East Central Alabama was well represented in the Alabama Sports Writers Association boys All-State basketball team that was released on Saturday.
The Daily Home coverage area had three players make the team and Coach of the Year.
Talladega High School boys basketball team put together one of the best seasons in program history in 2016-17. The Tigers went 27-8 and reached the Final Four where they fell to Faith Academy. Talladega’s historic season didn’t go unnoticed as they had two players to make the all-state.
Ashton Duncan was selected second team all-state. The junior guard averaged 17 points per game for Talladega.
“Ashton took over games a lot of nights when we needed baskets,”Talladega head coach Chucky Miller said. “He could score in spurts, which in today’s game, that is very beneficial. You can get somebody that you run plays for and they hit some shots in a row to get everybody going. He shot 32 percent, which is very good for high school basketball. He made 81 3-pointers. He is great on the offensive end, but he was also outstanding in the defensive end, too. He is an all-around player.”
Fred Dickerson was selected to the honorable mention team. The Tigers’ junior floor general averaged 14 points per game, including a 26-point outing against Scottsboro in the Northeast Regional championship game.
“Fred just got better as the year went on,” Miller said. “He handled the ball the majority of the time and he get everybody involved. He can score when needed. Some games he scored more than other games. He could step up to the plate when the matchup dictated he needed to score more. That’s a true team player. He ran our offense, he led us in both steals and assists. It shows you what an all-around person that Fred was.”
This year was filled of milestones for Miller. Talladega’s head man joined an elite club earlier in the season as he earned his 700th win. On Saturday, Miller added another accomplishment, Class 5A Coach of the Year.
Miller seemed surprised when he learned the news.
“Oh my goodness,” he said. “I am proud of my guys. From the Christmas holiday on, we upped our game to a greater degree. We played a very tough schedule that got us ready these postseason games. I am just proud of our players for their season this year.”
For Miller, this is the first time that he has been named Class 5A Coach of the Year in his 30-year career.
“It was a milestone year and all that, but we just look at it as a team situation,” he said. “You have to get better, they bought into what we did. We had to play a certain way to win and we did that. It was a great season the way we finished up. We were the third seed in the county and we won the county. We weren’t the No.1 seed in the area and we won the area. We beat these ranked teams to win the regional, so they upped their game at the end of the year.”
Childersburg’s Syheem Young was selected second team in Class 4A. The Southern Union signee averaged 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds per game for Childersburg. This is the second year in a row that Young has earned a spot on the all-state team.
“I think he made it last year, it is great for him,” Childersburg head coach Johnny Johnson said. “It is good for the program. He had an outstanding year for us. He averaged 15 points and eight assists per game. He was a great leader. He is going to do a great job in college with Southern Union. He is a fantastic kid to coach; he does all the right things.”
Young led the Tigers to a 25-7 record this season and to the Elite 8 for the second straight season. Johnson said Young always seemed to make the right play when he was on the court.
“Sy is a good leader. He never got frustrated on the floor,” Johnson said. “He stayed calm all the time and he ran the offense. He had a great year for me. We went 25-7 and we won the area championship and we made it to the Elite 8 again. Sy did a good job, and it is going to be hard to replace him.”