Bre Smith, Benjamin Russell senior guard
After the graduation of the majority of the Wildcat offense from the season prior, Smith knew there was going to be a lot of pressure on her shoulders. She stepped up into a leadership role both on and off the court; she was the go-to player for offense and led the team by averaging in double figures. “As we got into the season, she knew it was her place as a senior to take on that leadership role,” BRHS assistant coach Cody Glenn said. “The girls looked up to her and respected her and she did a great job for us. I think if she gets (to the next level) and sees all the pressure won’t be on her, I think she will be a better basketball player.”
Caly Carlisle, Horseshoe Bend junior forward
As Carlisle continues to get older, she seems to get only stronger and stronger. Despite having to deal with some sickness to start the season, Carlisle quickly fit into a big role in the paint, which is where the Generals scored most of their points. “Caly worked really hard and even when we weren’t at practice, she was still working really hard,” HBS coach Erica Meigs said. “She had some sickness and stuff at the beginning of the year, but she overcame that. I hope she continues to get stronger in the weight room and helps us rebound a lot more and can keep putting more baskets back in.”
Ka’Niyah Wilkerson, Dadeville sophomore guard
What really made Wilkerson stand out from the rest was her defense. Dadeville coach Pam Holloway always puts a high emphasis on intensity, pressure and aggressiveness, and Wilkerson took that to heart. She was typically tasked with guarding the opposing team’s biggest offensive threat and she was always at the top of the key trying to pick off passes. She had several multi-steal games and looks to improve after her first year with big contributions.
Makayla Langston, Reeltown sophomore forward
Averaging more than a double-double, Langston showed her strength more than ever this season. She finished with 12.9 points and 11.1 rebounds per game and her efforts on the boards were fairly evenly distributed at 5.0 offensive rebounds and 6.2 defensive. “She became more of a full-court player,” Reeltown coach Will Solomon said. “She learned to use her natural athletic ability and was able to get a lot of steals in the middle of the press. She was running the floor a lot better and her footwork in the post was a tremendous improvement over the first year.” Langston also led the Rebels with 2.3 steals per game.
Nhylee Banks, Dadeville sophomore point guard
This wasn’t the first rodeo for Banks and she continued to prove her versatility this season. Not only was Banks the Tigers floor manager, but she also was a consistent scoring threat. Banks easily led Dadeville in assists as she saw the floor well and distributed the ball more often than taking shots of her own. She showed improvement in her 3-point shooting, and she also became a huge defensive threat for Dadeville.
Benjamin Russell: Ja’Niya Martin (so., G), Brooklyn Edwards (sr., F); Horseshoe Bend: Jahia Jennings (so., F), Reagan Taylor (8th, G/F), Kate Lewis (jr., G); Central Coosa: Aliona McKenzie (sr., G); Dadeville: D’Aja Caldwell (fr., F); Reeltown: Kenzie Hornsby (sr., G), Diyanna Newston (jr., G), Eryn Wells (sr., G/F)