5 area players make first-team all-state
Pickett, Bedwell, Drake, Keenum, Jones on honor list
By Brooke Milam
Five area players made the first-team list as the Alabama Sports Writers Association released its all-state basketball squad Sunday.
On the boys list, Decatur High senior Rico Pickett made first team in Class 5A, while Priceville senior Josh Bedwell made the 4A first team. For the girls, Hartselle senior Lauren Drake made it in 5A. Tanner senior Hollye Keenum made it in 2A, and Hazlewood sophomore Amber Jones made it in 1A.
Also, 12 other area athletes made the list on second team or honorable mention.
“It gives a lot of recognition to our school throughout the state,” Decatur coach Jamie Lee said when told Pickett made first-team.
“It’s great for our school and it gives a lot of publicity to our program. When people hear ‘Rico Pickett’ they think of Decatur High basketball.”
It sets Pickett among an elite group of Red Raiders. Lee said the last Decatur boys player to make first-team was Marco Whitfield in 1992.
The last Hartselle girl to land on first-team all-state was Jeaniece Slater in 1988 when Hartselle finished as state runner-up.
Lady Tigers coach Greg Adams agreed that the individual honor for Drake also reflects her teammates,
who made it to the Final Four this season.
“Her teammates will be as excited for her as she is,” Adams said when he heard the news Saturday.
“It’s an honor to the whole program because with us going to Birmingham and the Final Four, that got Lauren some attention and some people got to see her play that might not have.”
Second-team selections included 3A Elkmont’s Bailee Robinson, 2A Addison’s Jessy Willingham and 1A Hazlewood’s Jasmine Patton.
Making the boys honorable mention list were 6A Austin’s Jay Sears, 4A Lawrence County’s Myles King, 3A West Limestone’s Zane Campbell, 2A Falkville’s Heath Alford and 2A Tanner’s Rod Byrd and Latraius Mosley.
Girls honorable mention included 4A East Limestone’s Danielle Jefferson and 3A Danville’s Lauren Simmons.
Former Austin boys basketball coach Stuart Allen was named Class 4A coach of the year after guiding the Madison County Tigers to the state title in his first season on the job.
Pickett also was selected to the ASWA All-State Super Five, which is selected from all classes.
Joining Pickett in the Super Five are Courtney Fortson of Jeff Davis, who was named Mr. Basketball by the ASWA on Thursday; St. Jude junior center JaMychal Green; R.C. Hatch junior guard Frankie Sullivan; and LeFlore senior guard/forward Chris Blake.
The girls Super Five is headed by Miss Basketball Katherine Graham of Ramsay.
She is joined by Arab senior guard Alli Smalley, Gadsden City senior center Catina Bett, Midfield junior forward Courtney Jones and Jeff Davis senior guard Courtney Ward.
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