By Chris McCarthy
Kendall Johnson literally has been the center of attention for the Hokes Bluff High girls basketball team for the past several years.
The 6’0 senior post player won 122 games in five seasons on the varsity, and this year her accomplishments resulted in her being named the MVP of the All-Etowah County Schools girls basketball team selected by the head coaches of the six schools.
Johnson averaged 14 points and eight rebounds while helping Hokes Bluff finish 25-5, win the county and area tournaments and qualify for the Class 4A Northeast Regional Tournament for the fourth time in the past three years. A four-year starter, Johnson finished her prep career with 1,083 points.
“With her being so athletic, Kendall made it a lot easier for us to get our perimeter players open,” said HBHS girls basketball coach Jason Shields. “This was a really good year for her after spending so much time getting back in shape after missing most of her sophomore year.”
Joining Johnson on the all-county team were seniors Sydney Ball and Tylynn Register and junior Logan Black from Hokes Bluff; seniors Kelsey Patterson and Mallary Smith and sophomore Alexis Thompson from Southside; freshmen Anna Beth Giles and Ashley Morgan from Glencoe, senior Carley Gardner and junior Alex Golden from Sardis; senior Tamia Timmons from West End and junior Amayia Hill from Gaston.
Johnson will continue her basketball career at Shelton State in Tuscaloosa. The Lady Buccaneers have won the past several Alabama Community College Conference Tournament championships.
“[Shelton’s] definitely the place to be if you’re going to play at a junior college in the state,” said Shields. “Shelton plays a fast-paced game, and Kendall’s athletic and has good feet and good hands. She’ll be able to do whatever they ask her to do.”
Shields, who was named All-County Coach of the Year, pointed out that Johnson brought just as much in intangibles as talent to his program.
“On the of biggest things that Kendall does is make the people around her better players and better people. She’s got an outgoing personality and has been a great leader for us. She’s just a great person on and off the court.”