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PJ Eason, Dadeville junior

For years, the 6-foot-9 Tiger star has been turning heads and it was no different this season. “He’s just been working hard and staying away from injuries,” Dadeville coach Jesse Foster said. “In practice and in the weight room, he’s always working and that made a big difference. He got a lot more serious in the weight room and that helped him tremendously. The sky is the limit for him.” Eason was just shy of averaging a double-double with 10.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He also became a stronger defensive player, grabbing a total of 82 steals and he knocked down 54 blocks. Eason was recently selected to the AHSAA North-South All-Star game, which is reserved for the top rising seniors.

Za Stowes, Benjamin Russell senior

After graduating so many seniors from last year’s squad, Stowes had to take on a much bigger leadership role and he was certainly ready for it. He averaged in double figures scoring and was even more of an offensive threat once he wasn’t the main ball handler. “He was a guy that people were trying to stop,” BRHS coach Jeremy Freeman said. “The biggest thing that helped him out was not having to be so ball dominant. He was our go-to guy and he enjoyed that the whole time. Whenever something needed to be done for the team or we needed something productive, he was the first one in line for that.”

Jay Patrick, Dadeville senior

“He could do it all for us,” Dadeville coach Jesse Foster said. “Whatever we needed done, he could get it done. If we needed a spark on defensive, he would do that. If he needed to shoot, he would sit back and nail it. Even when he was injured (for three games) he was over there coaching the guys. It was like he was in the ballgame; he was always a part of it.” A lights-out shooter for the Tigers, Patrick averaged more than one 3-pointer each game and had several multi-longball nights. He finished with an average of 10.1 points per night to go along with 7.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

Eric Shaw, Reeltown senior

Although the Rebels didn’t have as successful of a season as they hoped, Shaw continued to be a true standout. Always a competitor and a leader, Shaw poured in more than 40 points in a single game once for the Rebels this season. He averaged a double-double with 17.3 points and 11.0 rebounds per game and also had more than three blocks per game. “He’s unstoppable,” Reeltown coach Jonathan Gardner said. “No matter what, he’s aggressive and he will lead everybody. That’s just that type of person where he’s going to give 110% at whatever he does.” Shaw is committed to play football at South Carolina.

Jamarion Wilkerson, Dadeville senior

Wilkerson was a true point guard. Although he didn’t always score a lot, Wilkerson saw the floor extremely well and finished an average of 5.2 assists per game. “He grew up big time this year and he was a leader for us,” Dadeville coach Jesse Foster said. “He distributed the ball well and he was more of a contributor than a scorer. He was always getting folks involved in the game.” Although Wilkerson was always looking to dish it before he tried to score it, he still managed to average 8.0 points per game and he shot nearly 40% from the field. Defensively, he was second on the team with 51 steals.

HONORABLE MENTION

Benjamin Russell: Qua Howell (sr., G); Horseshoe Bend: Cole Johnson (jr., G), Holt Tidwell (so., G/F); Reeltown: Logan Hunt (sr., G), Tre Tre Hughley (sr., PG); Central Coosa: Dequalon Thomas (fr., G), Quin Brooks (jr., F).

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.