Messenger file photo by Gary Wells
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Just as he was for the school’s football team this past fall, Jamin Graham (pictured above) was a model of consistency for the Etowah High boys basketball team.
With the 6’6” senior center averaging 11 points and 10 rebounds a game while most often drawing a double team, the Blue Devils went 19-9 and finished as the Class 5A Northeast Regional Tournament runners-up for the second year in a row. That solid production earned Graham Player of the Year honors for the 2018-19 All-Messenger boys basketball team.
Graham, who signed a football scholarship with the University of Nebraska in November, was named Defensive Player of the Year for the 2018 All-Messenger football team.
Joining Graham on the first team was Gadsden City senior Dee Pearson, who as the go-to player for the Titans was good for 22.8 points and 3.9 assists a game as GCHS went 15-14. The 6’1” forward finished his perp career as the school’s second-highest career scorer with 1,375 points. Pearson shot 36.7 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free throw line. He was named MVP of the Greater Gadsden Christmas Classic and made the All-Area 4 team.
Also making the first team were Southside senior sharpshooter Brock Habyan, who averaged 15 points and five rebounds while shooting 33 percent from the three-point line; Coosa Christian sophomore guard Evan Delp, who finished with 21.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 steals; and Westbrook Christian senior forward P.J. Wells, who averaged a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors.
The second team features Etowah senior Taylor Berry (10 points, 5.1 rebounds), West End junior Jeremiah Roberson (15.8 points, 4.5 rebounds), Gadsden City junior Demetrius Huff (14.1 points, 8.0 rebounds), Etowah junior DeRickey Wright (9.0 points, 7.0 rebounds) and Hokes Bluff senior Hayden Lipscomb (13.0 points, 7.4 rebounds).
The third team includes Southside senior Blake Habyan, Hokes Bluff senior Donovan Greaves, Coosa Christian senior Clay Waits, Sardis junior Jacob Hopper and Glencoe senior Brock Ondo.
Leading off the All-Defensive team is Westbrook Christian junior Andrew Lockridge, who according to head coach Matt Dickey, “was always on the other team’s best player and consistently held great scorers under their average.” Lockridge’s season highlights includes holding Sacred Heart Catholic’s Jayden Stone to 11 points; holding Piedmont’s Alex Odom to nine points; holding Southside’s Blake Habyan to two points; and holding Etowah’s Emil Smith to three points. Joining Lockridge on the team are Gadsden City junior Quinton Densmore, Etowah senior Chris Griffin, Hokes Bluff junior Ashton Gulledge, Glencoe senior Brian Benefield, Southside junior Jordan Grantland and Sardis junior Braxton Brooks.
Coach of the Year is Etowah’s James Graves.
Editor’s note: The All-Messenger boys basketball team was based upon statistics provided by local high school coaches. Not all coaches submitted final season statistics.