CLINTON, MS – Mississippi’s All-Stars outscored Alabama 28-17 in the fourth -- reeling off 10 of the last 12 points -- and beat Alabama’s All-Stars 78-77 Friday at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus to win the 26th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star girls’ game.
Mississippi evened the series, which has been played annually since 1991, at 13-13 with the win. Mississippi is now 2-0 in the series since it returned on a rotating basis in 2014.
Friday’s game came down to two major runs. Alabama found itself down 9-0 to start the game, but Coaches Brant Llewellyn of Lauderdale County and Emanuel Bell of Wenonah subbed five new players to turn things around very quickly. Rachel Childress of Lawrence County sank a 3-point goal to get the visitors on the board. Two quick steals led to a free throw and bucket and Alabama was down just three, 9-6.
Ivy Wallen of Lauderdale County cleared a rebound and fed her sister Emma Wallen at the other end and Emma tied the game at 9-9 with a trey – all in the span of 90 seconds. When Jailyn Maddox of Hoover sank two free throws, Alabama had its first lead 11-9 before Mississippi recovered to get its next basket.
Alabama’s All-Stars continued its rally with Maddox sinking a trey and the lead extended to 17-12 and led 21-17 at the first-quarter break.
Alabama’s coaches continued the two-platoon rotation in the second quarter – this time with both units holding their own as Alabama took a 39-35 lead in at halftime. Nine of the 12 Alabama players played 8 to 11 minutes in the opening half as a result – keeping fresh legs on the court the entire first half.
To start the fourth quarter, Alabama led 60-50. Mississippi stayed the course, however, and steadily clawed back and took the lead late when Savannah Jones of St. Martin drilled a 3-pointer. Two turnovers in the final minute ended Alabama’s comeback hopes.
Maddox, a Virginia Common wealth signee, led Alabama with a game-high 19 points and earned Alabama MVP honors. Wenonah’s Kaitlyn Rodgers, heading to Ole Miss, had 15 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots, and LeFlore’s Japonica James added 10 points. Ivy Wallen also had six assists three rebounds and a game-high six assists. Childress chipped in nine points.
Nique Cherry of Itawamba was Mississippi’s MVP scoring 17 points, clearing 10 rebounds and sinking 7-of-11 free throws. Mississippi, coached by Jason Thompson of H.W. Byers High School, was 34-of-52 at the foul line and Alabama was 13-of- 22. Both teams had 54 rebounds each.
CLINTON, MS – Alabama All-Star coaches Andy Blackston of Madison Academy and Ronnie Stapler of Westminster Christian figure the 12 senior members of the Alabama All-Star boys’ squad have put their high school basketball careers behind them.
That’s why their approach this week has been to try and show them just what they might have to expect at the next level.
“Coach Stapler and I divided things up with me handling the offense and him working with the defense, and we have tried to emphasize just how it might be when they get to college,” said Blackston, 218-117 in 15 years as a head coach. Stapler just finished his 45th season with 730 wins. “We have both been impressed by all the kids. They are all very talented and all have certain skills they can bring to a team. We worked them hard (Thursday morning) in a 2 1/2 –hour practice and they’ve all responded well.”
The 26th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star boys’ and girls’ games will tip off Friday at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College at Clinton. The girls’ game is set for 5 p.m., and the boys’ clash will follow at 7 p.m. Alabama holds a 13-12 edge in the girls’ series and a 14-11 edge in the boys’ competition. The Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) is hosting the event this year in conjunction with the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA). Alabama has hosted 18 of the 26 years with an 11-7 edge in the boys’ and girls’ series as the home team. Mississippi has won 4 of 7 boys’ games it has hosted and 5 of 7 girls’ games.
Alabama’s roster includes seven players already committed or signed by Division I-A schools. The front line is big with 6-foot-8 Kevin Morris of Dothan, a South Alabama signee, and 6-7 Shamarkus Kennedy of Northridge, a Chipola (FL) Community College recruit, both shined in Thursday’s practices.
“Both of them have been pleasant surprises,” Blackston said. “We have a great group of kids who have worked hard, are listening to us and are working hard to try and bond as a team. They have shown great poise and a lot of energy so far. We want them to have fun, and we want them to win the game.”
Alabama’s squad also has 6-6 Reginald Todd of Blount, a New Mexico State signee, and 6-6 Montevallo signee Albert Luke of Ramsay inside. Among the most decorated guards is 6-foot-4 UAB signee Javien Williams of Woodlawn.
Brant Llewellyn of Lauderdale County, 521-86 in 17 seasons, and Emanuel Bell of Wenonah, 498-180 in 22 years, are coaching the Alabama girls. Llewellyn’s resume lists five Class 3A state championships in a row, and Bell’s portfolio includes three straight Class 5A state titles.
Llewellyn (521-86) said they are emphasizing the little things in practice this week. “All the players are outstanding,” he said. “Coach Bell and I both coach an up-tempo style and for some of the girls, that is new for them. So we are doing a lot of teaching and emphasizing the little things. They are embracing it well and working hard.”
Llewellyn said he has been impressed especially by Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year and Florida State signee Jasmine Walker of 7A state champ Jeff Davis. He also is coaching two of his own players, guards Ivy and Emma Wallen, who, along with their sister Ella formed the most famous triplets in AHSAA prep sports history. Lauderdale County won state titles in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2014 and 2016 with the Wallens.
“One of the reasons I am coaching in the game is because of them,” said Llewellyn. “They have meant so much to Lauderdale County’s program and to me personally, I wanted to be here with them one last time.”
Wenonah’s Bell has his star forward Kaitlyn Rodgers in the game as well. The 6-2 Rodgers is heading to Ole Miss.
One Alabama player, Auburn-bound guard Tyra Johnson of Austin, missed practice Thursday due to a leg injury. Her playing status was undetermined and being evaluated Thursday afternoon.
The games will be live-streamed over FNUTL Network (www.fnutl.com) Friday night. The link can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
The year-by-year history of the series is listed below.
THE ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI CLASSIC SERIES
ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI CLASSIC YEAR-BY YEAR HISTORY
Alabama State U.
Jackson State U.
Miss. College, Clinton
North Alabama, Florence
Holmes JC, Goodman, MS
Series record: Alabama 13 wins; Mississippi 12
Holmes JC, Goodman MS
Boys, Girls Games Set for Mississippi College’s A.E. Wood Coliseum
CLINTON, MS – Alabama’s boys’ and girls’ all-star basketball teams reported Wednesday for Friday night’s 26th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Games, set for A. E. Wood Coliseum, Mike Jones Court, on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton, MS.
The Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) is hosting this year’s games in partnership with the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA). The games will return to Montgomery in 2017.
The Alabama squads and Mississippi High School All-Star Teams were scheduled to practice for the first time Wednesday afternoon. Both Alabama teams, which met at the AHSAA Office in Montgomery Wednesday morning and traveled by charter bus to Mississippi, were scheduled to practice at Germantown High School, then attend a banquet and press conference at the HealthPlex Performance Center in Madison, MS.
Thursday’s schedule has Alabama’s boys, coached by Huntsville coaches Andy Blackston of Class 3A state champion Madison Academy and Ronnie Stapler of Class 4A state champion Westminster Christian, practicing three times. The Alabama girls’ team, coached by Brant Llewellyn of 3A state champion Lauderdale County and Emanuel Bell of 5A state champion Wenonah, will also practice three times at Germantown. The sessions for both are scheduled from 9 to 11:30 a.m., and again from 3 to 5 p.m., at Germantown High School and from 7:30 to 8 p.m., at A.E. Wood Coliseum for the girls, and from 8 to 8:30 p.m., for the boys.
The two teams will be back at Germantown Friday morning for a 90-minute practice session beginning at 9 a.m. The Alabama squads will close out with a shoot-a-round at Mississippi College from 2 to 3 p.m. Friday afternoon.
The Alabama-Mississippi girls’ all-star game will tip off at 5 p.m., Friday, followed by the boys at 7. The games will be broadcast live over the AHSAA Radio Network and will be available via live-streaming by the FNUTL Network at www.fnutl.com.
The game features the top seniors from Mississippi and Alabama. Alabama leads the girls’ series 13-12 and the boys’ series by a 14-11 margin. Alabama won both games, winning the girls’ game 93-87 at Alabama State University’s Dunn-Oliver Acadome, and the Alabama boys won 101-88.
This year’s contests is the fifth time in the 26-year series that Mississippi College has been the host and the seventh time the games have been played in Mississippi.
26th ANNUAL MISSISSIPPI/ALABAMA ALL-STAR
MISSISSIPPI ALABAMA BASKETBALL CLASSIC
MISSISSIPPI BOYS TEAM
NO. NAME POS HGT SCHOOL COLLEGE
2 JONATHAN FLOYD PG 5-9 HARRISON CENTRAL undecided
3 TAZE MOORE PG 6-5 SOUTHAVEN CAL. ST. BF
4 BRIETON SYKES G 6-3 CALHOUN CITY EAST MS. CC
10 JONAH SIMPSON PG 5-10 RIDGELAND undecided
11 QUA’DARIUS GREEN F 6-8 McCOMB undecided
12 STACEE ST. JULIAN PG 6-0 ST. MARTIN undecided
15 ANTONIO COWART, JR. PG 6-31/2 McCOMB undecided
23 TYSON CARTER G 6-4 STARKVILLE MISS. STATE
25 TREY SPENCER G 6-4 GRENADA undecided
30 DEMETRICE CLOPTON F 6-8 COLUMBUS JACKSON ST.
32 CARLOS THOMAS F 6-8 McCOMB undecided
33 DEVON BENSON F 6-7 LAUREL JONES JUNIOR COLLEGE
HEAD COACH: HILTON HARRELL, McCOMB
ASSISTANT COACH: CLAY NORTON, CLINTON
ADMINISTRATIVE COACH: ERNIE WATSON, HATTIESBURG
ATHLETIC TRAINER: FRED ROBINSON, MS Sports Medicine
ALABAMA BOYS TEAM
NO. NAME POS HGT SCHOOL COLLEGE
2 MICAH FULLER G 6-1 BESSEMER CITY undecided
3 TRISTON CHAMBERS G 6-3 COLD SPRINGS SAMFORD
5 TAVARIS GEIGER G 6-0 LANETT undecided
10 JAVIEN WILLIAMS G 6-4 WOODLAWN UAB
11 JOHN PETTWAY G 6-2 KEITH SO. ALABAMA
12 JACK KLINE F 6-5 MOUNTAIN BROOK UAH
13 TREY PETTY G 6-3 WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN undecided
14 REGINALD TODD F 6-6 BLOUNT N.MEXICO ST.
15 JUSTIN HOPKINS F 6-4 J. O. JOHNSON SAMFORD
23 KEVIN MORRIS F 6-8 DOTHAN SOUTH ALABAMA
34 SHAMARKUS KENNEDY C 6-7 NORTHRIDGE CHIPOLA CC
50 ALBERT LUKE F 6-6 RAMSAY MONTEVALLO
HEAD COACH: ANDY BLACKSTON, MADISON ACADEMY
ASSISTANT COACH: RONNIE STAPLER, WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
ADMINISTRATIVE COACH: JAMIE LEE, DECATUR CITY SCHOOLS
ADMINISTRATIVE COACH: DAVID GOOD, MOUNTAIN BROOK
ATHLETIC TRAINER: KELLY VINSON, ENCORE
MISSISSIPPI GIRLS TEAM
NO. NAME POS HGT SCHOOL COLLEGE
2 ERNESHA CHATMAN PG 5-6 NATCHEZ undecided
3 SHONTE’ HAILES PG 5-6 QUITMAN SO. MISS
4 SAVANNAH JONES G 6-0 ST. MARTIN SO. ALABAMA
7 STAR WALTON G 5-6 HOLLY SPRINGS undecided
10 TAMIA “TAZ” STINSON G 5-8 HATTIESBURG undecided
11 TORI MALLORY F 5-9 ITAWAMBA AHS undecided
12 NIQUE CHERRY F 6-0 HEIDELBERG undecided
20 TAE’LOUR RICHARDSON F 5-10 HORN LAKE E. KENTUCKY
22 BRITTANY ROSE G 5-11 LANIER undecided
23 AMESHYA WILLIAMS C 6-2 WEST HARRISON undecided
33 DIAMOND SMITH C 6-4 JEFFERSON COUNTY undecided
34 TWILA HILL C 6-2 CALLAWAY PRAIRIE VIEW A&M
HEAD COACH: JASON THOMPSON, H. W. BYERS
ASSISTANT COACH: SHERRI COOLEY, SOUTH JONES
ADMINISTRATIVE COACH: DONNY FULLER, GULFPORT
ATHLETIC TRAINER: STEVEN BUSH, MS Sports Medicine
ALABAMA GIRLS TEAM
NO. NAME POS HGT SCHOOL COLLEGE
3 IVY WALLEN G 5-7 LAUDERDALE CTY NO. ALABAMA
5 EMMA WALLEN G 5-7 LAUDERDALE CTY NO. ALABAMA
11 CIERRA JOHNSON G 5-10 BLOUNT ALABAMA
13 KATELYNN THOMAS C 6-0 SHADES VALLEY UAB
14 TYRA JOHNSON G 5-7 AUSTIN AUBURN
15 JAPONICA JAMES C 5-11 LEFLORE undecided
20 INDIA BLAKELY G 5-7 CHARLES HENDERSON MERCER
21 KATIE ALLEN G 5-10 ALBERTVILLE SAMFORD
31 KAITLYN RODGERS F 6-2 WENONAH OLE MISS
32 RACHAEL CHILDRESS G 5-10 LAWRENCE COUNTY UAB
33 JAILYN MADDOX G 5-10 HOOVER VCU
34 JASMINE WALKER C 6-4 JEFF DAVIS FLORIDA St.
HEAD COACH: BRANT LLEWELLYN, LAUDERDALE COUNTY
ASSISTANT COACH: EMANUEL BELL, WENONAH
ADMINISTRATIVE COACH: TAMMY WEST, COLD SPRINGS
ATHLETIC TRAINER: DESHENA THOMAS, ENCORE
MONTGOMERY – Twenty-four seniors have been selected to represent Alabama in the 26th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Games at Mississippi College at Clinton, MS, March 18.
The Alabama teams, comprised of 12 senior boys and 12 senior girls, were announced Tuesday by Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA). The teams were chosen from school nominations by the AHSACA All-Star Selection Committee.
The girls’ game will tip off at 5 p.m. and the boys’ game will follow at 7 on Friday, March 18.
The games were played in Mississippi for the first time since 2002 in 2014, but returned to Alabama last year. The games rotated between the two states from 1991-2002 but moved to Pelham Convention Center in 2003 where they remained through 2011. Alabama State hosted the games at Dunn-Oliver Acadome in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
Alabama won the boys’ game last year 101-88. The Alabama girls won 93-87. The Alabama boys now hold a 14-11 edge in the series while Alabama leads the girls’ series 13-12.
Coaches for the Alabama girls’ squad are Brant Llewellyn of Lauderdale County and Emanuel Bell of Wenonah. Cold Springs’ Tammy West is the administrative assistant. Llewellyn’s Tigers (30-7) had a state-record 86-game winning streak snapped early this past season but rebounded to win their fifth Class 3A state championship in a row. Bell’s Lady Dragons (33-1) won their third consecutive 5A title last weekend.
Coaches for Alabama’s boys are Huntsville coaches Andy Blackston of Madison Academy and Ronnie Stapler of Westminster Christian. Jamie Lee of Decatur and David Good of Mountain Brook are administrative coaches. Blackston’s Mustangs (22-12) won the 3A boys’ title for the second year in a row, and Stapler’s Wildcats (30-3) won the school’s first 4A state basketball crown.
Highlighting the Alabama boys’ team 6-foot-7 center ShaMarkus Kennedy of Northridge, 6-8 forward Kevin Morris of Dothan, 6-6 forward Reginald Todd of Blount and 6-4 guard Javien Williams of Woodlawn. Trey Petty, a 6-3 forward for Stapler at Westminster Christian, was named the Class 4A State Finals MVP. Lanett guard 6-0 guard Tavaris Geiger earned MVP honors for Class 2A state champion Lanett, and 6-4 forward Justin Hopkins was named to the Class 5A State Finals all-tourney team for 5A state champion J.O. Johnson.
Class 7A State Finals MVP Jasmine Walker of Jeff Davis, a 6-4 center, headlines the girls’ squad. The Florida State signee will be joined by sister Emma and Ivy Wallen of Lauderdale County, Kaitlyn Rodgers of Wenonah and Japonica James of LeFlore. Each helped leaded their respective teams to state titles in 2016.
Rodgers, a 6-2 Ole Miss signee, was named to the 5A State Finals All-Tourney team for the third year in a row. James, 5-11, was named 6A MVP after leading LeFlore to 35-0 record in 2016, and the Wallen sisters earned 3A State Finals all-tourney honors for Lauderdale County. Emma was selected MVP.
Complete team rosters include:
2016 ALABAMA BOYS’ ALL-STAR TEAM
Player School Pos. Ht.
Triston Chambers Cold Springs G 6-3
Micah Fuller Bessemer City G 6-1
Tavaris Geiger Lanett G 6-0
Justin Hopkins J.O. Johnson F 6-4
ShaMarkus Kennedy Northridge C 6-7
Jack Kline Mountain Brook F 6-5
Albert Luke Ramsay F 6-6
Kevin Morris Dothan F/G 6-8
John Pettway Keith G 6-2
Trey Petty Westminster Christian F 6-3
Reginald Todd Blount F 6-6
Javien Williams Woodlawn G 6-4
Andy Blackston Madison Academy
Ronnie Stapler Westminster Christian
Jamie Lee Decatur (administrative)
David Good Mountain Brook (administrative)
2016 ALABAMA GIRLS’ ALL-STAR TEAM
Player School Pos. Ht.
Katie Allen Albertville G 5-10
India Blakely Charles Henderson G 5-7
Rachel Childress Lawrence County G 5-10
Japonica James LeFlore C 5-11
Cierra Johnson Blount G 5-10
Tyra Johnson Austin G 5-7
Jailyn Maddox Hoover G 5-10
Kaitlyn Rodgers Wenonah F 6-2
Katelynn Thomas Shades Valley C 6-0
Jasmine Walker Jeff Davis C 6-4
Emma Wallen Lauderdale County G 5-7
Ivy Wallen Lauderdale County G 5-7
Brant Llewellyn Lauderdale County
Emanuel Bell Wenonah
Tammy West Cold Springs (administrative)
AHSAA 2016 State Finals
Championship Game Schedule/Results
THURSDAY, MARCH 3
Class 1A Girls
Spring Garden (31-4) 64, Linden (18-7) 38
Class 1A Boys
Sacred Heart Catholic (29-8) 95, Georgiana (30-2) 75
FRIDAY, MARCH 4
Class 2A Girls
Samson (33-2) 58, R.C. Hatch (23-7) 53
Class 2A Boys
Lanett (29-6) 73, St. Luke’s Episcopal (23-12) 48
Class 3A Girls
Lauderdale County (30-7) 55, Montgomery Academy (27-5) 44
Class 3A Boys
Madison Academy (22-12) 77, Midfield (21-13) 59
Class 4A Girls
Deshler (36-1) 60, Sipsey Valley (28-6) 46
Class 4A Boys
Westminster Christian (30-3) 53, Cordova (25-6) 34
SATURDAY, MARCH 5
Class 5A Girls
Wenonah (33-1) 58, Central-Tuscaloosa (28-6) 33
Class 5A Boys
J.O. Johnson (29-5) 71, Faith Academy (27-8) 50
Class 6A Girls
LeFlore (35-0) 80, Homewood (27-7) 65
Class 6A Boys
Homewood (31-5) 54, Muscle Shoals (21-10) 51
Class 7A Girls
Jeff Davis (25-6) 52, McGill-Toolen Catholic (31-4) 38
Class 7A Boys
McGill-Toolen Catholic (29-6) 79, Central-Phenix City (31-2) 75
2016 AHSAA State Finals Attendance
Monday – 8,514
Tuesday – 10,079
Wednesday – 13,138
Thursday – 10,562
Friday – 10,490
Saturday – 13,275
Total State Finals Attendance – 66,058