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HG’s Za’Kyus Smith and CF’s Karmen Johnson gets honors for second consecutive week

by Michael Hanich | February 1, 2023 at 10:20 a.m.
Photo By: Michael Hanich Harmony Grove guard Za'Kyus Smith looks for a play in the game against Lake Village.

The final month of regular season play is coming up for high school basketball as each game is important to win. Many players will be asked to step up and provide key plays on both ends of the court. It will take leaders and star players for teams to be outliers in the regional standings as regional tournament play approaches.

For the Harmony Grove Hornets, they are a team that continues to develop into a more consistent basketball program. They have come a long way since not having a conference win since the spring of 2020. Last week, the Hornets were able to get their second of the season with a comeback 64-63 win at Drew Central. Several players were key indicators for the big win, but the most significant performance was sophomore guard Za'Kyus Smith.

The Camden Fairview Lady Cardinals are continuing to balance themselves as a serious contender for conference play. After a tough start in conference play, the Lady Cardinals entered last week with a 2-1 streak in conference play. Last week Camden Fairview held off a tough Hope Lady Bobcats team with a 42-40 win. One player that consistently secures her team big wins is senior forward Karmen Johnson.

Harmony Grove's Za'Kyus Smith is the Camden News male player of the week while Camden Fairview's Karmen Johnson is the Camden News female player of the week. Both Smith and Johnson are the players of the week for the second consecutive week, and each given the title for the third time this season.

Smith averaged 22 points, 7.5 rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the 64-63 win at Drew Central and the 56-50 loss at home to the Lake Village Beavers. He paved the way for the Hornets to win their second conference game of the season as he was 7-of-15 in field goals, 1-of-3 from the three-point arc, and 6-of-7 at the free-throw line. He also accounted for five rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

His playmaking on both ends of the court were huge for the Hornets as Harmony Grove came back down 62-56 with 1:14 to go. Smith has displayed great athleticism, drive to take control, and great leadership, despite being a sophomore.

In the loss to Lake Village, Smith's performance was an indication that the Hornets have what it takes to knock off any conference when postseason play starts. Smith scored 23 points shooting 7-of-15 in field goals, 3-of-9 from the three-point arc, and 4-of-6 at the free-throw line. He also accounted for a team-high 10 rebounds, two assists, and a steal.

Johnson has been one of the most efficient and tenacious players for the Lady Cardinals all season. Her height and aggressive ability to attack basket or go for the rebound makes her a player in contention for all-state.

In the previous week, Johnson scored 14 points in the win over Malvern and 21 points in the loss to De Queen. Last week, Johnson continued to be the team's most efficient playmaker all throughout the court.

Johnson led the Lady Cardinals in points scored with 14 shooting 4-of-11 in field goals against an overly aggressive defense of the Lady Bobcats. She was also 2-of-5 from the three-point arc and 4-of-4 at the free-throw line. She also accounted for 11 rebounds, four steals, and a block. Johnson's height and athleticism gives her an advantage against opposing players at her position, but her tenacious mentality to go for rebounds efficiently against centers.

Print Headline: HG’s Za’Kyus Smith and CF’s Karmen Johnson gets honors for second consecutive week


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