E.A. Sports Today

Wood tops 1A again

Sacred Heart senior named Class 1A Player of the Year again, runnerup to former youth teammate Trendon Watford in Mr. Basketball voting

Mr. Basketball Trendon Watford of Mountain Brook (L) and Sacred Heart’s 1A Player of the Year Diante Wood pose with their awards. The former youth basketball teammates were 1-2 in this year’s Mr. Basketball voting.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

MONTGOMERY — Sacred Heart senior Diante Wood stood at the podium for the third year in a row as the Class 1A Player of the Year Tuesday.

No surprise there. But there was still some drama.

As the remaining finalists are announced, the buildup grew for Mr. Basketball, for which Wood was a leading contender.

Ultimately, Mountain Brook junior Trendon Watford was named Mr. Basketball. The former youth basketball teammates (grades 4 thru 6) were 1-2 in the voting with Watford winning by a wide margin. Wood did receive one first-place vote.

“It definitely could have gone either way,” Watford said. “He had a great season, of course, and I did, too.”

If Wood was disappointed about being a Mr. Basketball finalist and coming up short for a third year in a row he didn’t show it. Instead, he talked about how humbling it was to be recognized as the 1A Player of the Year again, answered questions about how Collin Sexton’s decision to turn pro would affect him at Alabama going forward (it won’t, they play different positions) and snapped pictures with his longtime friend.

The two even spent time with each other during the meal, talking mostly about their banquet attire and the shoes they wore to the event. Watford had on a pair with silver sparkles, while Wood wore a pair with crowns on the instep.

“I’m sure all the people who got selected thought they had a shot (at Mr. Basketball); that’s just how it is,” Wood said. “Yeah, I thought I had a shot, but it didn’t come through. I’m not going to sit back and cry about it and be sad. At least I got an award.

“It’s a great feeling to win this award for the third time and for winning four straight state championships. I’m proud I got this award. I put a lot of work in to get this award. It’s overwhelming.”

Wood also is a three-time Class 1A Final Four MVP. He averaged 23.3 points and 12.4 rebounds in a season when much was expected of him following the graduations of Kevion Nolan (Samford) and D.J. Heath (Canisius to Shelton State) to Division I college programs.

“It changed a lot because of how long we’ve been playing together,” he said. “With other kids we had come in, they stepped up and played and were able to help us.

“When I look back I’ve had a great high school season. I’ll never forget this high school season. There are lot of kids who want to be in my position, who want to be able to look back on their high school days and be like I accomplished this, I accomplished that, so I’m just proud that I accomplished all the goals I accomplished.”

The other finalists in 1A were JaMichael Stallworth of Georgiana, the team Sacred Heart beat for its fourth straight state title this year, and Lindsay Lane scorer Tommy Murr.

Two other area players, Spring Garden’s Tiyonna Rogers (1A) and Ranburne’s Jesse Ralston (2A), were finalists in their classifications, but did not win the award.

Watford helped Mountain Brook win its second straight Class 7A championship and fourth in six years. The 6-9 forward averaged 23.3 points on 63 percent shooting and 12.3 rebounds. Earlier this spring he was named the Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year.

“I’m happy for Trendon,” Wood said. “Trendon puts in a lot of work for it; he does a lot. He deserves it. I’m proud of him and all the goals he accomplished.”

Lee-Montgomery’s Zipporah Broughton, a Rutgers signee, was named Miss Basketball. She averaged 23.6 points this season and finished with 2,419 career points. Her 2,045 points in three years at Lee rank second in school history. She was the state’s girls Gatorade Player of the Year.

Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook

Zipporah Broughton, Lee-Montgomery

(top five players regardless of classification)
Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook — 77 (12 first-place)
Diante Wood, Sacred Heart — 39 (1)
Kira Lewis, Hazel Green — 28 (1)
Jaykwon Walton, Carver-Montgomery — 16
Anquaevious Pollard, Lanett — 14

Zipporah Broughton, Lee-Montgomery — 59 (8)
Maori Davenport, Charles Henderson — 49 (3)
Caitlin Hose, Hazel Green — 27
Claire Holt, Spain Park — 19 (1)
LaTascya Duff, Samson — 17 (2)


7A: Zipporah Broughton, Lee-Montgomery
6A: Caitlin Hose, Hazel Green
5A: Maori Davenport, Charles Henderson
4A: Karleigh Sledge, Deshler
3A: Allie Craig Cruce, Lauderdale Co.
2A: LaTascya Duff, Samson
1A: River Baldwin, Pleasant Home
AISA: Shaquandria Holton, Glenwood

7A: Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook
6A: Kira Lewis, Hazel Green
5A: Kobe Brown, Lee-Huntsville
4A: Isaac Chatman, Cordova
3A: Kam Woods, Midfield
2A: Anquaevious Pollard, Lanett
1A: Diante Wood, Sacred Heart
AISA: Lee Crawford, East Memorial

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