Buchholz's Thomas named Class 7A Player of the Year

Buchholz Jessica Thomas and head coach Rebecca Williams signal number one, after winning the Class 7A State Championship beating Nova in the state final game in Lakeland on Feb. 23. The Bobcats walked away with a 63-49 win to take home their first ever girls basketball state title.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Friday, March 8, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 8, 2013 at 6:28 p.m.

Senior Jessica Thomas, who led Buchholz to its first girls basketball state title two weeks ago in Lakeland, was named the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 7A Player of the Year on Friday.

Thomas, a Miami signee, averaged 30 points and six assists this season as the Bobcats went 28-4, beating Davie Nova (63-49) for the 7A title.

The 5-foot-7 point guard scored 26 points in the state final, 15 straight in rallying Buchholz from an early deficit.

She also had 38 points in the state semifinal win over Tampa Freedom (79-73), 47 in the overtime triumph at Viera (84-79), and a career-high 50 in a district tournament win over Tallahassee Chiles.

“It kind of caught me off guard, I wasn't expecting it,” Thomas said. “I knew I was in the race, but wasn't sure when I would find out. It is very exciting, and I am very thankful for it.”

Bobcat coach Rebecca Williams was named 7A Coach of the Year. A 1992 graduate of Buchholz, Williams led her team to three straight state tournaments and the school's first state title in the sport.

Thomas, along with the seven other players of the year from each classification, will be up for Miss Basketball, which will be voted on by a statewide poll of basketball coaches and media. Williams will be up for Coach of the Year.

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