Stellar senior seasons just got better for Drew Roberts and Justin Clark.

Stellar senior seasons just got better for Drew Roberts and Justin Clark.
Roberts, a Blue Springs guard and The Examiner’s Girls Player of the Year, and Clark, the Examiner’s Boys Co-Player of the Year, have been named to the 2008-09 Missouri Basketball Coaches Association All-State Team.
“I’ll be honest,” said Roberts, who led the area with a 13.9 points-per-game average and led the Wildcats to a runner-up finish in the Class 5 state tournament, “I would have been disappointed if I hadn’t made all-state.
“I was second team (in a vote by sportswriters) my sophomore year and first team last year. I really wanted to win state this year, and didn’t reach that goal, so it’s nice to reach this goal. It’s just a great honor.”
Roberts, who has been The Examiner’s Player of the Year the past two seasons, was the lone area girl to be honored. Roberts also is a girls finalist for the DiRenna Award, which is given to the most outstanding player in the Kansas City metro area.
“I think being the only girl from this area to be honored makes it even more special,” Roberts added, “because we had some great players on our team and we played against a lot of great players.
“It’s the perfect way to end my career.”
First-year Wildcats coach Mark Spigarelli said one thing made Roberts stand out at a player.
“Whether we were doing something she loved, or something she didn’t care that much about,” Spigarelli said, “she worked as hard – or harder – than any of her teammates.
“When the girls see the best player on the team working that hard, it makes them want to work that hard, too.”
Joining Clark on the boys first team were Michael Dixon of Lee’s Summit West, Rian Pearson of Raytown South and Raytown’s Josh Gibbs. Dixon, who is headed to the University of Missouri, and Pearson are finalists for the boys DiRenna Award.
Clark was honored to be chosen by the state’s coaches.
“A very, very special way to end my career at Chrisman,” Clark said when asked about his latest honor. “When you’re playing, and trying to get to state, all you’re thinking about is working hard and being a good teammate. But now that the season is over, you begin to think a little about something like all-state.
“I was second team (on the sportswriters’ poll) last year and I did want to make first team this year. I just wish Jon (Ekey) was on the (all-state) team with me because we’ve been together a long time and he helped make the player I am today.”
Clark and Ekey will continue to be teammates when they play at Illinois State University.
“It’s a fitting tribute for Justin,” Chrisman coach John Vickers said. “He had a great senior year and really deserves the honor. I know the impact he made on our team, and I’m glad that the coaches who voted for this award knew how much Justin not only meant to the team, but to the school and the community.”
Clark led the area with a 22.8-point-per-game average this past season.
The senior guard finished his career with 2,148 points, second in the history of Eastern Jackson County to the 2,175 by former Blue Springs High School and University of Missouri legend Jon Sundvold.
Other girls finalists for the DiRenna Award are Polly Harrington of Hickman Mills, Taber Spani of Metro Academy, Morgan Johnson of Platte County and Jana Graf of Shawnee Mission (Kan.) East.
Other boys DiRenna finalists are Ivo Baltic of Park Hill South, Alec Burks of Grandview and Trevor Releford of Bishop Miege in Overland Park, Kan.