Diante Wood, Coach Ricky Austin Headed to AL-MS All Star Games

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Twenty-four seniors have been selected to represent Alabama in the 28th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Games to be played at Mississippi College in Clinton (MS) on Friday, March 16. 

       The Alabama teams, comprised of 12 senior boys and 12 senior girls, were announced Wednesday by Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA). The girls’ game will tip off at 5 p.m. and the boys’ game will follow at 7. 

        The games were played at Alabama State University last year with Mississippi winning two close contests. Mississippi’s girls took a 14-13 edge in the series with a 93-86 win over Alabama, and the Mississippi boys won 85-83. Alabama’s boys hold the same slim 14-13 edge in that series. Mississippi’s teams currently own two-game winning streaks in the series which dates back to 1991.

       Coaches for Alabama’s boys are Plainview Coach Robi Coker and Cordova Coach Heath Burns. Bob Jones’ Luther Tiggs and Mountain Brook’s David Good will serve as administrative assistants. Coker, who owns a 136-54 coaching record after six seasons, guided Plainview to a 34-2 record and the Class 3A state championship in 2018. It was the first state basketball title since the school opened in 1958. Burns, 260-76 in 11 seasons, guided Cordova (27-8) to the 2018 Class 4A state crown, also the school’s first.

    Tim Miller of Hazel Green and Ricky Austin of Spring Garden have been selected as the girls’ coaches. Cold Springs’ Tammy West is the administrative coach. Miller (542-92), became the first girls’ basketball coach in AHSAA history to guide three different schools to state title. He led Jeff Davis to the 6A title in 2006, led Bob Jones 6A titles in 2008, 2009 and 2011, and Hazel Green won the 6A championship this season.  Austin (562-151) guided Spring Garden (32-3) to its sixth Class 1A state title in 2018. The Panthers have won two in the last three years and Austin has coached five of the overall state championships since 2004.

    Headlining the boys’ squad are eight players who competed in the AHSAA’s 96th State Basketball Tournament last week. Among them are 6-foot-5 forward Diante Wood of Sacred Heart, who was named the MVP of the Class 1A state tournament in 2018. He plans to attend the University of Alabama next season. Isaac Chatman, a 6-6 forward at Cordova, was the Class 4A state tourney MVP. The others include all-tourney players: point guard Jeffery Armstrong of Class 3A state champion Plainview; guard Sean Elmore of Class 7A state champion Mountain Brook; 6-7 forward Anquaevious Pollard of Class 2A state champion Lanett; 6-9 center Dylan Robertson and 6-5 guard Jared Sherfield of Class 6A runner-up Paul Bryant; and 6-9 center Xavier Williams of semifinalist Parker. Elmore, a 6-1 guard, has signed with North Alabama, and Sherfield, who earned MVP honors leading Paul Bryant to the 2017 state title, will attend Tennessee Tech. Robertson is heading to Wingate University.

        Rounding out the boys’ squad are Jamari Blackmon of Hoover, Travarus Carroll of Huffman, 6-9 forward Logan Dye of Haleyville and LaDarius Knight of Ashford. Dye is heading to Samford and Knight to Campbell University.

     The Alabama girls’ roster also lists eight players who participated in last week’s state tourney. Two of the eight, Allie Craig Cruce of Lauderdale County and Caitlin Hose of Hazel Green, havd signed with SEC schools. Cruce is heading to Alabama and Hose signed with Georgia. The other six include Ajah Wayne of Ramsay, Karleigh Sledge of Deshler, Claire Holt of Class 7A state champ Spain Park, Brooke Hampel of Hazel Green, Zipporah Broughton of Lee-Montgomery and Daisha Bradford of LeFlore. Hampel, a Missouri-Kansas City signee, was selected MVP of the 6A state tourney, and Wayne, who is heading to Old Dominion, was MVP of the 6A tourney as a junior while playing at Homewood. Broughton signed with Rutgers.

    Rounding out the girls’ squad are point guard and Alabama signee Hannah Barber of Homewood, 6-2 center Maya Buckhannon of Talladega, a Memphis signee, Jermecya Harris of Blount (Louisiana Tech) and Eboni Williams of Hoover (Tennessee-Chattanooga).

    The teams report next Wednesday. Complete rosters are below:

2018 Alabama Boys All-Star Roster

G - Jeffery Armstrong - Plainview

G - Jamari Blackmon Hoover

G - Travarus Carroll - Huffman

F - Isaac Chatman - Cordova

F - Logan Dye - Haleyville

G - Sean Elmore - Mountain Brook

G - LaDarius Knight - Ashford

F - Anquaevious Pollard - Lanett

C - Dylan Robertson - Paul W Bryant

G - Jared Sherfield - Paul W Bryant

C - Xavier Williams - A. H. Parker

G - Diante Wood - Sacred Heart


Robi Coker - Plainview

Heath Burns - Cordova

2018 Alabama Girls All-Star Roster

G - Hannah Barber - Homewood

G Jazmine Powers - Alabama

G - Zipporah Broughton - R. E. Lee

C - Maya Buckhanon - Talladega

G - Allie Craig Cruce - Lauderdale Co.

G - Brooke Hampel - Hazel Green

F - Jermecya Harris - Mattie T. Blount

G - Claire Holt - Spain Park

G - Caitlin Hose - Hazel Green

F - Karleigh Sledge - Deshler

G - Ajah Wayne - Ramsay

F - Eboni Williams - Hoover


Tim Miller - Hazel Green

Ricky Austin - Spring Garden 


Courtesy: AHSAA (www.ahsaa.com) 


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