E.A. Sports Today

Boys all-state team

Sacred Heart trio makes all-state history, leads a group of eight county players on all-state teams; Talladega’s Miller 5A top coach

Michael McGuirk filled the role of scorer on White Plains’ basketball team in a big way. He averaged 26.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, shot 54 percent from the floor and 44 percent from behind the 3-point arc. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By East Alabama Sports Today

The Sacred Heart basketball team continues to make history even after the season is over.

For the first time since the Alabama Sports Writer Association took stewardship of the All-State basketball teams in 1983, one team has placed three players on a first team. You guessed it, Sacred Heart.

D.J. Heath, Kevion Nolan and junior Diante Wood, the engine of the Cardinals’ three straight state championships and four straight Final Four appearances, were first-team picks on the Class 1A boys teams.

Would it be much of a stretch to think they’d be the three finalists for Class 1A Player of the Year in the run-up to Mr. Basketball? The Cardinals were that dominant in their classification.

Their title-clinching win over South Lamar earlier this month was their 46th straight win over in-state 1A opponents and the Lethal Weapon 3 have been a big reason for it.

“I remember when D.J. and Kevion were in the seventh grade; man, their dreams were so big,” Cardinals coach Ralph Graves said during the team’s recent championship celebration. “I remember sitting down with D.J. and he used to tell me all the time by the time we get to 11th and 12th grade we’re going to be playing on the national level. He and Kevion were so serious, it was unreal to see kids who wanted it that bad so young. They wanted it. They changed the way I viewed a whole lot of things.”

They weren’t Calhoun County’s only first-team picks among the eight teams. White Plains’ Michael McGuirk was a first-team pick in Class 4A.

McGuirk did it all for the Wildcats. He scored inside and outside, rebounded and when he couldn’t get off a shot did a nice job distributing the ball. He averaged 26.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, while shooting 54 percent from the field, 44 percent from 3-point range and 76 percent from the free throw line.

He scored 30 or more seven times this season and twice went over 40. He finished his career with 1,506 points.

“My teammates got me the ball and I scored it,” McGuirk said late in the year. “I knew I was going to have a big load for us to win a lot of games because we didn’t have any scorers on the team; we lost six guys. I thought I’d have a big year. I didn’t know it would be as big as it was, but I knew I’d have a big year.”

Meanwhile, Wellborn 1,500-point scorer Blake Hanson is second team in 3A, Saks’ DeVaunghn Beason is third team in 4A, White Plains’ Macey Carr is 4A honorable mention and Oxford’s Eugene Leonard is honorable mention in 6A.

From around the area, Talladega’s Chucky Miller is the Class 5A Coach of the Year. Miller guided the Tigers to Northeast Regional final and passed his father in career coaching wins in the process, scoring his 700th career win along the way.

On the cover: Sacred Heart coach Ralph Graves stands with (from left) first-team All-State players D.J. Heath, Kevion Nolan and Diante Wood at Nolan’s signing ceremony with Samford earlier this season.

First team
Garrison Brooks, Auburn, Sr., C, 6-10
Tevin Brown, Fairhope, Sr., G, 6-5
Jamal Johnson, Spain Park, Sr., G, 6-4
Myreon Jones, Huffman, Jr., G, 6-3
Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook, So., F, 6-8
Second team
Travarus Carroll, Huffman, Jr., G, 6-2
Jamari Blackmon, Hoover, Jr., G, 5-11
Denver Jones, Buckhorn, So., G, 6-3
Hunter Preston, Theodore, So., C, 6-6
Justyn Ross, Central-Phenix City, Jr., F, 6-4
Third team
JohnDatric Butler, Lee-Montgomery, Sr., G, 5-10
Sean Elmore, Mountain Brook, Sr., G, 6-2
Deonte Jones, Gadsden City, Sr., G, 6-2
Demarkus Lampley, Central-Phenix City, Sr., G, 6-1
Mac Smith, Vestavia Hills, Sr., G, 6-0
Honorable mention
Airen Brooks, Smiths Station, Sr., F, 6-5
J.P. Fletcher, Sparkman, Sr., G, 5-11
Marlon Williams, McGill-Toolen, Sr., F, 6-1
Coach of the year
Patrick Davis, Vestavia Hills

First team
Javan Johnson, Austin, Sr., G, 6-6
Wanya King, Fort Payne, Sr., G, 6-1
Kira Lewis, Hazel Green, So., G, 6-3
Alex Reese, Pelham, Sr., F-C, 6-9
Jared Sherfield, Paul Bryant, Jr., G, 6-4
Second team
Terrin Atkinson, Spanish Fort, Sr., G, 6-1
Jon Brown, Helena, Sr., G-F, 6-4
Deontaye Buskey, Daphne, Sr., G, 6-1
Seth Williams, Paul Bryant, Jr., F, 6-3
Xavier Williams, Parker, Jr., C, 6-9
Third team
Terrell Harris, Northview, Sr., PG, 5-10
Jalen Jordan, Clay-Chalkville, Sr., G, 6-3
Orion Morris, Pinson Valley, Jr., G, 5-10
Tyrique Purvis, Decatur, Sr., G, 6-3
Jason Scott, Austin, Sr., G, 5-7
Honorable mention
Trey Jemison, Homewood, Sr., C, 6-9
Jason King, Parker, Jr., G, 6-1
Eugene Leonard, Oxford, So., PG, 6-0
Coach of the year
Shon Peck-Love, Paul Bryant

Talladega’s Chucky Miller is the Class 5A Coach of the Year. Miller scored his 700th career victory during the season. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

First team
Kobe Brown, Lee-Huntsville, So., G, 6-6
Tony Johnson, Eufaula, Jr., G, 6-3
John Petty, Mae Jemison, Sr., G, 6-5
DeJonte Thomas, Faith Academy, Jr., G, 5-10
Jacorey Turnipseed, Sumter Central, Jr., G, 5-9
Second team
Ashton Duncan, Talladega, Jr., G, 5-10
Sam Knowlton, Corner, Jr., C, 6-7
BJ Lancaster, Central-Tuscaloosa, Jr., G, 6-2
Bailey Motes, Russellville, Sr., G, 6-0
CJ Williamson, Guntersville, Jr., F, 6-3
Third team
Malik Burnett, Lee-Huntsville, Sr., G, 6-2
Logan Foutz, Faith Academy, Jr., G, 6-3
Josh Roberts, Charles Henderson, Sr., C, 6-8
Charles Warren, Greenville, Sr., G, 6-3
Shakari Williams, Demopolis, Sr., G-F, 6-6
Honorable mention
La Darius Carter, Sumter Central, Sr., G, 5-9
Fred Dickerson, Talladega, Jr., G, 5-10
Brandon Nicholas, Mae Jemison, So., G, 6-2
Cameron Tucker, Wenonah, So., G, 6-2
Coach of the year
Chucky Miller, Talladega

Saks’ DeVaunghn Beason (2) is a third-team pick in Class 4A. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

First team
Isaac Chatman, Cordova, Jr., F-C, 6-6
Herb Jones, Hale Co., Sr., G, 6-7
Ladarius Knight, Ashford, Jr., G-F, 6-5
Michael McGuirk, White Plains, Sr., G, 6-4
Myles Parker, Madison Academy, Sr., F, 6-7
Second team
Kaddell Perry, Hale Co., Sr., G, 5-10
DeAndre Robinson, Monroe Co., Sr., C, 6-5
Devon Robinson, Escambia Co., Sr., G, 5-10
Payton Stovall, Winfield, Sr., PG, 6-0
Syheem Young, Childersburg, Sr., G, 6-2
Third team
Devaughn Beason, Saks, Jr., G, 5-11
Corey Bowen, Fayette Co., Sr., F, 6-3
Brant Evans, Holtville, Sr., G, 5-10
Kolbi Fuqua, Cordova, Jr., F, 6-4
Josh Strozier, Holt, Jr., G-F, 6-5
Honorable mention
BJ Barker, Catholic-Montgomery, Jr., G, 5-11
Collin Blanchard, Madison Academy, Sr., G, 6-0
Trey Bonham, UMS-Wright, Fr., G, 5-9
Macey Carr, White Plains, Sr., G, 6-2
Coach of the year
Anthony Hayes, Monroe Co.

Wellborn’s Blake Hanson averaged 22.4 points a game to make the Class 3A second team. He finished with 1,515 career points. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

First team
Kendal Cotner, East Lawrence, Jr., C, 6-7
Shy Cunningham, Midfield, Sr., G, 6-4
Drew Jones, Holly Pond, Sr., G, 6-4
Da’Shaunte Smith, Montevallo, Sr., G-F, 6-5
Kam Woods, Midfield, Fr., PG, 5-9
Second team
Jeffery Armstrong, Plainview, Jr., G, 5-11
Blake Hanson, Walter Wellborn, Sr., G, 5-11
Omar Jolly, New Hope, Sr., G, 5-11
Caden Millican, Plainview, So., F, 6-2
Collin Woods, Oakman, Sr., G, 5-11
Third team
Kobe Bradley, Hillcrest-Evergreen, Jr., G, 5-7
Jeffrey Griffin, Mobile Christian, Jr., F, 6-4
Juhmir Lampley, Pike Co., Sr., G, 5-9
Cooper Meadows, Prattville Christian, So., G-F, 6-4
Kainan Pouncey, Daleville, Sr., G-F, 6-2
Honorable mention
Carson Crowe, American Christian, Jr., G, 6-3
Luke Graham, Plainview, Sr., C, 6-5
Kade Grant, Geneva, Str., F, 6-3
Bailey Smith, Holly Pond, Sr., G, 5-10
Coach of the year
Robi Coker, Plainview

First team
Khalil Johnson, Cleveland, Sr., G-F, 6-8
Emmanuel Littles, Lanett, Jr., C, 6-9
Anquavieous Pollard, Lanett, Jr., G, 6-6
Jatarvious Whitlow, LaFayette, Sr., G, 6-0
CJ Yarbrough, Tanner, So., G, 6-3
Second team
Zack Alford, Goshen, Jr., G, 5-10
Stephen Campbell, Vincent, Sr., G, 6-0
Christian Fortner, Thorsby, So., G, 6-4
Zach Garcia, Samson, Sr., G, 6-1
Mark Wilcox Jr., St. Luke’s, Jr., F, 6-4
Third team
Rushad Delgado, Asbury, Sr., F, 6-2
Jesse Lee, Cold Springs, Sr., G, 5-9
Andre Little, West End-Walnut Grove, Sr., F, 6-0
Antwan Powell, R.C. Hatch, So., G, 5-11
Malik Smith, Sheffield, Sr., G, 6-2
Honorable mention
Will Jones, Westbrook Christian, Sr., PG, 5-11
Markeith Williams, Barbour Co., Sr., F, 6-2
Coach of the year
Ski Anderson, Sheffield

First team
Malik Cox, South Lamar, Jr., C, 6-5
Taquavian Drake, Wadley, Jr., F-G, 6-0
DJ Heath, Sacred Heart, Sr., PG, 6-1
Kevion Nolan, Sacred Heart, Sr., G, 6-2
Diante Wood, Sacred Heart, So., G-F, 6-4
Second team
Caden Davidson, Coosa Christian, Sr., G, 6-3
Zach Isbell, Woodville, Sr., C, 6-5
Tommy Murr, Lindsay Lane, Fr., G, 5-10
Jordan Sims, Skyline, Sr., G, 6-0
Ja’Michael Stallworth, Georgiana, Jr., G, 6-0
Third team
Riley Austin, Spring Garden, Jr., PG, 5-11
Noah Boler, Decatur Heritage, So., C, 6-7
Dequan Charleston, Linden, Sr., G, 6-0
Chase Gore, South Lamar, Jr., G, 6-1
Christian Peterson, St. Bernard, Jr., G, 6-0
Honorable mention
Anthony Jones, Sweet Water, Sr., C, 6-6
Robert Scott, Pleasant Home, Jr., G, 5-11
Coach of the year
Chris Tucker, South Lamar

First team
Artavious Billups, Macon-East, Sr., G, 6-1
Lee Crawford, East Memorial, Jr., G, 5-5
Ja’Marques Darien, Tuscaloosa Academy, Jr., PG, 5-11
Trip Day, Glenwood, Sr., F, 6-8
Xavier Heidelberg, Russell Christian (Miss.), Sr., G, 5-11
Second team
Xaviar Coleman, Bessemer Academy, Jr., SG, 6-0
Slate Garmany, Macon-East, Sr., G, 6-0
Morgan King, Crenshaw Christian, Sr., G, 6-1
Jordon Parks, Autauga Academy, Sr., F, 6-4
Chester Pruitt, Evangel Christian, Jr., G, 6-0
Third team
James Beck, Glenwood, Sr., G, 6-2
Scott Carlisle, East Memorial, Sr., F, 6-5
Keagan Guthrie, Jackson Academy, Sr., F-C, 6-5
Devon McCree, Abbeville Christian, Sr., F, 6-3
Davis Thompson, Lee-Scott, Sr., F, 6-3
Honorable mention
Thomas Dismukes, Eastwood, Sr., C, 6-4
Fred Flavors, Escambia Academy, Jr., G, 5-11
Jerimiah Hall, Russell Christian (Miss.), Sr., F, 6-4
Stone Riley, Sparta Academy, Sr., F, 6-1
Coach of the year
Kerwin Washington, Evangel Christian

Sacred Heart’s Diante Wood (1) brings the ball up against Mae Jemison’s John Petty in the Cardinals’ season opener. Both players are first-team All-State picks in their classifications. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/KrispPics Photography)

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