Hadder, Wiley and Brown highlight All-County nominations
By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Reporter
Basketball season is over, and the impending offseason will be long and will move community attention away from the court and towards the baseball diamond, the soccer pitch and the football field. Before the book is completely closed on the 2014-15 season, the last piece of business is to recognize those athletes who stood out against their competition, were able to showcase their skills and became the most productive and valuable players in the county.
Coach of the Year
John Hadder, Vincent Yellow Jackets. Coach Hadder is no stranger to success on the court. He led the Yellow Jackets to the 2A Final Four for the third time in his tenure, but did so in the most unconventional way yet. Halfway through the season Vincent lost their leading scorer and rebounder when center EJ Datcher went down with a season-ending knee injury. Instead of imploding, Hadder kept a steady head and began to play a smaller, more defensively aggressive lineup. Not only did Vincent make it farther into the state tournament than any other team in the county, he did so with one of his premier players sidelined for the latter half of the season.
Players of the Year (tie)
Austin Wiley, sophomore center, Spain Park.
Justin Brown, junior forward, Briarwood.
Throughout the course of the season, Austin Wiley and Justin Brown were consistently the top two players in the county. Wiley, the 6-foot-8-inch sophomore out of Spain Park, is the 12th ranked player in the nation in the class of 2017 by Maxpreps.com and lived up to that billing time and again throughout the season. He was one of only two players in the county to average a double-double and filled a number of voids for Spain Park that never appeared in the box score. Every game he played he forced the opposing team to completely alter their offensive scheme to deal with his imposing inside presence.
Brown, the junior forward out of Briarwood, was consistently exceptional throughout the 2014-15 campaign. He was the only player in the county to average over 20 points per game, and in addition to that hefty scoring total he also averaged just under 10 rebounds per contest. During the Lake Martin Slamfest, Brown had three consecutive games where he scored over 30 points and grabbed over eight rebounds.
Rounding out the All-County nominations are as follows.
Guard – Jamal Johnson, sophomore, Spain Park. 17.2 points and 4.2 assists per game
Guard – Zach Allison, senior, Pelham. 15.5 points, 4.5 assists and 4 rebounds per game
Forward – Justin Brown, junior, Briarwood. 20.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game
Forward – Darrell Foster, senior, Chelsea. 14.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game
Center – Austin Wiley, sophomore, Spain Park. 19.1 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game
Guard – Rashad Strother, senior, Thompson. 16.5 points per game
Guard – Justin Gibson, senior, Kingwood. 19 points and 4.1 rebounds per game
Guard – Antwain Cunningham, senior, Montevallo. 18 points and 6 assists per game
Guard/ Forward – Jon Brown, sophomore, Helena. 16.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game
Center – Alex Reese, sophomore, Pelham. 18.5 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks per game
Guard – Justus Martin, senior, Shelby County. 13.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game
Guard – Brandon Greene, sophomore, Shelby County. 16.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game
Guard/ Forward – Jacorey Roper, senior, Vincent. 12.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game
Forward – Payton Youngblood, junior, Oak Mountain. 10.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game
Center – Bobby Anderson, senior, Montevallo. 15 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks per game
Reggie Mann, Kingwood. Chris Lamb, Oak Mountain. Sam Cargo, Briarwood. Tae’ Smith, Montevallo. EJ Datcher, Vincent. Jace Greene, Vincent. Jakobi Bailey, Evangel. Aaron Washington, Chelsea. Drew Thomas, Thompson. AJ Smiley, Spain Park.
The Vincent baseball Yellow Jackets won back-to-back games on Feb. 28. (Contributed / Briana DiGorgio) By BRIANA DIGORGIO / For... read more