Bryson Dennis, the electric scoring sophomore shooting guard for the Labette Cardinals, was named the KJCCC’s Most Valuable Player for the 2021 season.
“I’m really excited for him,” Labette head coach Jerrod Stanford said. “You never know how voting is going to go. He led the conference in scoring and had a really good year. He deserves it.”
Dennis led the conference in scoring with 17.3 point per game. He was also fourth in the KJCCC in 3-point shooting at 42.5%.
“He can score at all three levels at an age where a lot of guys struggle with mid-range,” Stanford said. “If they chased him off the 3-point line, he was effective off the bounce. That’s a big part of his game. And he’s really good with both hands going either direction. You couldn’t push him one way or the other.”
Dennis shot 40.4% from the field and 75% on his free throws throughout the 20-game campaign that saw Labette earn its first-ever KJCCC title. His season-high in scoring came in a road win against a ranked Fort Scott program, where he dropped 30 points. Dennis also scored 27 in an upset of then-No. 8 Johnson County that secured Labette’s conference title.
Ghage Kenan, the backcourt mate to Dennis, also earned Second Team All-KJCCC honors.
Kenan was third in the KJCCC in scoring with 15.6 points per game.
“He’s got to be proud of himself,” Stanford said, “to have the year he had after not playing a year. It had been a long time since he played, adding to the fact that we didn’t play in the first semester. He does so much more than just score. He’s so competitive and does so much. He’s a program changer. Look how much we’ve won since he got here. He got slighted and he should’ve been First Team.”
Stanford cited Dennis and Kenan, the sophomore anchors for the Cardinals, as the catalysts for its run to a conference title and the program’s second berth to the Region VI championship in four years.
“Any time you have two really good guards that are sophomores, leaders and high character kids, it’s a recipe for success,” Stanford said. “It showed this year. It was a storied year. We won a regular season KJCCC championship. We were the top seed in the Region VI tournament. It was a historic year.”
Johnson County’s Desi Williams was voted Freshman of the Year while Jaland Whitehead was the Defensive Player of the Year. Fort Scott’s Michael Cook earned Coach of the Year.
“What those young men have done through this time is incredible,” Stanford said. “It was incredible to be a part of.”
Dennis and Kenan are both uncommitted at this point. The NJCAA and NCAA aren’t charging eligibility this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the door open that the two could return to Labette next year if the right offer doesn’t come on the table.
“We don’t know anything yet,” Stanford said. “We’ll be waiting to see how the spring plays out.”
2021 KJCCC DIVISION II ALL-CONFERENCE
Bryson Dennis, Labette
Deron McDaniel, Kansas City Kansas
Jaland Whitehead, Johnson County
Jaycson Bereal, Johnson County
JCaleb Jones, Kansas City Kansas
Ghage Kena, Labette
Desi Williams, Johnson County
Zyon Smith, Highland
Freddy Reeves, Fort Scott
Marquise Milton, Highland
Justus Mouton, Fort Scott
Kelyn Bolton, Fort Scott
Elijah Smith, Hesston
Peter Simon, Fort Scott
Maurice Grayer, Fort Scott
Most Valuable Player: Bryson Dennis, Labette
Freshman of the Year: Desi Williams, Johnson County
Coach of the Year: Michael Cook, Fort Scott
Defensive Player of the Year: Jaland Whitehead, Johnson County