Player of the Year
Nathan Fife – Sophomore – Sanderson
Fife had to pry this award away from a handful of worthy candidates but in the end, his dominance and value to his team allowed him to win it. He averaged 22.8p, 5.1r, 5.0a, and 1.1s per game in conference play and led Sanderson to second place in the CAP-6 and a 15-seed in the playoffs. Sanderson won 19 games this season and without Fife, that number may very well be a third of that. There’s only a small number of players in the county that are that valuable to their team’s success and he’s one of them. His efficiency improved as the season went on and he’s only going to get better over the next couple of seasons.
HM: Ethan Montague – Senior – Enloe

Defensive Player of the Year
Gift Moses – Junior – Enloe

Rim protection is one of the most unsung qualities of a good defense and Moses was the best at it in the CAP-6 this season. Moses averaged 7.7p, 7.4r, and 2.0b per game in conference play. He finished top 10 in the county in rebounds per game and top 3 in blocks per game. He’s 6’6” with great length and instincts. His ability to alter shots at the rim, whether they were blocks or contests, was a big reason why Enloe finished third in the conference in points allowed. Gift has a lot of potential as a prospect and is a name that plenty of local programs will be looking to as a low-maintenance offensive operator and an inside anchor on the defensive end.
HM: Cash McSweeney – Sophomore – Cardinal Gibbons, Nathan Fife – Sophomore – Sanderson

6th Man of the Year
James Parrish – Senior – Broughton

Parrish was an important part of Broughton’s underdog run to the third round of the playoffs, scoring 12 points and grabbing 4 rebounds in their first-round upset over Overhills. He averaged 4p and 2.5r in conference play and consistently acted as a glue guy and 6th starter for the Caps. He was a versatile ball handler that could play on or off the ball. He was a great complimentary piece to Broughton’s stars, specifically Hayes Carlin and Manning Lasso.
HM: Juice Coleman – Freshman – Enloe, Arnav Shah – Junior – Leesville Road

Newcomer of the Year
Aiden Smalls – Freshman – Cardinal Gibbons

With a lack of transfers into the conference, the CAP-6 Newcomer of the Year award went to a freshman, the only conference in the county where this happened. Transfers or no transfers, Smalls is more than deserving of this award. He averaged 15.1p, 4.8r, 6a, and 1.4s per game in conference play. His efficiency was up and down but you can’t deny his raw numbers and impact. It’s so rare for any freshman to step into a varsity rotation on day one and it’s even rarer for a freshman to be the guy on a competitive team on day one. He led one of the most injury-riddled teams in the county to a regular season conference title and a second-round playoff berth. The future is bright for the Crusaders.
HM: Juice Coleman – Freshman – Enloe, Marcus Green – Freshman – Athens Drive

Freshman of the Year
Aiden Smalls – Freshman – Cardinal Gibbons

In a conference with some very high-potential freshmen, Smalls was easily the best choice for this award. The athletic 6’1” guard was the most productive frosh in all of 4A basketball this season.
HM: Juice Coleman – Freshman – Enloe, Marcus Green – Freshman – Athens Drive

Breakout Player of the Year
Cash McSweeney – Sophomore – Cardinal Gibbons

McSweeney had some expectations to live up to this season and he blew right through them. He averaged 14.7, 8.9r, and 1.1b per game in conference play. He was the best big in the CAP-6 this season and only got better as the year went on. His sophomore jump is probably the biggest of any 2025s in the county. He’s grown as a finisher and rim protector and his game will only expand as he matures. Cardinal Gibbons has as great a young core and McSweeney (along with Aiden Smalls) leads it.
HM: Tommy Lyon – Senior – Sanderson

Coach of the Year
Roy Roberson – Sanderson

Did any team exceed expectations more than Sanderson did this season? Did any team win more games with less talent than Sanderson did this season? The answer is no and no. Coach Roberson stepped into the Spartan program and completely changed the culture. His resume is better than any coach in the county and he wasted no time in his first year back coaching high school. Coach Roberson will only continue to exceed expectations at Sanderson and he taught us never to underestimate a good hire again.
HM: Brent Nolan – Cardinal Gibbons

All-CAP6 First Team

Aiden Smalls – Freshman – Cardinal Gibbons

See Newcomer of the Year.

Nathan Fife – Sophomore – Sanderson

See Player of the Year.

Grady Whitt – Senior – Leesville Road

Leesville Road’s unquestioned leader, Whitt does everything well and is one of the most well-rounded players in the county. He’s a long and athletic guard that handles the ball, can create for himself and others, and defends the point of attack. He earns the first-team nod thanks to his all-around production, his senior leadership, and his impact on winning. Wherever Whitt decides to continue his career he’ll contribute to a winning culture and will find playing time sooner rather than later.

Ethan Montague – Senior – Enloe

One of the few unquestioned stars in Wake County, Montague is one of the best scorers and athletes in the area. He was a couple of conference wins away from winning CAP-6 POY, only being held back by a lack of team success. He averaged 21p, 6.2r, 1.7a, and 1.3s per game in conference play. At 6’5”, his ability to shoot and make tough shots is elite for a senior in high school. He shot 44% from three on 43 attempts in conference play. That’s great volume and even better efficiency. He’s the most talented player in the conference and one of the best seniors in the county.

Cash McSweeney – Sophomore – Cardinal Gibbons

See Breakout Player of the Year.

All-CAP6 Second Team

Dynaven Lyons – Senior – Athens Drive

Lyons is one of the most exciting guards to watch in the conference. He’s quick, confident, and able to go off at any given moment. Lyons averaged 12.7p, 3r, 3.4a, and 1.7s per game in conference play. His efficiency consistently improved throughout the year, with his turnovers dropping significantly over the second half of the season. He was scoring more on fewer shots, allowing the offense to truly open up. He runs the show for the Jaguars he will be dearly missed by that program next season.

Hayes Carlin – Senior – Broughton

Back in the fall, we wrote about how well Carlin could shoot and we even asked him to shoot more. Well, this season, he made 37 threes in conference play, good for 3.7 per game. Over 80% of his made shots were threes and he shot 42% from outside in conference play. He averaged 16.1p, 2.2r, 2a, and 1.1s per game in that same time. The sheer volume of threes Carlin took is such an anomaly that we probably won’t appreciate his shot until a few more seasons go by. He completely unlocked his confidence in the second half of the season and his role (and production) skyrocketed because of it.

Hayes Oxendine – Sophomore – Leesville Road

Oxendine has as high of a floor as anyone in Wake’s 2025 class. He’s a sharpshooter that showed off an improved all-around game as the year went on. His finishing, ball handling, and playmaking all improved and as Leesville’s strong senior class leaves, he will be relied on to carry most of the offensive creation load. His ability to score leaves him with rarely having an off night and if Leesville Road had managed a couple more conference wins there’s no doubt that Hayes would’ve jumped to the first team.

Connor Higginbotham – Senior – Cardinal Gibbons

Higginbotham helped carry a majority of the handling and creation responsibilities for conference-winning Cardinal Gibbons. He earns this spot because of his ability to produce and impact winning while fighting through injuries all season long. He averaged 12p, 2r, and 2.4a per game in conference play. He was a steady presence with the ball in his hands, putting up an A/TO ratio of just under 2. He also shined as a shotmaker and finisher around the rim. Injuries hurt his chances of pushing for the first team but the talent is undeniable with the 6’2” senior.

Gift Moses – Junior – Enloe

Moses won our highly contested conference DPOY award and was a more than serviceable piece on the offensive end. That formula alone is enough for an all-conference nod but his efficiency and impact on winning really put him over the edge. The 2024 big man has a bright future as he’s only started to fill in his potential.

All-CAP6 Third Team

Owen Pederson – Junior – Enloe

Pederson is a high-level glue guy that blossomed into a legit offensive option. He averaged 10.1p, 4.8r, 1.7a, and 1.3s in conference play and was the clear number two option for the Eagles. He’s strong, athletic, and has a high feel. With multiple starters graduating, Pederson will be looked upon to carry a major load next year at Enloe.

Alex Fannéy – Senior – Cardinal Gibbons

Fannéy can really, really shoot it. At 6’4” his frame and skillset make him a very high-floor high school guy (and a very recruitable college prospect). He averaged 11.7p, 4.2r, and 1.2a in conference play. He shot 41% from three on 7 attempts per game and scored 22 points on 6 threes in their conference championship-clinching win over Sanderson on the last day of the regular season.

Jani Vanholten – Senior – Athens Drive

Vanholten is a great two-way player with tons of versatility. He’s one of the best wing slashers in the county and is lethal in transition. He averaged 10.4p, 5.2r, 2a, and 2 stocks per game in conference play. His defensive versatility and activity were outstanding and he was a couple of conference wins away from being on a higher team.

Wil Murray – Senior – Leesville Road

Murray is the epitome of a swiss army knife player and impacts the game all over the place. He’s low maintenance and can guard everyone except traditional centers. He can shoot, drive, and pass and his presence is as important as anyone on the Leesville Road roster. He should be a commodity for a variety of D3 programs and should make an impact sooner rather than later at the next level.

McCallum Wright – Senior – Broughton

Wright is a football player that provides exciting moments and a strong skill set. He averaged 12p, 3.8r, 2.3a, and 1.9 stocks per game in conference play. He had about as slow a start as you can have to the season and really came alive right before Christmas and right in time for conference play. He scored 18 points against Athens Drive in the last game of the regular season to help the Caps secure the third seed in the conference tournament and he ended the year with 5 straight games of 10+ points, all of them being playoff or conference tournament games.

All-CAP6 Honorable Mentions

Noah Hinton – Senior – Athens Drive

Hinton had some of the better counting stats in the CAP-6 this season. His crafty and under-control style of play led to him averaging 12.4p, 3.4r, and 3.3a per game while posting a 2.0 A/TO ratio in conference play. Hinton shot 38% from three on over 5 threes per game. He’s one of the better handlers and play-creators in the conference.

Tommy Lyon – Senior – Sanderson

Lyon had a great year and nearly won conference Breakout Player of the Year. He was a LETHAL shooter, shooting 45% from three on 6 attempts per game. He averaged 11.6p, 2.6r, 1.5a, and 1.2s on top of the shooting numbers in conference play. His shooting and composure this season helped Sanderson push to new heights under first-year coach Roy Roberson.

Gordie Balas – Sophomore – Sanderson

Balas was a high-level glue guy that produced as a defender and as a tertiary option in the efficient Sanderson offense. He should see a much improved offensive role next season. He averaged 5.9p, 3.8r, and 1.7a per game in conference play. He’s a long and athletic off-ball guard that really found himself as a defender and a cleanup guy this year.

Manning Lasso – Senior – Broughton

Lasso is a strong and physical forward that helped lead Broughton to the third round of the playoffs and a conference tournament championship. He averaged 8p, 7.3r, 3.1a, and 1.2s per game in conference play. It’s rare for a forward to lead his team in assists but Lasso did just that. His presence as a post-passer and finisher was of utmost importance to his team’s success.

Patrick Dalton – Junior – Sanderson

Dalton is a smart and consistent hybrid forward that can do a little bit of everything. He scores, rebounds, and defends at a plus level. He averaged 9.3p, 4.4r, and 1.5a. He’s smart and has a high feel, he and Nathan Fife are a nice duo that plays off each other well. Sanderson basketball is in for another fun year with these two leading the way.

All-Defensive Team

Nathan Fife – Sophomore – Sanderson

The best passers tend to be sound defenders and this is a prime example. Fife is extremely savvy on and off the ball, baiting opponents into bad passes or into on-ball turnovers (travels and double-dribbles). His total steals numbers aren’t overwhelming or eye-opening but his impact is felt by every opponent he faces.

Grady Whitt – Senior – Leesville Road

Long, athletic, active, and smart, a lethal combination for an on-ball defender to have. He’s very well-rounded on that side of the ball, not giving up any glaring flaws that would allow him to get exposed. He can guard guards and wings and as I said above, good passers make sound defenders, which Whitt is.

Jani Vanholten – Senior – Athens Drive

Vanholten is athletic, opportunistic, and one of the best havoc creators in the county. I’m not sure if anyone has as much potential for chaos as he does. He has great instincts and really plays passing lanes well. He can block the occasional shot thanks to his athleticism and length but is more relied on to disrupt opposing guards on the perimeter.

Cash McSweeney – Sophomore – Cardinal Gibbons

McSweeney is an active big man that really developed as the season went on. His presence inside the paint is a great compliment to the handful of athletic wings that the Crusaders have beside him. He can block shots, contest at the rim, and rebound with the best of them. As his activity, athleticism, and confidence continue to grow, he’s going to be one of the most feared two-way players in the state.

Gift Moses – Junior – Enloe

See Defensive Player of the Year.