WEST ALABAMA HEROES: Local stars help Tide to title

Alabama tight end Michael Williams, a Pickens County High School alumnus, had a touchdown catch in the Crimson Tide’s 42-14 national championship win over Notre Dame. (Photo by Robert Sutton)

TUSCALOOSA | Here is how some former Tuscaloosa-area high school athletes now competing at the collegiate level fared last week:




Alabama freshman defensive lineman Darren Lake (Sumter Central High School) saw action in the Crimson Tide’s 42-14 win over No. 1 Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game on Monday night.

Alabama sophomore defensive back Vinnie Sunseri (Northridge High School) recorded two tackles and two quarterback hurries in the Crimson Tide’s 42-14 win over.

Senior tight end Michael Williams (Pickens County High School) caught three passes for 17 yards and one touchdown in the Crimson Tide’s 42-14 win. Williams caught a 3-yard touchdown pass on the Crimson Tide’s second possession to give UA a 14-0 lead. Alabama captured its 15th national championship and its third in the last four years. Williams played on all three national championship teams.

Duke redshirt freshman tight end David Reeves (Greensboro High School) caught two passes for eight yards and one touchdown in the Blue Devils’ 48-34 loss to Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte on Dec. 28. Reeves had a 2-yard touchdown grab with 12:45 left in the game to give the Blue Devils a 34-31 lead.

Mississippi State sophomore tight end Malcolm Johnson (Northridge High School) had two catches for 24 yards and one touchdown in the Bulldogs’ 34-20 loss to Northwestern in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1. Johnson scored on a 14-yard touchdown reception with 11:42 left to make it 27-20.

Vanderbilt senior running back Zac Stacy (Bibb County High School) ran the ball 25 times for 107 yards and one touchdown in the Commodores’ 38-24 win over North Carolina State at the Music City Bowl on Dec. 31. Stacy’s 6-yard touchdown run with 10:08 left in the first half gave the Commodores a 14-0 lead.

Western Kentucky junior linebacker Chuck Franks (Fayette County High School) recorded one tackle from the linebacker rotation in the Hilltoppers’ 24-21 loss to Central Michigan in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26.


Men’s basketball


Alabama A&M junior forward Demarquelle Tabb (Greensboro High School) averaged 12.6 points and 7.0 rebounds as the Bulldogs played three games in a five-day span this week. He also added six assists, four blocked shots and four steals. Tabb scored in double figures in all three games and has scored 10 or more points in nine straight games. He scored 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds in the win over Grambling State on Jan. 2 and added 10 points and eight rebounds in the win over Jackson State on Friday. He tallied 16 points and grabbed six rebounds in the loss to Mississippi Valley State on Sunday.

Sophomore guard Justin Wagner (Greensboro High School) turned in his best game of the season as he scored 15 points (4 for 6 field goals) in the win over Jackson State on Friday. In three games last week, he averaged 6.7 points and hit 6of 9 field goal attempts.

Alabama-Huntsville freshman guard Wayne Dedrick (Hillcrest High School) averaged 9.0 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in a pair of conference road wins against Valdosta State and West Georgia. He scored 13 points in the 79-77 win at Valdosta State on Thursday. He also hit 3 of 7 3-pointers. In the win over West Georgia, Dedrick had five points and one rebound.

Alabama Southern freshman guard Charvis Teacher (Greensboro High School) is averaging 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds in 11 games. He has made 10 starts and leads the team with 17 steals.

Columbus State sophomore guard/forward Dimitri Davis (Tuscaloosa County High School) averaged 11 points and 5.5 rebounds in a pair of Peach Belt Conference games against Lander and South Carolina-Aiken this week. In the 76-67 loss to Lander, he tallied seven points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. He scored a season-high 15 points in a 95-90 overtime loss to South Carolina-Aiken on Saturday. He also added seven rebounds, two assists and one steal.

East Central (Miss.) Community College sophomore forward Brock Hall (Paul W. Bryant High School) is averaging 5.0 points and 2.0 rebounds since joining the team at the conclusion of football season.

East Central (Miss.) Community College Tejiminon Leatherwood (Northridge High School) is averaging 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 11 games this season for the Warriors. He is shooting 47.2 percent from the floor and leads the team with 21 assists.

East Central (Miss.) Community College Keivondre Watford (Central High School) is another member of the Warriors football team that has joined the men’s basketball squad. In 11 games, Watford is averaging 3.4 points and 2.4 rebounds. He has also made five starts.

Itawamba Community College sophomore forward Tre Wells (Hillcrest High School) is averaging 6.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in 11 games for the Indians. He leads the team with a 61.5 field goal percentage and three blocked shots.

Lawson State sophomore center Pierre Crawford (Greene County High School) is averaging 4.3 points and 3.6 rebounds in 11 games.

Marion Military Institute sophomore guard Kenneth Tabb (Francis Marion High School) scored eight points and added two rebounds, two assists and one steal in the Tigers’ 63-44 win over Enterprise on Saturday.

Middle Tennessee junior forward Neiko Hunter (Greene County High School) averaged 6.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in the games last week for the Blue Raiders. He scored nine points (4 for 6 FG) and pulled down two rebounds in a 75-57 win over North Texas. Hunter added nine points and grabbed three rebounds in a 60-56 win over South Alabama on Saturday.

Northeastern sophomore forward Reggie Spencer (Hillcrest High School) averaged 8.0 points and 5.5 rebounds as the Huskies opened Colonial Athletic Association play against George Mason and North Carolina-Wilmington. In the 84-64 win over George Mason, Spencer had seven points and five rebounds in the conference opener. He tallied nine points and six rebounds in the 68-64 win over Wilmington as the Huskies opened league play with a 2-0 record.

Shelton State Community College sophomore guard Nick Browder (Hale County High School) is averaging 1.2 points and 0.3 rebounds in nine games.

Shelton State Community College sophomore guard Derek Hamner (Hillcrest High School) is averaging 8.5 points and 3.0 rebounds for the Bucs. He has started all 10 games and leads the team in free throw shooting (.818).

Shelton State Community College sophomore forward Ladarius Tabb (Francis Marion High School) leads the Bucs with 15.4 points per game through eight games. Tabb leads the Bucs in steals and ranks second in field goal percentage (.546) and rebounds (4.8).

Shelton State Community College sophomore forward Sean Tingle (Brookwood High School) is averaging 3.7 points and 2.4 rebounds through 10 games.

Sioux Falls senior guard A.J. Holland (Paul W. Bryant High School) averaged 5.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in losses to Upper Iowa and Winona State. Holland struggled on offense in the 71-62 loss to Upper Iowa. He managed only one point (0-5 FG) in the loss, but he did have five rebounds, one blocked shot and one steal. He bounced back with 10 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals in the 78-71 loss to Winona State.

Snead State sophomore guard DeShawn Davis (South Lamar High School) tallied three points, five rebounds and two assists in a 97-63 blowout win over West Georgia Tech following a 21-day holiday break.

Stillman College junior guard Markeith Madison (Hillcrest High School) scored 12 points and grabbed three rebounds in the Tigers’ 96-90 loss to Paine in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener on Thursday.

Stillman College junior center Torrean Walker (Hillcrest High School) scored six points and added six rebounds in the Tigers’ 96-90 loss to Paine.

West Alabama junior guard Sandy Underwood (Bibb County High School) scored 13 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out one assist in a 70-61 overtime loss to West Georgia on Saturday in Livingston.

Wright State University sophomore center Tavares Sledge (Brookwood High School) averaged 7.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in conference wins over Wisconsin-Green Bay and Wisconsin-Milwaukee last week. He scored 13 and added nine rebounds in a 64-53 home win over Green Bay on Thursday. He scored two points, grabbed seven rebounds and two steals in a 53-51 win over Milwaukee on Saturday.


Women’s basketball


Alabama junior guard Shafontaye Myers (Sunshine High School) averaged 8.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in a pair of Southeastern Conference losses to Texas A&M and Kentucky last week. After being shutout in the SEC opener at Texas A&M on Thursday. She bounced back with 17 points (6-for-13 FG), two rebounds and one steal an 87-70 loss to No. 6 Kentucky on Sunday.

Alabama-Huntsville sophomore forward Juanice Newton (Sumter County High School) tallied six rebounds, two steals and one assist in a pair of Gulf South Conference games last week. She had three rebounds, one assist and one steal in a hard-fought 54-51 loss at Valdosta State on Thursday. Newton posted three rebounds and one steal in the Chargers’ 70-61 win at West Florida on Saturday. UAH (6-8) has won three of its first four GSC games.

Judson College sophomore guard Abby Isom (Hillcrest High School) is averaging a team-best 14.3 points per game in six games. She has hit 92.8 percent of her free throws.

Millsaps freshman forward Tori Morgan (Northridge High School) averaged 10.5 points per game in wins over Centre College and Sewanee last week. Morgan had 10 points, two steals and one rebounds in the 63-57 win over Centre College on Thursday. She had 11 points, one rebound and one assist in a 70-40 win over Sewanee on Saturday.

Mississippi State junior guard Katia May (Sumter County High School) managed only five points, two rebounds and one steal in the Bulldogs first two SEC games of the season. She scored two points and added two rebounds and one steal in a 92-41 loss at Vanderbilt on Friday. She scored three points in a home loss to South Carolina on Sunday.

Shelton State sophomore guard Juliser Harper (Livingston High School) came back from a 16-day holiday break and collected nine points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals as the Lady Bucs cruised to a 91-38 win over Faulkner University junior varsity on Saturday. Shelton State improved to 16-0.

Shelton State freshman guard Kaitlyn Taylor (Holy Spirit High School) grabbed two rebounds in the Lady Bucs’ 91-38 win over Faulkner.

Shelton State freshman center Shadijah Moore (Demopolis High School) scored five points in the 91-38 win over Faulkner. She made both field goal attempts, including one 3-pointer.

Stillman sophomore guard Andrea Moore (Hillcrest High School) scored four points and grabbed three rebounds in the Tigers’ 64-44 loss to Paine in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener on Thursday.

Stillman sophomore forward Morgan Henry (Paul W. Bryant High School) scored five points and grabbed six rebounds in the Tigers’ 64-44 loss to Paine.


The West Alabama Heroes notebook runs each Wednesday in The Tuscaloosa News. If you know of other Tuscaloosa-area athletes competing at the collegiate level, email westalheroes@yahoo.com