E.A. Sports Today

Nolan, Heath make Ala.-Miss. roster

Two Sacred Heart seniors will play in the game, March 17, at Alabama State’s Dunn-Oliver Acadome

By East Alabama Sports Today

MONTGOMERY — Kevion Nolan and D.J. Heath, the two seniors in Sacred Heart’s Lethal Weapon 3, are among the 24 state seniors selected to play in the 27th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Game, March 17, at Alabama State’s Dunn-Oliver Acadome.

Nolan and Heath were the two oldest players in the core that included junior Diante Wood that led the Cardinals to four straight Final Four appearances and their third straight Class 1A state championship. The accomplishment will be recognized in a ceremony at the school Friday at 1 p.m.

“I think they deserve it; they worked hard for us,” Sacred Heart coach Ralph Graves said. “You make that team by your play during your career and your season. Those two have done really well in high school; to see them rewarded is a good thing.

“I can’t say enough about them. I hope they represent Alabama, our school and their families very well.”

Emanuel Bell of Wenonah and Barbara Roy of Locust Fork will be the Alabama girls’ all-star coaches. The coaches for Alabama’s boys are Midfield’s Darrell Barber and Lanett’s Richard Carter.

Bell, 485-178 over 23 seasons, was 31-3 this season and is coming off his fourth straight Class 5A state titles. Roy, 308-151 in 15 years, guided Locust Fork (35-1) to the Class 3A state championship this season, the first in school history.

Barber is 177-80 overall and led Midfield (28-6) to the Class 3A state title last week, the third state championship in his tenure as head coach. Carter, 652-220 in 40 years, guided Lanett (25-7) to its second straight Class 2A boys’ title in 2017.

Eight players on the boys team competed in the state tournament last week, Among them in addition to Nolan and Heath are 6-foot-7 guard/forward Herbert Jones of Class 4A state champion Hale County and 6-4 guard Shy’im Cunningham of 3A state champ Midfield, 6-7 swingman Javan Johnson of Austin, 6-6 forward DeAndre Robinson of Monroe County, 6-7 forward Myles Parker of Madison Academy and 6-10 center Garrison Brooks of Auburn.

Nolan has already signed with Samford. Heath is expected to sign in April. Jones has signed with Alabama. Others on the squad already signed to D-I scholarships are Brooks (Mississippi State), 6-5 Fairhope guard Tevia Brown (Murray State), 6-9 Pelham forward Alex Reese (Alabama) and 6-4 Spain Park guard Jamal Johnson (Memphis University).

The Alabama girls’ roster lists four players that participated in last week’s state tournament and three already signed to D-1 schools. South Carolina has landed 5-11 Brewbaker Tech guard Bianca Jackson and 5-10 Gadsden City guard Haley Troup. Unique Thompson of Faith Academy, a 6-3 forward, has signed with Auburn.

Participating in last week’s state tourney were Deshler guard Nicole Shirley, Tanner forward Kirsten Brown, Wenonah forward Alexus Dye and point guard Jayla Morrow. Dye and Morrow helped the Lady Dragons win four state titles and Shirley helped Deshler win 68 straight games with the streak being broken in this year’s Class 4A finals.

The girls’ game will tip off at 5 p.m. and the boys’ game will follow at 7.

The games were played in Mississippi last year with the hosts winning two close games. Mississippi’s girls evened the series at 13-13 with a 78-77 win and the Mississippi boys won 85-83. Alabama’s boys hold a slim 14-12 edge in that series.

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