TALLADEGA COUNTY -- Five high school boys basketball squads in Talladega County were well-represented on the Class 1A-3A All-County Team.
Winterboro parlayed its trip to the 1A Sweet 16 with six players chosen to the squad and a sweep of the top honors.
Junior Cameron Pointer, who earned first-team honors, took home Player of the Year, while senior Nyles Ashley captured the inaugural Sixth Man of the Year award.
“Cameron can honestly score at-will,” Bulldogs head coach Sheroderick Smith said. “He can shoot the ball. He can take you off the dribble. His defense is extremely solid.
“When Cameron puts all three of those components in one single game, he is extremely tough to stop. Cameron has started for us since he was a freshman … Everyone needs a Cameron Pointer on their team.”
Smith said Ashley lost his starting job in the early-to-midway point of the season but made the most of his benching and became a productive player in a reserve role.
“With him coming off the bench as the Sixth Man of the Year, he was actually more of an asset,” Smith said. “I know that rarely works out, but it worked out this year for us.
“Nyles Ashley actually sealed about four games for us this year because of the position that we put (ourselves) in. (He) got a win to get (himself) recommitted toward the end of December and he gave us the best nine weeks after that certain week in December towards the last game of the year on up to the regional tournament.
“Nyles is definitely deserving of the Sixth Man of the Year award, and we’re looking for that award to really inspire other student-athletes for all schools in the Talladega County area.”
Kameron Edwards (first team), Brandon Dandridge (second team), Josh Tanner (second team) and Shaun Vincent (honorable mention) also represented the Bulldogs on the all-county team.
“I’m going to go ahead and tell you right now, Kameron Edwards is one, if not the best, 3-point shooters in the state of Alabama,” Smith said. “I need this to be documented because his range, his vision and his confidence is of a pure top athlete.
“Kameron Edwards, right now, is working out even through his (foot) injury. (He) also has the basketball IQ. That’s what makes him a special player.
“You cannot replace the heart of a Shaun Vincent. (He) brings it every single night, home and away. He was a fearless player as a senior, and we’re definitely going to miss him.
“This past year, Brandon Dandridge got it in his head that he could be unstoppable at his position (due to) his size and his skill. There were a few times where he had double-doubles in points and blocks. That’s a huge asset for us.
“Josh Tanner is one of the best defenders in the state of Alabama. I would put him against anybody -- any offensive player in the state.
“(He) is a player you definitely love to have and he’s actually very coachable. He learns from his mistakes and he makes effort to learn from his mistakes.”
Smith took home Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Bulldogs (19-9) to a 1A, Area 9 title. Winterboro fell to Skyline 47-44 in a 1A Northeast Regional semifinal at Pete Mathews Coliseum in Jacksonville when the Vikings hit a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds to play.
“”Being Coach of the Year is definitely a blessing because there are so many coaches who are not able to earn that award based on certain circumstances,” Smith said. “If it wasn’t for God; my assistant coach, Elton Ashley; our current Winterboro basketball players; our current players’ parents; and community, those awards would never be won.
“You also have to add the administration as well. My administrators put me in a few positions to make things possible. I still have to remain thankful and humble because these awards are not guaranteed, such as life. I’m just very thankful for it.”
B.B. Comer landed a pair of players at each tier of the all-county squad, giving the Tigers six total selections.
Khalil Wilson and Rodney Looney garnered first-team honors. Brent Beard and Jerrod Looney landed on the second team, while Justin Vincent and Raphaele Johnson claimed honorable mention spots.
The Tigers (10-12) ended their season with a 56-45 loss to Randolph County in the 3A, Area 7 tournament.
Four from Talladega County Central (9-16) made the all-county squad.
Jaden Jones and JaFrondric Davis received second-team nods, while Jakorrian Davis and Karon Phillips joined their Fighting TIgers teammates as honorable mentions.
TC Central finished its season as runner-up to Winterboro in area play and lost 76-50 to Spring Garden in subregional action.
Alabama School for the Deaf featured three players on the all-county team.
Cory McKinnie picked up a first-team selection, while Michael Paige and Jaquan Rankins represented the Silent Warriors as honorable mentions.
Fayetteville’s Jon Dalton Pate (first team) and Pacey DeLoach (honorable mention) rounded out the all-county team.
The all-county team was selected by county coaches.