By Jon Gremmels
Herald Sports Editor
A few years from now when people reflect on the turning point of the Clinton Community College basketball program, coach Joe Shovlain believes he knows what they’ll decide.
“This is the team I will think about for turning the corner,” he said.
And the two players he’ll pinpoint as emblematic of the change are Charles Pemberton and Xzavion Jones.
“They really filled needs for us,” Shovlain said, “Charles on defense and Xzavion being the offensive player he was.”
Both of those Cougars players earned Division II All-Region XI and Iowa Community College Athletic Conference honors Wednesday. Pemberton, a 6-foot, 5-inch, 240-pound sophomore center from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, was selected to the second team, while Jones, a 6-0 freshman guard from Davenport, was an honorable mention choice.
Shovlain said both of his players should have been higher up the list, too.
“Charles should have been on the first team,” Shovlain said. “What he meant to the program was we finally had an inside presence. Teams couldn’t take the ball inside against and had to go outside. They had to work to score points against us this year. They knew if they got around defenders, Charles was waiting inside.”
Pemberton, a transfer from Moberly (Mo.) junior college, averaged 11.8 points a game, led the conference in rebounding (8.8 a game) and blocked shots (3.8 a game) and was third in field goal percentage (.636).
Jones was Clinton’s top scorer, averaging 14.8 points a game. He also finished ninth in steals (1.5 a game) and 11th in assists (2.8 a game).
“Xzavion gave us the scoring punch that we really needed this year,” Shovlain said.
The Cougars finished the season with an 8-20 record, its most wins in years.
The nine-player first team included two players from regular-season and tournament champion Iowa Lakes — freshmen Deondre Parks and Ben Shellim. Pemberton was one of eight players selected to the second team. Joining Jones as an honorable mention pick was Clinton High graduate Devan Douglas, a sophomore at Kirkwood.
NJCAA DIVISION II ALL-REGION XI MEN’S BASKETBALL
LaTree Russell, so. (Des Moines Area CC); Malcolm Canada, so. (Ellsworth); Deondre Parks, fr. (Iowa Lakes); Ben Shellim, fr. (Iowa Lakes); Gage Hefferman, so. (Kirkwood); Kasey Semler, so. (Kirkwood); Chris Davis, so. (North Iowa Area CC); David Humphries, fr. (North Iowa Area CC); Marquealis Edwards, so. (Southwestern).
Charles Pemberton, so. (Clinton CC); Darry Jones Jr., so. (Des Moines Area CC); David Andersen, so. (Iowa Central); Rhys Elliot, so. (Iowa Central); Jesse Jones, fr. (Iowa Central); Josh Schaben, so. (Iowa Lakes); Taylor Olson, fr. (Kirkwood); Devin Kastrup, so. (Southwestern).
Xzavion Jones, fr. (Clinton CC); Brandon Nazione, fr. (Des Moines Area CC); Derek Williams, fr. (Des Moines Area CC); Jared Fulks, so. (Ellsworth); Kelly Madison, sr. (Iowa Lakes); Devan Douglas, so. (Kirkwood); J.C. Fuller, fr. (Kirkwood); Mike Wagner, so. (North Iowa Area CC).
Canada, Fulks, Elliot, Madison, Parks, Olson.