Several local athletes earn all-conference honors

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The saying rings true – hard work pays off.

On Wednesday morning, the North Central Athletic Conference announced All-Conference honorees for winter sports. Roxboro Community School’s Tori Bailey and Michayaj Jay (women’s basketball), Nasir Stokes, Jalen Bailey, Bryson Pleasant, and JR Paylor (men’s basketball) earned All-Conference honors.

“Michayaj made a mark with her defense,” said Lady Bulldogs head coach Earl Bailey. Jay, who takes home All-Conference Honorable Mention honors, blocked 40 shots this season, averaging 1.8 per game, while registering 149 rebounds, good enough for 6.8 a contest. Jay contributed on offense as well, averaging 4.2 points per game.

“Tori can improve on All-Conference, and get player of the year next season,” said Earl Bailey. “If you push kids to a certain level, something will happen.” Tori Bailey led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring this season, averaging 18.7 a contest this year, and totaled 448 points. As one of the top 60 players in the state, coaches from across North Carolina selected her to play in a Saturday, March 28 basketball event in Charlotte. That event will not take place because of the threat created by the coronavirus.

Stokes led the RCS men’s basketball team in scoring, totaling 589 points on the season and averaging 21.8 per game. Stokes moved into fourth place on the Bulldogs’ all-time scoring list by scoring career point 971, moving past Te’Shon Clayton, reached the 1,000-point plateau, and became the all-time assist leader when he hit 266, moving past Darius McGhee.

“Nas was a great point guard and leader this year – not just in scoring, but setting the tone for the game as a whole,” said RCS men’s basketball head coach Justin Bettendorf.

Jalen Bailey scored 406 total points this season, averaging 15 per game, and finishing as the Bulldogs’ second-leading scorer.

“Jalen was always getting after it defensively,” said Bettendorf. “If Jalen got a steal, there wasn’t anyone that was going to catch him.” Bailey made himself known for driving the lane and slashing the opposition.

Pleasant and Paylor, who both took home Honorable Mention honors, made significant impacts on RCS’ success. Pleasant scored 296 points, averaging 11 per contest, and led the Bulldogs in rebounds with 72. Paylor scored 251 points, averaging 9.7 a game, and snagged 14 offensive rebounds.

“Bryson was a beast on the boards, and a great go-to option in the post game,” said Bettendorf. “JR did all the little things – rebounds, charges, deflections blocks, and key offensive plays – that you need to win games.”

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