Mercer’s Ellis excels on both ends to lead boys All-Area team

Published 4:45 pm Thursday, April 4, 2024

Trevor Ellis, who emerged as an offensive and defensive force for a Mercer County team that experienced a revival, has been voted The Advocate-Messenger 2023-24 Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Ellis was the top vote-getter in exclusive balloting of area coaches for The Advocate-Messenger All-Area Boys Basketball Team.

He becomes the first area boys player of the year from Mercer since Trevon Faulkner, who was Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 2018.

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Able to score from anywhere on the floor and to protect the paint and dominate the glass, Ellis finished third in the 12th Region in scoring (19.7) and ranked seventh in the state in rebounding (12.5).

The 6-6 junior led Mercer in field goal percentage (.614) and 3-point percentage (.424) as he led the Titans to their first 46th District championship since 2018.

“I’ve just not seen a lot of high school kids affect the game the way he does,” Mercer coach Keith Adkins said. “I’ve seen better players, I’ve seen a lot worse players, but he really affects the game with the way he changes things on the defensive end, his ability to step out on the offensive end and his rebounding.”

Other players on the All-Area first team are:

  • Montavin Quisenberry, who ranked first in scoring (15.0) and second in free throw percentage (.733) for a Boyle County team that won its first 45th District title since 2018.
  • Emmanuel Dut, the leader in scoring (13.1) and 3-point percentage (.380) for a Danville Christian team that reached the 12th Region Tournament for the first time.
  • Blade Nuckols, who led Lincoln County in scoring (13.9) and free throw percentage (.766).
  • Trevarion Paige, the leader in scoring (17.2), rebounding (7.3) and 3-point percentage (.333) for Danville.

Dut, Nuckols and Jacobe Taylor of Burgin received player of the year votes along with Ellis.

Taylor is joined on the second team by Titus Boyd of DCA, Caleb Brown of Casey County, Jaydon Noe of Garrard County and Demauriah Brown of Boyle.

Quisenberry made the All-Area first team for the second time in three seasons. Ellis, Quisenberry and Dut were second-team selections last year.

Taylor, Boyd and Demauriah Brown received honorable mention in 2023.

The All-Area team is open to players from schools in Boyle, Casey, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties. Coaches may not vote for players from their own teams.

Adkins, who led Mercer to a 22-12 record and reached the regional semifinals in his first season, was voted The Advocate-Messenger Area Boys Basketball Coach of the Year. He is the first coach of the year from Mercer since Josh Hamlin in 2018.

Todd Claunch of Burgin, Jeff Jackson of Lincoln, Don Story of DCA and Dennie Webb of Boyle also received votes for coach of the year.


First Team

Name, School, Ht., Yr., Pos., Pts., Reb.:

Trevor Ellis, Mercer County, 6-6, Jr., F, 19.7, 12.5

Montavin Quisenberry, Boyle County, 5-8, Jr., G, 15.0, 3.4

Emmanuel Dut, Danville Christian, 6-4, Sr., F, 13.1, 5.7

Blade Nuckols, Lincoln County, 5-9, Sr., G, 13.9, 2.8

Trevarion Paige, Danville, 5-11, Jr., F, 17.2, 7.3

Second Team

Name, School Ht. Yr. Pos. Pts. Reb.

Jacobe Taylor, Burgin, 5-6, Sr., G, 16.4, 6.3

Titus Boyd, Danville Christian, 6-3, Jr., G, 10.7, 5.3

Caleb Brown, Casey County, 5-9, Sr., G, 19.7, 3.6

Jaydon Noe, Garrard County, 5-11, Jr., G, 16.1, 4.2

Demauriah Brown, Boyle County, 5-10, Jr., G, 10.8, 3.1

Honorable Mention

Boyle County – Seneca Driver, Guy Turner

Danville Christian – Lual Ayiei

Garrard County – Jeffrey Skeens

Lincoln County – Cash Baird, Sawyer Robbins

Mercer County – John Lincoln Perry

Area Coach of the Year

Keith Adkins, Mercer County.