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High School sports

All-Metro boys basketball: Player of the Year

Lake Clifton's Will Barton is the All-Metro Player of the Year for boys basketball.
Will Barton
Lake Clifton

A transfer from National Christian Academy, the 6-foot-6 junior forward turned a good Lakers team into a special one that went 28-0 and won the Class 3A state title.

No player in the area was more consistent or versatile than Barton, who averaged 18points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Along with his multiple skills at both ends of the court, Barton's enthusiasm, energy and confidence made his teammates better.

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Perhaps most impressive is that he excelled while playing within a stringent team concept.

In Lake Clifton's 75-50 win over Friendly in the state-title game, Barton scored 10 of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter, hitting two three-pointers and a highlight dunk to get the Lakers off to a fast start. He also grabbed nine rebounds, had three assists and made three steals.

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In Lake Clifton's toughest playoff test - a 56-54 victory over Milford Mill to win the North region - he made the deciding two free throws with seven seconds left to finish with 15 points. He also had 21 points, eightrebounds and three assists in the Lakers' win over Digital Harbor in the city championship game.

"As talented as he is, he could have come in here with a big ego, very selfish and into himself, but he didn't. He's just very mature and selfless, and that's what was most impressive," Lake Clifton coach Herman Harried said.


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