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East Hamilton's Madison Hayes (14) handles the ball against Bradley Central at Bradley Central High School's Jim Smiddy Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019 in Cleveland, Tenn. / Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter

This story was updated Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at 10:30 p.m. with more information.

Two Chattanooga-area prep basketball stars were recognized as the top players in the state's largest classification Tuesday evening. East Hamilton's Madison Hayes was named Class AAA Miss Basketball for a second straight year and Cleveland's JaCobi Wood earned the AAA Mr. Basketball award at a ceremony on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.

Hayes, who is ranked as the nation's No. 29 recruit for the 2020 class by ESPN.com and has signed with Mississippi State, averaged 25.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.8 steals and 2.0 blocks per game for the Lady Hurricanes this past season. She ended her prep career with 3,055 points and 1,584 rebounds.

Photo Gallery

Miss Basketball, Mr. Basketball awards

Last week she was also named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Tennessee and also became Hamilton County's first female public-school player to be honored as a McDonald's All American.

"When you look at all she's accomplished, it's pretty incredible, honestly," said East Hamilton coach Hunter Gremore. "Players like her don't come along very often. Our area has been fortunate to get to watch her and (Bradley Central's) Rhyne Howard back to back over the past few years.

"Everything she does she's determined that she's going to be the best at it, because of how hard she works. That's what has been so amazing to watch, just how much she has worked to improve every year."

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Cleveland's JaCobi Wood (10) lays the ball up during the boys basketball game between Oak Ridge and Cleveland on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in Cleveland, Tenn. / Staff photo by Troy Stolt

Wood, a Belmont signee, has helped guide top-ranked Cleveland back to the state tournament for a second straight year. The Blue Raiders will open against Whitehaven next Wednesday at 11 a.m. EDT at MTSU's Murphy Center.

The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 27.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, five assists and 2.7 steals per game and scored 50-plus points twice this season, including a program-record 53 against Cookeville. He becomes Cleveland's second Mr. Basketball award winner, joining All-American Vincent Yarbrough, who won the award in 1998.

"I wasn't really nervous before they announced it, but I was definitely anxious waiting to hear if my name was going to be called," Wood said. "I know how I've put in a lot of hard work with my teammates for us to be successful this season and to earn this award, so it's a great feeling.

"It's an honor to get to be in the conversation with one of the greats at Cleveland High like Vincent Yarbourgh. That's special. Honestly, this gives us even more fire to go out there and compete and prove ourselves next week when the state tournament starts. I know there will be a lot of people watching."

Baylor junior Raegyn Conley was one of three finalists in the girls' Division II-AA category, and Silverdale Baptist Academy junior Laney Bone was a finalist in DII-A.

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.

THE WINNERS

TSSAA MISS BASKETBALL

Division II-A: Macey Lee (Trinity Christian)

Division II-AA: Dontavia Waggoner (Ensworth)

Class A: Chloe Moore-McNeil (Greenfield)

Class AA: Keeley Carter (Macon County)

Class AAA: Madison Hayes (East Hamilton)

TSSAA MR. BASKETBALL

Division II-A: Moussa Cisse (Lausanne)

Division II-AA: Kennedy Chandler (Briarcrest)

Class A: John McClaran (Eagleville)

Class AA: Johnathan Lawson (Wooddale)

Class AAA: JaCobi Wood (Cleveland)

 

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