Nails, Egbuta earn All-Zone, Region basketball honors

JACKSONVILLE — Navarro sophomores Jahlil Nails and Emmanuel Egbuta earned Region XIV All-East Zone Basketball honors at the conclusion of the men’s tournament championship.

R-14 All East ZoneNails, who signed with The University of Idaho, earned first-team honors after leading the 19-12 Bulldogs in per-game scoring. He averaged 14.7 points with 4.1 rebounds for the season and 15/4 in conference play.  Nails totaled 18 double-figure scoring games among the 24 in which he played.  In addition to his season-high, 40-point performance during a 100-78 win over Panola, he had five other game of 20-point-plus scoring.

Nails led Navarro scorers in seven different games this season.  His season and conference shooting slash lines were consistent.  For the year, he had percentages of 40.7 from the floor, 39.2  from three-point range and 75.4 from the foul line.  During the 19-game conference season, Nails hit 41 percent from the field, 41.7 beyond the arc and 79.2 from the free-throw line.

Egbuta earned second-team honors after a season in which he averaged 12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.  Navarro’s explosive second-leading scorer had 17 double-figure scoring games with six double-doubles on the season — five in conference play.  The Bronx, NY., native led NC in scoring in seven games. He also led or shared Navarro game-bests in rebounding 15 times and in blocked shots on 13 occasions.

His personal-best games included 26/13 in a loss at Coastal Bend, 26/11 in a win at Lee, and 22/12 in a win over Bossier Parish.  His other conference double-doubles came in a win against tournament semifinalist Blinn (15/10) and in a two-point loss to eventual region champion Tyler (10/12).

He had an individual and single-game team-high 7 blocked shots in a two-point overtime loss to Paris and games with three blocked shots against each of four east Zone competitors: Panola, Bossier Parish and twice against TJC.

First-team selections along with Nails were point guards Wendell Mitchell of TVCC and Brian Warren of Tyler, the only unanimous picks on the mythical squad.  Colombian forward Andres Ibarguen from TVCC and Paris guard Leon Redd rounded out the first unit.

With Egbuta, the second-team selections also featured Panola’s Marlon Taylor, Tyler forward Tajuan Agee, all-tournament guard Chad Bowie of Kilgore, plus a pair of Bossier Parish players:  Mubarak Muhammed and Brandon Moore.

R-14 South ZoneThe South Zone selections included unanimous picks Christian Barrett of Jacksonville and Kabir Mohammed from San Jacinto.

Blinn placed hometowner Antione Lister and Markques Houston on the first team.

Lamar State-Port Arthur, which eliminated Navarro on an overtime buzzer-beater, placed forward Rodney Brown — the Seahawks’ top rebounder and shot blocker — on the squad.