Area players are player of the year finalists
Thu. April 12, 2012 at 1:00 a.m. | By Aaron Suttles
MONTGOMERY | Three West Alabama high school basketball players finished as finalists for player of the year in their respective classes Wednesday afternoon at the Alabama Sports Writers Association Mr./Miss Basketball Awards sponsored by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association.
Pickens County’s (Class 1A) De’Marko Hall and LaJuan Doss finished runners-up to Cedar Bluff junior DeAngelo Hardy, and Greensboro junior Jimmie Taylor (Class 3A) finished behind Madison Academy eighth-grader Josh Langford.
Senior Craig Sword of Class 6A Carver-Montgomery and Jasmine Jones of 6A Bob Jones were named Mr. and Miss Basketball for 2012, respectively. Sword has signed with Mississippi State and Jones will play at Tennessee. Jones is the daughter of former University of Alabama player Latrish Jones, who won the Class 6A award in 1994.
Hall and Doss helped the Tornadoes to their third consecutive state championship, while Taylor led Greensboro to its second straight crown.
Hall was chosen the most valuable player as Pickens County (29-5) defeated Cedar Bluff 70-59 in the 1A final. He led the team in scoring with 15.6 points per game. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists and had 90 steals. He is signed to play football at Faulkner University in Montgomery.
"There’s a lot of kids in the state of Alabama, and they had a chance to be here, but for me and my teammate to be up here, it says a lot about our athletic ability at Pickens County," said Hall, The Tuscaloosa News’ Player of the Year.
Doss averaged 10.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists and had 73 steals in 2012. He played 24 minutes and had four points, three rebounds and two assists in the state championship game.
"I feel honored to be one of the top players, especially from Pickens County. We’re a little school," Doss said. "To me it’s a great feeling."
Doss is being recruited by the University of West Alabama and Shelton State.
Taylor averaged 9.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game, blocked 97 shots and made 20 steals his junior season. He is one of the top players in the 2013 class with offers from across the country, including Alabama, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Georgetown.
"It’s a great feeling to be here and be honored as one of the best in the state," Taylor said.
"I’ve worked hard at getting better on offense, and I feel like it’s starting to show. Blocking shots is my strength, but I need to keep better on the offensive end."
Reach Aaron@TideSports.com or at 205-722-0229.
Craig Sword, Carver-Montgomery
Jasmine Jones, Bob Jones
Boys Players of the Year
Class 6A: Craig Sword, Carver-Montgomery
Class 5A: Derunnya Wilson, Wenonah
Class 4A: Justin Pride, Butler
Class 3A: Josh Langford, Madison Academy
Class 2A: Takwain Whigham, Barbour County
Class 1A: DeAngelo Hardy, Cedar Bluff
AISA: MarQuen Mitchell, Lee-Scott Academy
Girls Players of the Year
Class 6A: Jasmine Jones, Bob Jones
Class 5A: Shakayla Thomas, Sylacauga
Class 4A: jasmine Steele, Midfield
Class 3A: Hayden Hamby, West Morgan
Class 2A: Taylor Adams, Section
Class 1A: Alex Gholston, R.A. Hubard
AISA: Rachel Bell, Wilcox Academy
Mr. Basketball voting
Craig Sword 105
Derunnya Wilson 63
Justin Pride 58
Jeffery Moss 39
Takwain Whigham 29
Miss Basketball voting
Jasmine Jones 108
Hayden Hamby 66
Morgan William 57
Shakayla Thomas 55
Marques Webb 30