nagging foot injury suffered during football season. The 6-foot-7 MTSU signee averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks per game. After playing a full game against McCallie in his first game back, he played limited minutes in a number of subsequent games while trying to work his way back into shape.
The other D-II boys' finalists are 5-10 Ensworth guard Corn Elder, who committed Wednesday to continue his football and basketball careers at the University of Miami, and 6-9 forward Austin Nichols of Briarcrest Christian, who will play for Memphis and was Mr. Basketball last season.
"I think that it's a tremendous honor for Reggie," Baylor coach Austin Clark said. "He's one of the best players in our league, as well as one of the best players across the state. The fact that he's only played 10 games this season and is still honored shows what he's proven throughout his career.
"He's steadily gotten better and is a talented young man."
The 5-11 Masengil, who will continue her career at the University of Tennessee at Martin, has averaged 22.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.3 steals for Class AA third-ranked McMinn Central. She recently became the Chargerettes' all-time leading scorer and is 25 points shy of 2,500 for her career.
Masengil also is on track to be the school's valedictorian.
"I think she's very deserving," McMinn Central coach Johnny Morgan said. "Most people think it's strictly a basketball honor -- and I'm sure that's the majority of it -- but she's worthy because of other things she does. She's ranked No. 1 in her class, and with all the other stuff she does in her community, she's very deserving of it.
"Just on basketball alone, she's good enough to be in the final three. But with all else that goes along with it, she deserves everything she gets."
Other Class AA girls' finalists are Cannon County junior guard Abbey Sissom and Obion County senior center Brandi Goodman.