Webb’s Walls: a scorer, defender and leader
By Steve Williams
Versatile may be the best word to describe Lukas Walls as a basketball player.
The 6-4 Webb School shooting guard is The Knoxville Focus / Coaches’ Knox County boys’ Player of the Year.
Walls received the most votes for the award, which was based on regular season play. Other vote-getters were Shane Cherry, Austin-East guard; JJ Faulkner, Karns guard; Tyler Lee, Fulton shooting forward; and Dondrea Lindsey, Knoxville Catholic power forward.
Bearden’s 6-3 senior post Avery Treadwell was earlier announced as the girls’ Player of the Year.
Statistically, Walls averaged 22 points, six rebounds and three assists per game during the regular season, shooting 45 percent from 3-point range and 81 percent at the free throw line.
“Lukas is really hard to match up with because of his offensive versatility,” said Ricky Norris, Webb’s head coach. “He can score the ball inside and outside. He also does a tremendous job of making those around him better players.”
Walls is a Mr. Basketball Finalist in Division II-AA and a Samford University signee.
“I believe he plays the game with an edge on both ends of the floor,” said Farragut’s J.P. Burris, who was one of the coaches to vote for Walls. “He is a 3-level threat on the offensive end and defends with a physicality and tenacity you don’t see from most defenders. He is also the unquestioned leader of one of the best teams in the area.”
In his two seasons as an assistant at Hardin Valley Academy, Burris got to see Walls in scrimmages against HVA.
Jody Wright of Fulton, one the state’s most successful coaches, also voted for Walls.
“Lukas has had an outstanding season,” said Wright, who has coached against Walls in games and scrimmages during his prep career. “He is the best player on a very good team and rarely has a bad night. He can score inside and outside and makes Webb really good.”
Karns’ Henson is Coach of the Year
Lee Henson is in his 22nd year as head coach at Karns High and this season could be one of his best, if not the best.
Henson’s Beavers knocked off Oak Ridge in last week’s Region 2-3A semifinal game and were scheduled to play highly regarded William Blount in Thursday’s title game. Win or lose, his team will be playing in tonight’s (March 6) Sectional round, with a trip to Murfreesboro and the state tournament on the line.
Henson has been selected The Knoxville Focus / Coaches’ boys Coach of the Year, which was based on the regular season. His Beavers finished in second place behind Oak Ridge with an 8-2 district record.
Henson, 51, was an All-State player at Karns and the school’s basketball court was named in his honor during the 2019 season.
His coaching record going into the region title game last week was 379-240.
Other vote-getters in this category were Austin-East’s Denard Bertram, Carter’s Tyler Cate and Halls’ Clint Sharp.
Carter and Halls won district regular season titles. A-E has been one of the county’s most improved teams under Bertram in his first season coaching the Roadrunners. Each of these three teams will be playing in the Sectional round.