E.A. Sports Today

Dudley top 4A player

Anniston guard one of 8 girls Players of the Year in their respective classifications; Miss Basketball to be announced April 3

Anniston’s Allasha Dudley leans in for a shot against Deshler in this year’s Class 4A girls state championship game. (Photos by Greg Warren)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
Allasha Dudley worked harder for this basketball season than she’s ever worked before, and that work got rewarded Friday night.
Dudley, the junior guard who was the glue that held Anniston’s state championship run together, was named the state’s Class 4A girls basketball player of the year.
“Very blessed,” she said. “Last year I was nominated for it and didn’t win, so to be able to come back and get nominated and win it is a great feeling.”
Rogers sophomore guard Madie Krieger and Sumter Central junior guard Jada Watkins were the other finalists. Krieger, like Dudley, also was a finalist last year.

The other classification winners were Spain Park’s Sarah Ashlee Barker (7A), a favorite for Miss Basketball; Hazel Green’s Farrah Pearson (6A); Charles Henderson’s Niaira Jones (5A); Pisgah’s Molly Heard (3A); Cold Springs’ Elizabeth Hill (2A); Decatur Heritage’s Katie Jones (1A); and Lee-Scott’s Chloe Johnson (AISA). The state’s Miss Basketball will be announced April 3.
The winners were announced via internet because the annual awards banquet was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The boys Players of the Year will be announced Saturday night. Piedmont’s Alex Odam (3A), JCA’s Chase Vinson (1A) and Talladega’s Kobe Simmons (4A) are among the finalists in their respective classifications.

Dudley averaged 17.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 3.3 steals this past season while leading the Lady Bulldogs to their first state championship, an experience she talks about “almost every day.” The 5-foot-6 guard had 20 points and eight rebounds in their 61-51 title-winning victory over Deshler and was named MVP of the Final Four.
She had developed a reputation for being a sharp outside shooter but she became a more complete guard during the year after being thrust into the ball-handler’s role while Anna Garrett was recovering from an injury. When she wasn’t draining 3s, she was going inside and getting to the free throw line or getting it inside so posts Asia Barclay or Kiana Montgomery could finish.
“What led us to win it was we all put our different abilities together to win overall,” Dudley said. “Last year I could’ve tried a little harder to help my team more and get over the mental lapses that I had, so this year coach (Eddie Bullock) really pushed me to be more mentally tough, so that’s what I did.
“When I felt like giving up or I got tired, I just kept telling myself ‘you’ve got it, you’ve got it, keep going, the team needs you,‘ and I didn’t want to let my team down.”

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