Marengo High teams cap season in sub-regional round

The Marengo High varsity basketball teams concluded their seasons Tuesday night with a pair of losses to J.F. Shields in sub-regional action.

The Lady Panthers opened the night with a 75-55 loss to J.F. Shields. J’Mya Hall had 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead Marengo. Iesha Bouler added 11 points and nine rebounds. Angela Bouler had 10 points and eight rebounds.

Marquaja Brown scored 28 points for Shields. Ti’Ajah McCreary finished with 26 points while ShaMya Johnson had 10.

The varsity boys lost to Shields 44-32. Cordarius Pritchett tallied 16 points and eight rebounds. Tyrik Nettles headed the effort for Shields with 16 points while Benjamin Lyman had 13.

Both Shields teams advance to the South Regional in Dothan Friday. The girls will face Kinston while the boys tangle with Georgiana.

Patriots overcome early deficit for sub-regional win

LINDEN — After a shaky start, Linden settled in behind the tandem of Dequan Charleston and Deantre Johnson to pick up a 77-64 South sub-regional victory over McIntosh Tuesday.

Linden found itself down 28-13 early in the second quarter before it managed to turn the momentum against the visiting Demons.

“Stepping up the defense. We stepped up the defense. We added a little pressure. We ran the press a little bit. We stepped up and extended the 1-3-1 to slow the three-ball down,”

Linden coach Demetrice Jackson said of his team’s turnaround.

The Patriots took their first lead of the contest with 1:29 to go in the first half when Kevin Green dished to Graderius Brown for a three that put Linden up 35-32. Linden moved that lead to 39-34 by halftime.

In the second half, a back-and-forth affair ensued as McIntosh seniors Kentavious Thomas and Justin Reed each drained a triple early in the third quarter to give the Demons a 40-39 lead.

With Isaiah Scott sitting much of the second half due to injury, Dequan Charleston assumed point guard duties and became a stabilizing force for the Patriots.

“Dequan has been here for five years. When I was at Brantley, Dequan was in the eighth grade. We played them in the regional finals down in Dothan. As an eighth grader he hit us for 13. He has been doing it for five years now on the varsity level,” Jackson said. “With him doing it for that long on the varsity level, he knows what it takes. He doesn’t show much emotion about it. It just does it in a calmly manner.”

Charleston finished the night with 25 points, 14 rebounds, seven steals and four assists. The final lead change came late in the third quarter when Johnson stole the ball and hit Brown in transition to put Linden up 52-50. Linden used its press to fuel a 19-9 run in the fourth quarter to punctuate the contest.

Johnson added 22 points and nine rebounds for Linden. Scott added eight points and 10 rebounds in limited action. Brown had 11 points. As a team, the Patriots racked up 21 steals.

McIntosh saw freshman Antony Witherspoon pour in 20 points to lead the way. Reed added 14 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. William Johnson had 11 points and nine rebounds. Thomas finished with 10 points. Emmanuel Perry grabbed 11 rebounds.

Linden (19-9) advances to the South Regional in Dothan Friday where it will meet Pleasant Home (21-7) in a contest scheduled to tip at 4:30 p.m.

“In the short period of time, we want to work on knowing your place on the floor. The sightlines are different. The court is 10 feet longer and I want to say eight to 10 feet wider,” Jackson said. “That being said, we’re going to see if we can get a little scouting report on them. We went to the Brantley tournament during Christmas break and we watched them there. They have a couple of shooters that we’re going to have to keep a hand in their face to contest a shot. If they’re taking a high percentage shot, we need to contest it all the way. I want to make sure we get out in front and stay out in front. We’re going to prepare tomorrow and Thursday and, Lord willing, be ready to play on Friday.”

Demopolis girls climb to No. 8 in ASWA rankings; Sumter boys No. 1

ASWA BASKETBALL RANKINGS
GIRLS
CLASS 7A
1. Hazel Green (20-3)
2. McGill-Toolen (21-2)
3. Jeff Davis (12-4)
4. Buckhorn (19-4)
5. Sparkman (15-5)
6. Hoover (13-6)
7. Lee-Montgomery (15-4)
8. Thompson (16-4)
9. Gadsden City (12-6)
10. Tuscaloosa County (15-5)
Others nominated: Auburn (15-4), Baker (15-6).

CLASS 6A
1. Homewood (15-5)
2. LeFlore (22-0)
3. Austin (17-3)
4. Blount (14-5)
5. Lee-Huntsville (19-6)
6. Huffman (17-3)
7. Arab (15-6)
8. Athens (19-3)
9. Selma (19-2)
10. Center Point (13-9)
Others nominated: Baldwin County (11-4), Briarwood Christian (13-5), Scottsboro (13-9), Southside-Gadsden (13-5).

CLASS 5A
1. Wenonah (20-0)
2. Faith Academy (16-2)
3. Charles Henderson (22-1)
4. Central-Tuscaloosa (18-5)
5. Lawrence County (17-4)
6. Ramsay (14-5)
7. Madison County (13-3)
8. Demopolis (13-0)
9. Eufaula (13-6)
10. Carver-Birmingham (19-8)
Others nominated: Anniston (10-4), Brewbaker Tech (10-9), Fairview (16-5), Talladega (15-3).

CLASS 4A
1. Deshler (19-1)
2. Locust Fork (18-1)
3. Sipsey Valley (15-5)
4. UMS-Wright (16-5)
5. Priceville (12-7)
6. Hokes Bluff (17-4)
7. Crossville (12-5)
8. BTW Magnet (12-4)
9. Clarke County (18-5)
10. St. James (13-5)
Others nominated: J.B. Pennington (14-4), Montevallo (15-5), Saks (13-6), Westminster Christian (8-5).

CLASS 3A
1. Madison Academy (18-3)
2. Lauderdale County (15-5)
3. Pisgah (17-1)
4. Montgomery Academy (13-1)
5. Sand Rock (14-4)
6. Central-Coosa (14-3)
7. Colbert County (10-5)
8. Holly Pond (14-7)
9. Barbour County (8-5)
10. Pleasant Valley (16-2)
Others nominated: Abbeville (15-4), Daleville (16-4), Greensboro (10-2), Hillcrest-Evergreen (7-3), Midfield (8-12), T.R. Miller (14-3).

CLASS 2A
1. Red Bay (16-3)
2. Samson (20-1)
3. Geneva County (19-3)
4. Tanner (13-5)
5. Falkville (12-8)
6. Cold Springs (13-9)
7. Holy Spirit (11-3)
8. Calhoun (16-4)
9. Ariton (9-5)
10. Lanett (9-5)
Others nominated: Collinsville (8-9), Mobile Christian (10-7).

CLASS 1A
1. Keith (20-2)
2. Loachapoka (18-3)
3. Woodville (12-7)
4. Decatur Heritage (13-5)
5. Skyline (12-6)
6. Spring Garden (13-4)
7. Berry (13-2)
8. Cedar Bluff (11-4)
9. Hackleburg (11-2)
10. R.A. Hubbard (8-4)
Others nominated: Brantley (5-6), Georgiana (7-5), Isabella (12-5).

AISA
1. Springwood (21-0)
2. Lee-Scott (17-4)
3. Glenwood (17-5)
4. Tuscaloosa Academy (12-4)
5. Macon-East (10-5)
6. Lakeside (15-5)
7. Pike Liberal Arts (10-5)
8. Coosa Valley (8-4)
9. Fort Dale Academy (9-5)
10. Lowndes Academy (11-3)
Others nominated: Abbeville Christian (11-10), Edgewood Academy (9-6), Sparta Academy (12-6).

BOYS
CLASS 7A
1. Spain Park (14-6)
2. Gadsden City (17-4)
3. Central-Phenix City (21-2)
4. Lee-Montgomery (18-3)
5. Mountain Brook (14-5)
6. Grissom (16-6)
7. McGill-Toolen (18-5)
8. Auburn (16-3)
9. Baker (14-8)
10. Fairhope (14-5)
Others nominated: Murphy (13-7), Oak Mountain (14-7), Prattville (10-5).

CLASS 6A
1. Carver-Montgomery (15-3)
2. Lee-Huntsville (18-5)
3. Homewood (16-3)
4. Blount (14-5)
5. Austin (12-3)
6. LeFlore (14-3)
7. Albertville (16-5)
8. Pelham (12-7)
9. Woodlawn (17-6)
10. Dothan (16-2)
Others nominated: Cullman (14-5), Daphne (16-6), Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (15-3), Northview (16-4), Shades Valley (15-5).

CLASS 5A
1. Sumter Central (19-2)
2. J.O. Johnson (16-4)
3. Faith Academy (17-4)
4. Columbia (14-5)
5. Anniston (12-3)
6. Brewbaker Tech (14-4)
7. Sidney Lanier (12-6)
8. Alexandria (11-3)
9. Lincoln (16-4)
10. Eufaula (10-6)
Others nominated: Hayden (11-8).

CLASS 4A
1. Westminster Christian (17-3)
2. Cherokee County (14-4)
3. Montevallo (16-5)
4. Cordova (11-4)
5. Bibb County (12-7)
6. BTW Magnet (15-2)
7. Northside (13-2)
8. White Plains (16-7)
9. Ashford (15-4)
10. Andalusia (10-6)
Others nominated: Locust Fork (12-8).

CLASS 3A
1. Madison Academy (13-7)
2. Holly Pond (16-4)
3. Hale County (15-3)
4. Westbrook Christian (19-3)
5. Sheffield (17-2)
6. New Hope (15-1)
7. West Morgan (11-7)
8. Geraldine (14-6)
9. Montgomery Academy (10-4)
10. Winfield (10-6)
Others nominated: Bayside Academy (14-6), Daleville (12-6), Hillcrest-Evergreen (9-8), Piedmont (10-7).

CLASS 2A
1. Vincent (15-4)
2. Lanett (17-4)
3. Cold Springs (16-5)
4. Tanner (13-4)
5. Section (15-4)
6. LaFayette (13-4)
7. Altamont (13-1)
8. Asbury (13-7)
9. Elba (8-3)
10. Cleveland (11-5)
Others nominated: Collinsville (9-8).

CLASS 1A
1. Sacred Heart (15-7)
2. Georgiana (15-0)
3. Keith (17-5)
4. Fruitdale (13-2)
5. Skyline (13-4)
6. South Lamar (14-4)
7. St. Bernard (15-1)
8. Spring Garden (10-5)
9. Cedar Bluff (8-6)
10. Covenant Christian (16-4)
Others nominated: Phillips (12-5).

AISA
1. Restoration Academy (15-5)
2. Glenwood (19-2)
3. Lee-Scott (17-4)
4. Edgewood Academy (13-1)
5. Lakeside (18-2)
6. Russell Christian (Miss.) (15-2)
7. Tuscaloosa Academy (13-3)
8. East Memorial (13-6)
9. Sparta (14-4)
10. Crenshaw Christian (15-9)
Others nominated: Macon-East (10-4), Pike Liberal Arts (10-5).

Watchman names basketball coaches, players of the year

The West Alabama Watchman announced its postseason basketball awards Friday, acknowledging the 10 male and 10 female athletes from throughout the county as well as two local coaches.

Coach of the Year honors for the boys went to first-year A.L. Johnson head coach Johnney Ford, who guided his team to a 14-5 record and its first ever tripe to the state semifinals. Ford, who also took home ASWA Class 1A Coach of the Year distinction, helped ALJ to beat rival Linden for the first time in 16 years and win the area before marching through postseason competition and ultimately falling at the hands of Sacred Heart.

Coach of the Year honors on the girls side go to Demopolis High’s Tony Pittman, who took his defense-oriented squad to a 23-8 record and an appearance in the region tournament. Pittman led a group with only two seniors, losing UWA signee Caleb Washington to an injury just before the start of the postseason.

Player of the Year honors on the boys side go to Demopolis High’s Charles Tripp. Narrowly edging A.L. Johnson junior Shermon Kennedy, Tripp averaged 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds a game. The 6-5 senior, who signed with Marion Military last week, evolved into the go-to performer for the Tigers as he expanded his game into a well-rounded inside-out repertoire. Tripp’s Tigers contended with a region that included perennial powers Wilcox Central, Dallas County and Sumter Central, a slate of competition that often saw the DHS forward put together his best performances.

On the girls side, Tiffany Barber of A.L. Johnson earns Player of the Year honors. Barber was as close to everything for her team as any player could have been in 2014-2015. She averaged a county high 15.5 points per game and willed her A.L. Johnson squad from its customary doormat position to the area championship and the best record in program history.

The boys and girls squads are listed below in their entirety.

2014-2015 All-County Basketball Boys

First Team

  • Jemar Monroe, Sweet Water – Jr.
  • Josh Moore, Demopolis – Jr.
  • Cason Cook, Marengo Academy – Jr.
  • Charles Tripp, Demopolis – Sr.
  • Shermon Kennedy, A.L. Johnson – Jr.

Second Team

  • Jeremy Mitchell, A.L. Johnson – Sr.
  • Desmond Mair, A.L. Johnson – Jr.
  • Dequan Charleston, Linden – So.
  • Cordarius Pritchett, Marengo – So.
  • Sam Renner, Marengo Academy – Sr.

2014-2015 All-County Basketball Girls

First Team

  • Tomysha Boykin, Linden – So.
  • Caleb Washington, Demopolis – Sr.
  • Andrea Edmonds, Marengo Academy – Sr.
  • Imiya Agee, Linden – So.
  • Tiffany Barber, A.L. Johnson – Jr.

Second Team

  • Ivery Moore, Demopolis – Jr.
  • Anna Michael Crocker, Marengo Academy – Jr.
  • J’Mya Hall, Marengo High – 7th
  • Larobyn Harris, A.L. Johnson – Sr.
  • Sha’Deitra White, Demopolis – Jr.

Demopolis girls set to host Class 5A, Area 6 tournament

For the first time in more than five years, the Demopolis High School Lady Tigers will be the No. 1 seed entering area tournament play.

The Lady Tigers clinched the top seed and the right to host the Class 5A, Area 6 draw by finishing the regular season area slate with a 5-1 mark.

“It’s big. You play 20-plus games regular season for the opportunity to play at home in the area tournament,” Demopolis coach Tony Pittman said. “Teams tend to play better at home. We play better at home. I feel like it’s a big plus for us to be comfortable in our environment, playing at home.”

The Lady Tigers opened area play Jan. 6 with one of their worst performances of the year in a 47-40 loss to Wilcox Central. Since that setback, DHS has won seven in a row including a 5-0 march to finish out area play.

“We were able to refocus and focus on what we needed to do in order to get better each and every ball game,” Pittman said. “We took the next ball game approach and we were able to focus and play better as a team. We were able to play a lot of different players, which is going to prove big for our program as we continue to make that march into the area tournament.”

Pittman’s team sits at 18-6 with three regular season contests remaining, leaving the team a narrow window to address its handful of concerns heading into postseason play.

“Rebounding has been a focus for us. It’s something that we’re really focusing on. And passing. We have got to get better passing the basketball and knowing where the ball is supposed to be at certain times within our offense,” Pittman said, also noting that he is content with the way his team is poised as the area bracket draws near. “I am pleased with where we are right now. I’m pleased with the progress we are continuing to make. I see a team starting to really gel. And at this point in the game, you really want to see your team come together more and more and we’re doing that. It shows in practice. Everything we’ve done as far as making that change has started in practice with our defense and with the small things.”

Pittman’s team battles R.C. Hatch on the road Thursday night before hosting Linden Friday and wrapping up the regular season at Selma Monday. The area tournament is set to tip Wednesday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. with the Wilcox facing Sumter Central and DHS tangling with Dallas County.

With the potential of five games in the span of eight days and a possible sub-regional date looming Monday, Feb. 9, Pittman will need to rely on the depth his roster has developed.

“It’s big. That’s one of the things that I like. We’ve been able to play a lot of kids in crucial situations. That’s going to help us going down the road. I can go nine deep easily and that has been a big plus for us,” Pittman said. “It’s a big plus for us. We have kids on that roster that can go in and play and give you 10 to 15 minutes a ball game. It’s kids that know how to play and know what to do in those situations.”

The championship of the Area 6 tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6.

The Demopolis High boys team is set to travel to Dallas County Thursday, Feb. 5 for the Area 6 tournament. The Tigers are the No. 4 seed and face top-seeded Dallas County in the opening round. The championship of that bracket is set for Saturday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.

An all-Marengo County bracket will take place in both the Class 1A, Area 4 boys and girls tournaments.

On the boys side, A.L. Johnson High School is the No. 1 seed and draws a first round bye. Marengo High is set to face Linden at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3. The winner of that game faces A.L. Johnson Friday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. in the championship game.

On the girls side, Linden hosts the Area 4 tournament and draws the opening-round bye. ALJ faces Marengo Monday, Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. with the winner playing LHS for the title Thursday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m.

ALJ boys clinch Area 4 top seed in OT, Linden girls win

LINDEN — Charles Edwards took a Leo Baker pass and drilled a three over two defenders with six seconds left in overtime to boost A.L. Johnson past Linden 57-56 Friday night.

The Edwards dagger culminated a frenetic exchange that began with 3:45 left in regulation when Linden took its first lead of the night on a D.J. Charleston free throw line jumper that put the Pats up 43-42.

Dequan Charleston hit a layup with 3:03 left in the fourth quarter to stretch the lead to 45-42.

Edwards put his team back on top at 46-45 with 2:21 to go in the fourth when his put-back followed a Jeremy Mitchell lay-in.

Mitchell then converted a steal-and-go opportunity to advance the Eagle lead to 48-45 with 2:04 to play in regulation.

D.J. Charleston cut the deficit to one when he connected on a floater with 1:56 to go. The score stayed 48-47 until Shermon Kennedy drained a pair of free throws with 53 seconds left in the fourth to stretch the ALJ lead to 50-47.

Eight seconds later, D.J. Charleston came up big again with a step-up three to tie the game at 50.

Linden then turned a steal into an opportunity to win the game before a charging violation nullified the threat and handed possession to the Eagles. Dequan Charleston stole the ball under his own basket with a second left to end regulation.

The teams exchanged buckets until an ALJ turnover with 44 seconds left in overtime gave Linden new life. With 17 seconds to go, Tahj Johnson connected on a pair of free throws to put Linden up 56-54, setting up the climactic Edwards shot to end the game.

The Patriots trailed 19-7 after the first quarter of play and began chipping away with a 16-7 run in the second quarter. The Pats embarked on a 20-12 run in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

Kennedy led the Eagles with 18 points while Mitchell added 14 for the Eagles. Baker finished with nine while Edwards had seven. Tywon Scott had six points in the win.

D.J. Charleston led Linden with 20 points while Dequan Charleston finished with 16. Johnson had 13 in the loss.

The win solidifies the Class 1A, Area 4 regular season title for the Eagles, who will host the area tournament next month.

The game followed a competitive varsity girls contest that saw Linden prevail over the Lady Eagles 42-37 to force a tie atop Area 4.

A.L. Johnson led 15-9 after the first quarter but limped through an 11-6 second quarter to carry a 21-20 lead into half. Linden put the game away with a 17-9 fourth quarter.

Tomysha Boykins paced Linden with 16 points while Kierra Phillips had eight. Imiya Agee and Amber Robinson each finished with seven for Linden.

Tiffany Barber led A.L. Johnson with 12 points while Jameia Jones had eight and Larobyn Harris finished with seven.

Panthers drop trio of games to Wilcox

CAMDEN — The Marengo High basketball teams dropped a trio of games at Wilcox-Central Saturday night.

The junior varsity Panthers opened the night with a 58-45 loss to the Wilcox JV squad. Christion Wright led MHS with 18 points, 10 rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot. The lost dropped the JV Panthers to 3-5.

The Lady Panthers followed with a 62-10 loss to the Wilcox Lady Jaguars. Alton James led MHS with six points and five rebounds. Brittany Kendrick paced Wilcox with 12 points. The loss dropped the Marengo ladies to 2-6 overall.

The varsity boys wrapped up the night with Wilcox downing Marengo 86-42. Cordarius Pritchett led Marengo with nine points, six rebounds, two assists and three steals. D’Antwan Bonner led Wilcox with 17 points.

The loss drops the Panthers to 1-7 overall.

The Panthers are set to play again Thursday, Jan. 8 when they host Choctaw County at 5 p.m.

Marengo Panthers drop trio of games to Dallas County

DIXON’S MILLS — The Marengo High basketball teams dropped a trio of games to Class 5A Dallas County Thursday night.

The junior varsity team opened the night with a 49-30 loss to the DCHS JV squad. Keshawn Fountain led Marengo with 11 points and two steals. Quindarius Ausbon had 10 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Kachavious Dudley paced Dallas County with 16 point.

The loss dropped the JV Panthers to 2-2.

The Marengo Lady Panthers fell to Dallas County 56-30. Tobrasia Johnson had nine points, five rebounds and eight steals to lead Marengo. Alexis Goodwin had 17 points for DCHS while Kimmesha Jackson finished with 10. The loss left the MHS ladies at 2-2.

The varsity Panthers wrapped the evening with a 66-48 loss to Dallas County. Cordarius Pritchett had 15 points, six rebounds and two steals for Marengo. Jerrod Moorer Jr. led DCHS with 34 points, five rebounds, one steal and three blocks. Javaris McGuire had 11 points for DCHS.

The loss left the MHS varsity at 1-3.

The squads are set to play against Friday when they travel to Butler to face Choctaw County.

Marengo High teams drop Sweet Water in trio of games

The Marengo High basketball teams pulled a trio of wins Thursday night, downing long-time rivals Sweet Water.

The Marengo junior varsity boys started the evening with a 34-17 win over Sweet Water. Keshawn Fountain led the way with 10 points and a steal. Shamar Lewis paced Sweet Water with 12 points.

The Marengo Lady Panthers then downed the Sweet Water girls team 47-19. J’Mya Hall led with 14 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and three steals. Alton James added 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals.

The Marengo varsity boys ended the night with a 62-54 win over the Bulldogs. Michael Kennedy led with 13 points, seven steals, three rebounds, two assists and a block. Justin Dunning finished with 13 points, five rebounds, two steals and one assists.

Joquin Westbrook had 10 points, two assists, two steals and one rebound.

The night moved all three Marengo teams to 1-1 on the young season. The teams are set to play again Friday night at home against Ellwood Christian.

Marengo High basketball falls at Southern Choctaw

A trip to Silas turned up winless for the Marengo High School basketball programs. The Panther junior varsity squad opened the evening with a 36-28 loss to Southern Choctaw. Christion Wright led the Panthers with eight points, 12 rebounds and a steal in that contest.

The Lady Panthers fell to Southern Choctaw 44-26. J’Mya Hall led MHS with 15 points, six rebounds, four steals and an assist.

Southern Choctaw finished the night with a 41-36 varsity win. Justice Irvin paced the Panthers with 12 points, 12 rebounds, two steals and an assist. Thomas McGrew of Southern Choctaw led all scorers with 18 points.