Plant’s Carrie Mahon named state coach of the year

Last week, Carrie Mahon was named the Class 7A coach of the year for the second straight season after leading Plant to its first state title in girls basketball. 

On Monday, Mahon added another award to the list when she was named the state’s overall girls basketball coach of the year by the Florida Dairy Farmers. 

Mahon received 15 first-place votes and 190 points from a statewide panel of coaches and media representatives to beat Lake Highland Prep’s Al Honor, who had seven first-place votes and 142 points. This is the only the second time an area coach has won the award, the first one came in 1996 when former Boca Ciega coach Harry Elifson took top honors. 

After falling in the state championship game last season, Mahon used the memory of that setback as a powerful motivator. The Panthers were focused not just on getting back to the state tournament but also winning it all. They accomplished their task and even exacted some revenge by beating defending champion Miami in the title game. 

Plant forward Kendal Cheesman also has compiled plenty of awards after helping Plant win its first title.Last week, she was named the Class 7A player of the year by the Florida Dairy Farmers and the state’s overall top player by MaxPreps.

On Monday, Cheesman finished third in the voting for Florida’s Miss Basketball, the award given to the top overall player in the state by the Florida Dairy Farmers.