Posted: 8:00 p.m. Friday, March 28, 2014

All-Area: Jeantal Cylla, Lake Worth Christian, Small School Boys Basketball



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All-Area: Jeantal Cylla, Lake Worth Christian, Small School Boys Basketball photo
Madeline Gray
Jeantal Cylla, a junior at Lake Worth Christian, small schools boys basketball player of the year, on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. (Madeline Gray / The Palm Beach Post)

By Jodie Wagner

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

BOYNTON BEACH —

With a year of high school left to complete, Jeantal Cylla has plenty of court time remaining to improve his already formidable basketball skills.

The Lake Worth Christian forward drew plenty of attention from colleges as a junior and looks forward to taking his career to the next level a year from now.

“I’ve been getting a lot offers and a lot of publicity for my game,” said Cylla, who was the county’s top scorer for small schools this season at 24.4 points per game. “I like playing hard. I have the potential to go to the next level playing this game.”

Defenders coach Frank Baxley has little doubt Cylla, 17, will make an impact for his college team as soon as he arrives on campus.

He has the determination and the work ethic, Baxley said, to succeed at the next level.

“He’s very coachable,” Baxley said. “He’s a kid that wants to learn. He has a drive to get better. That’s one of his biggest strengths.”

Cylla was an impact player as a freshman, but has improved his game tremendously during his past two seasons.

As a sophomore he averaged 26.2 points per game and was named to the Post’s All-Area First Team.

This season he was dominant, leading the Defenders to a 25-5 record and a berth in the regional semifinals for the fourth straight year under Baxley.

Cylla teamed with guards Kamil Williams and Isaiah Hobbs — a Texas-Pan American commit — to form a potent scoring trio.

Lake Worth Christian lost to Melbourne-Florida Air Academy after breezing through the district tournament and winning its regional quarterfinal game in a rout.

“His first year when he came in, he was a freshman just playing hard,” Baxley said of Cylla. “But he got more comfortable and more confident, and he’s grown and blossomed into a great player, a player that we can depend on night after night.”

Cylla, who plays travel basketball with the Showtime Ballers out of Orlando, credits his teammates and his coach for his success on the court.

“I love playing for coach Baxley,” he said. “He has a love for the game. He’s taught me a lot. He’s like a father figure to me. And the players on my team are like my brothers.”

Cylla began playing basketball in elementary school and stuck with it when he realized he had a talent for the game.

“I started as a young kid, and as I grew taller, I thought this was the sport for me,” he said. “I started getting good at it, and I just got a love for the game.”

First Team:

Vincent Holmes, Oxbridge, Sr., Guard: Ran the point for the Thunderwolves, averaging 18.3 points and 6.1 assists.

Kamil Williams, Lake Worth Christian, Jr., Guard: Palm Beach Lakes transfer had big year offensively for Defenders, averaging 20.2 points.

Jamal Palmer, Grandview Prep, Jr., Guard: Atlantic transfer had stellar season for Pride, averaging 23 points and seven rebounds.

Isaiah Hobbs, Lake Worth Christian, Sr., Guard/Forward: Texas-Pan American signee averaged 21.5 points for district champion Defenders.

Collin Gray, Boca Christian, Sr., Guard/Forward: One of the area’s top scorers, he averaged 21.4 points and seven rebounds for the Blazers.

Anthony Polite, St. Andrew’s, Fr., Guard/Forward: Had a breakout season for Scots, averaging 19.7 points and 8.4 rebounds.

Tre’Quan Smith, Village Academy, Sr., Forward: Versatile player averaged 15 points to lead the Tigers this season.

John Collins, Cardinal Newman, Jr., Center: Big man in the middle averaged 18.5 points for district-champ Crusaders

Second Team:

Tyler Kasten, Benjamin, Jr., Guard

Andrew Cardoso, Trinity Christian, Sr., Guard

Jordan Coblin, Grandview Prep, Jr., Guard

Zach Shell, Oxbridge Academy, Sr., Guard

Jake Bargas, St. Andrew’s, Jr., Forward

K’Von Humphrey, Trinity Christian, Jr., Forward

Justen Hunter, Wellington Christian, Sr., Forward

Dion Novil, Berean Christian, Fr., Center

Honorable Mention:

American Heritage: Trenard Davis, Ronnie Bennett; Berean Christian: Austin Skelton; Boca Raton Christian: Casey Carpinello; Johnny White; Cardinal Newman: Kaleb Fitzgerald; Glades Day: Charlie Velazquez, Jonathan Leon; Grandview Prep: Juwan Frazier; King’s Academy: David Neese, Collin Valente; Oxbridge: Elvis Harvey; St. Andrew’s: Noah Ralby; Trinity Christian: Wolphenson Eduard; Village Academy: Keion Tyson; Wellington Christian: Brandon Melvin, Robert Rodriguez.

Coach of the Year:

Joe Dawson, Grandview Prep: Long-time coach led Pride to its eighth consecutive state tournament berth.


First Team:

Vincent Holmes, Oxbridge, Sr., Guard: Ran the point for the Thunderwolves, averaging 18.3 points and 6.1 assists.

Kamil Williams, Lake Worth Christian, Jr., Guard: Palm Beach Lakes transfer had big year offensively for Defenders, averaging 20.2 points.

Jamal Palmer, Grandview Prep, Jr., Guard: Atlantic transfer had stellar season for Pride, averaging 23 points and seven rebounds.

Isaiah Hobbs, Lake Worth Christian, Sr., Guard/Forward: Texas-Pan American signee averaged 21.5 points for district champion Defenders.

Collin Gray, Boca Christian, Sr., Guard/Forward: One of the area’s top scorers, he averaged 21.4 points and seven rebounds for the Blazers.

Anthony Polite, St. Andrew’s, Fr., Guard/Forward: Had a breakout season for Scots, averaging 19.7 points and 8.4 rebounds.

Tre’Quan Smith, Village Academy, Sr., Forward: Versatile player averaged 15 points to lead the Tigers this season.

John Collins, Cardinal Newman, Jr., Center: Big man in the middle averaged 18.5 points for district-champ Crusaders

Second Team:

Tyler Kasten, Benjamin, Jr., Guard

Andrew Cardoso, Trinity Christian, Sr., Guard

Jordan Coblin, Grandview Prep, Jr., Guard

Zach Shell, Oxbridge Academy, Sr., Guard

Jake Bargas, St. Andrew’s, Jr., Forward

K’Von Humphrey, Trinity Christian, Jr., Forward

Justen Hunter, Wellington Christian, Sr., Forward

Dion Novil, Berean Christian, Fr., Center

Honorable Mention:

American Heritage: Trenard Davis, Ronnie Bennett; Berean Christian: Austin Skelton; Boca Raton Christian: Casey Carpinello; Johnny White; Cardinal Newman: Kaleb Fitzgerald; Glades Day: Charlie Velazquez, Jonathan Leon; Grandview Prep: Juwan Frazier; King’s Academy: David Neese, Collin Valente; Oxbridge: Elvis Harvey; St. Andrew’s: Noah Ralby; Trinity Christian: Wolphenson Eduard; Village Academy: Keion Tyson; Wellington Christian: Brandon Melvin, Robert Rodriguez.

Coach of the Year:

Joe Dawson, Grandview Prep: Long-time coach led Pride to its eighth consecutive state tournament berth.