All-Messenger basketball team announced

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By Chris McCarthy/Editor 

A pair of Titans and a veteran Warrior highlights the 2015-16 All-Messenger high school basketball team.

After breaking virtually every school scoring record and leading his team to the Northeast Regional Tournament finals, Gadsden City senior guard Kalin Johnson was far and away the top choice for boys’ Player of the Year.  

The decision was much tougher on the girls’ side, as Gadsden City junior guard Haley Troup and Westbrook Christian senior guard Abby Lockridge both produced outstanding seasons worthy of the top honors. That being the case, Troup and Lockridge are the girls’ co-Players of the Year. 

In 31 games this past season, Johnson averaged 24.3 while shooting 50.2 percent (107-for-212) from the three-point line and 78 percent (100-for-128) from the free-throw line while helping the Titans to a 24-8 record, an area title and the championship game of the Northeast Regional Tournament.  

Johnson broke every school scoring record, including career points (1,481), single season points (758), most point in a game (40), most 3-point baskets in a game (eight), career 3-point baskets (186); most 3-point baskets in a single season (107), most career field goals (441), most field goal sin a season (274); and most free throws in a career (213). 

Johnson is considering several junior college scholarships offers, including Gadsden State, Snead State, Marion Military, Wallace-Hanceville, Shelton State, Chipola (Fla.) State and Iowa Central.

Troup averaged 17.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists while shooting 80 percent (111-for-139) at the foul line in 27 games. She has numerous scholarship offers that she has narrowed down to Auburn, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Texas and Texas Tech.

A starter since an eighth grader, Lockridge was a standout on both ends of the court for the Lady Warriors this season. She averaged 20.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.8 steals, 4.2 assists and 1.6 blocks as Westbrook went 22-6, won the area title and qualified for the Northeast Regional Tournament for the first time in 17 years.

Johnson, Troup and Lockridge all were named to the ASWA All-State first team earlier this month.

Joining Johnson on the boys first team are Gadsden City senior Shond Kidd-McKinney, Westbrook junior Kyle Leonard, Hokes Bluff senior Kaden Moore and Coosa Christian junior Caden Davidson. 

McKinney averaged 18.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Leonard averaged 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists for a Warrior squad that was ranked No. 1 in Class 3A for much of the season, won the area title and qualified for the Northeast Regional Tournament. Moore averaged a double-double of 17.8 point 11.3 rebounds. Davidson collected 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals per game. He helped the Conquerors go18-6 and attain a state ranking of No. 7. 

Rounding out the girls first team are Gadsden City junior guard Brooke Burns, Hokes Bluff junior center Kendall Johnson and Westbrook sophomore guard Olivia Graham.

Burns averaged 20.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 84 percent (109-for-130) from the free throw line. She is considering offers from Auburn, Jacksonville State, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Samford, Tulane, Southern Mississippi, North Florida and Belmont. She currently has 1,472 career points. 

Johnson averaged 12.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.0 blocks while helping the Lady Eagles post a 28-4 record, win an area championship and make it to the Northeast Regional Tournament.

As Lockridge’s backcourt mate, Graham averaged 16.9 points, 6.2 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 steals. 

Westbrook swept Coach of the Year honors with the boys’ Donnie Pruett and the girls’ Jamie Barkley.

All-Messenger basketball team

Boys 

MVP: Kalin Johnson, Gadsden City

First team

Kalin Johnson, Sr., Gadsden City

Kyle Leonard, Jr., Westbrook

Shond Kidd-McKinney, Sr., Gadsden City

Kaden Moore, Sr., Hokes Bluff

Caden Davidson, Jr., Coosa Christian

Second team

Hunter Grant, West End

Kyle Edwards, Westbrook

Pace Ozmint, Glencoe

Jordan Douglas, Gaston

Taylor Gidley, Southside

Honorable Mention

Alvin Bolton, Etowah

Jacob Hyde, Gadsden City

Dalton Harris, Southside

Andre Little, West End 

Chandler Richards, Westbrook

Coach of the Year: Donnie Pruett, Westbrook

Girls

MVP: Haley Troup, Gadsden City, Abby Lockridge, Westbrook

First team

Haley Troup, Jr., Gadsden City

Abby Lockridge, Sr., Westbrook

Brooke Burns, Jr., Gadsden City

Kendall Johnson, Jr., Hokes Bluff

Olivia Graham, Soph., Westbrook

Second team

Breia Little, Glencoe

Kelsey Patterson, Southside

Gabby Williams, Etowah

Tylynn Register, Hokes Bluff

Samara Brewster, Jr., Coosa Christian

Honorable Mention

Lauren Hunt, Fr., Southside

Taylor Bush, Gaston

Lauren Moore, Glencoe

Devin Holsonback, Sardis

Madison Grant, Etowah

Coach of the Year: Jamie Barkley, Westbrook Christian

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