Five local players earn first-team All-State honors


Pickens County's De'Marko Hall helped the Tornadoes to a third straight AHSAA state title and its second straight 1A championship this season. Hall was a first-team All-State selection. (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter)


TUSCALOOSA | Seniors De’Marko Hall and LaJuan Doss, who helped the Pickens County boys basketball team win a third straight AHSAA championship, were named first-team All-State selections in a vote by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.

Hall, the Class 1A Back of the Year in football, was named the most valuable player in the AHSAA Class 1A basketball tournament. Hall scored 17 points as the Tornadoes defeated Cedar Bluff, 70-59.

Doss, who suffered a knee injury in the semifinal against Georgiana, played 24 minutes in the final and scored four points. Betts and Stewart, a pair of senior guards, earned honorable mention All-State recognition.

Pickens County won the championship with Patrick Plott as the head coach. Plott replaced Russ Wallace, who left to coach at Buckhorn. Wallace directed the Tornadoes to the Class 2A championship in 2010 and the Class 1A crown in 2010. Plott coached the Tornadoes to a 29-5 record.

Greensboro’s Jimmie Taylor, a 6-foot-9 junior center, was a first-team All-State choice along with Greensboro sophomore Malesha Williams and Holy Spirit’s Kaitlyn Taylor.

Taylor helped the Raiders win a second straight Class 3A boys championship. Williams, a guard, was the leading scorer for the Lady Raiders, who advanced to the Class 3A title game for the first time in school history. Taylor was the lone senior on a Holy Spirit team that finished as the Class 1A runner-up.

The Greensboro boys, under the direction of first-year head coach Craig Williams, defeated Carbon Hill 65-50 in the championship game. Guard TaKendrick Britford was named the most valuable player after scoring 19 points. Taylor, an All-Tournament selection, had 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.

The Greensboro girls, coached by Frances Dunn, lost to Lauderdale County 46-40 in the Class 3A final. Williams had eight points, seven rebounds and three steals. She made the All-Tournament team along with Kasabrian Fields, a senior guard. Fields led the Lady Raiders with 13 points. She received All-State honorable mention.

Taylor was coached by her father, Roger Taylor, and her sister, Rachel, was a sophomore guard for the Lady Titans. In her last game for Holy Spirit, Kaitlyn Taylor had 22 points and 16 rebounds, but McIntosh won the championship with a 48-39 victory. Kaitlyn Taylor and teammate Tamera Giles were named to the All-Tournament team. Giles had six points and 22 rebounds. A sophomore forward, Giles earned honorable mention on the Class 1A All-State team.