By Chris McCarthy/Editor
It’s a case of history repeating for the 2013-14 All-Messenger girls high school basketball team.
For the second year in a row, Gadsden City’s Dajia Williams and Hokes Bluff’s Carlie Shields are the co-Players of the Year.
A 6-2 senior center, Williams averaged 13.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks while helping the Lady Titans to a 20-5 record and a berth in the Class 6A Northeast Regional Tournament. She signed a basketball scholarship with Troy earlier in the school year.
“Dajia helped us in so many areas,” said GCHS girls basketball coach Jeremy Brooks. “There is no telling how many double-doubles she had during the year, so she provided both the scoring and the rebounding we needed.
“Dajia also was double-teamed a lot of times, and that opened up things for the guards on the perimeter. She didn’t block a whole lot of shots, but she did alter a lot of them. She’s a very level-headed and smart young lady who has always had the respect her teammates.”
A 5-9 senior guard, Shields averaged 14 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds while helping the Lady Eagles to a 23-6 record and a berth in the subregional round of the Class 4A state playoffs. She finished her high school career with over 1,400 points and will play basketball at Piedmont (Ga.) College.
“The main things that Carlie brings to the program is a vision for the game, good floor knowledge and the ability to initiate leadership,” said Hokes Bluff girls basketball coach Jason Shields, who is Carlie’s father. “She sees things on the floor and then makes things happen. That’s what you’re looking for in a leader, someone who not only can tell a teammate what to do but get in a game and do it herself. She’s also balanced, in the way that she’ll take a shot if she feels she can make it but she also will pass off if she sees that a teammate has a better shot.
“It’s one thing to have confidence in yourself, but it’s another thing to have confidence in your teammates, and that’s hard to develop as a basketball player. Carlie’s also a good person with good character, which for me is where leadership starts.”
Joining Williams and Shields on the first team are Gadsden City freshman guard Haley Troup, Westbrook Christian junior guard Abby Lockridge and Etowah junior guard Maelin Trammel.
The sharpshooting Troup complemented Williams’ strong inside presence to finish the season with an average of 12.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.7 assists. Lockridge averaged 17.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.7 steals and 1.2 blocks in 23 games for the Lady Warriors, while Trammell averaged 13.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.2 steals for the Lady Blue Devils.
The All-Messenger second team includes Hokes Bluff junior guard Hannah Evans (13.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists), Gadsden City freshman guard Brooke Burns (10.8 points, 5.2 assists, 2.8 rebounds), Etowah junior forward Brooke Perry (9.4 points, 9.2 rebounds), Gadsden City junior forward Takara Blount (9.1 points, 5.0 re-bounds, 4.0 steals) and Gaston senior guard Abby Elrod.
Earning honorable mention status were West End senior forward Morgan Cleveland, Glencoe junior forward Jessica Rathje, Sardis senior guard Kacee Mashburn, Coosa Christian senior forward Autumn East and Southside sophomore guard Hunter Ashcraft.
Editor’s note: The All-Messenger team is comprised of players whose schools submitted 2013-14 season statistics.