ASWA names Benford second-team All-State
Mike Self FCT Sports Editor
Phil Campbell senior Tanna Benford was named second-team All-State in Class 2A earlier this week by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
Benford, a 5-foot-6 guard, averaged 20.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 steals per game this past season in leading the Lady Bobcats to 17 wins. With a berth in the Northwest Regional Tournament hanging in the balance, she scored 15 of her game-high 34 points in the fourth quarter to rally Phil Campbell past Lexington in Class 2A sub-region play.
Benford, who will sign a scholarship with Northwest-Shoals Community College next week, finished her career as the all-time leading scorer (boys and girls) in Franklin County history with 2,200 points. She ranks in the top eight all-time in AHSAA history in free throws made (496), free throws attempted (654) and steals (500).
She was joined on the second team by Brittany Leverett, a 5-foot-8 junior guard from Washington County; Sierra Wiginton, a 5-foot-11 senior center from Samson; Nakita Holt, a 5-foot-4 junior guard from Clay County; and Courtney Strain, a 5-foot-8 eighth-grader from Woodland.
Alabama Miss Basketball Shanavia Dowdell, a 6-foot-1 senior center from Calera, headed up the first-team All-State selections in Class 2A. She was joined by Katie King, a 5-foot-7 junior guard/forward from Samson; Natalie Mullins, a 5-foot-6 senior guard from Cold Springs; Taylor Burt, a 5-foot-6 senior guard from Sand Rock; and Vinecia Dudley, a 5-foot-8 senior guard from R.C. Hatch.
Emily Watson, a junior forward who helped Cleveland defeat Phil Campbell in the regional semifinals in Hanceville, was among those selected for honorable mention in Class 2A.
Several other players and coaches from this area were honored by the ASWA.
Deshler's Hope Davidson and Jana Killen were named Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, in Class 4A. Teammate Courtnei Bowens joined Davidson on the first team, and Ashleigh Jackson was named second-team All-State along with East Lawrence's Krissy Diggs.
Lauderdale County's Brant Llewellyn was honored as girls Coach of the Year in Class 3A, and sophomore Kiara Young was named first-team All-State. Teammate Adrienne Thornton received honorable mention.
Hazlewood's Shanethia McCoy and Waterloo's Andrea Palmer were both named second-team All-State in Class 1A, and Hazlewood's Chasity Garner received honorable mention.
On the boys side, Lawrence County guard Myles King and Waterloo guard Greg Brunson were named second-team All-State in Class 4A and 1A, respectively.
Receiving honorable mention in their respective classifications were Muscle Shoals senior Ken Cupp, Deshler senior Roger Williams, Lauderdale County senior Anthony Wallen, Mars Hill senior Drew Stutts and Shoals Christian senior Tom Berryman.