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Edward Bell’s Billingsley named to All-Star team

Published 7:26pm Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kierra Billingsley will represent Edward Bell in the 2011 AHSAA North-South All-Star basketball game during the week of July 11-15.

The 5-foot-6 rising senior helped the Lady Bears to a 22-5 record, an area championship and a victory in the Central Regional Tournament at Alabama State. Billingsley scored 28 points in Edward Bell’s semifinal game against Akron, but her team came up just short of reaching the Final Four.

Lady Bear head coach Nancy Shealey said Billingsley can be a prolific scorer, but points were not what mattered to her.

“She doesn’t dwell or focus on how many she scores,” Shealey said. “When she approaches me after games, she wants to know how many assists she had or how many rebounds. To me, she’s an all-around players.”

Billingsley, who has started since seventh grade for Edward Bell, averaged 17.5 points per game during her junior season. She put up five assists and four rebounds per night, as well.

A knee injury Billingsley suffered a couple of years ago turned out to improve her game. Shealey said Billingsley tried to avoid contact after getting hurt, so she began shooting from farther out.

Now, she can fire shots up from well beyond the arc with accuracy, as many of her 67 3-pointers came from long distance.

“3-point shooting is definitely her forte,” Shealey said. “After she got hurt, every time she went on the floor she would practice shooting threes.

“She’s good under pressure, too. When the game is on the line, she’s who you want to have the ball.”

Billingsley is also an 83 percent free throw shooter, a rarity in today’s game. Shealey said she is a great on-ball defender. Billingsley  recorded four steals and two blocks per game.

The game has moved from Huntsville to Montgomery for 2011. Billingsley will play for the South on Wednesday, July 13.