Russellville, Vina dominate All-County teams

By Staff
Scot Beard
Russellville's Terence Smith, Tasha West and Amber Elliot along with Vina's Patrick White earned top honors as some of the best players in Franklin County.
The players earned Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards as part of the 2010 Franklin County Times All-County Team.
Smith is boys Offensive Player of the Year
During his career at Russellville, senior Terence Smith has accomplished many things.
He played in a state title game as a sophomore. He played in the North-South All-Star game following his junior season. As a senior he was considered for the McDonalds All-American Team and will play in the Alabama-Mississippi Classic.
Smith has also received several awards from the media, earning an All-State honorable mention last season and being named the Franklin County Times Offensive Player of the Year in 2009.
He repeats as the Franklin County Times Offensive Player of the Year in 2010 after helping lead the Golden Tigers to the sub-regional round of the state playoffs for the second year in a row.
While Russellville lost to eventual state champion Lee-Huntsville 71-68, Smith played a crucial part in the Golden Tigers success.
He averaged 19.4 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Although he has played his final game for Russellville, Smith is considering offers from several colleges to continue his playing career.
West is girls Offensive Player of the Year
For years the girls varsity basketball program at Russellville lived in the shadow of other sports and was often overlooked by Golden Tiger fans.
That changed this year with a breakout season in which the squad posted a 21-7 record and came very close to reaching the state tournament in Birmingham.
Tasha West played a big part in that success. Working hard the past few seasons to sharpen her skills, West had an impressive season for the Lady Golden Tigers.
She averaged 19.5 points, eight rebounds and two steals for Russellville to become the Franklin County Times Offensive Player of the Year.
West earned All-Area and All-Regional honors and tied a Class 5A record for most field goals made in a Regional Tournament game with 13 against Brewer.
Coaches across the state recognized West's impressive earlier this week when she was named to the North-South All-Star game.
The game is a showcase for the best players in the state following their junior seasons. The game will be played at 5 p.m. July 15 at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
White is boys Defensive Player of the Year
The Vina varsity boys basketball team found itself in many close games this season.
Ten of the Red Devils' games were decided by six points or less with five of those games with winning margins of three points or less.
Vina had several players who were scoring threats, but one stood out as the Red Devils' top defensive presence.
Patrick White, a junior, averaged 7.4 steals, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game to earn Franklin County Times Defensive Player of the Year honors.
He drew the job of defending the best players on opposing teams and responded by holding most of them to single-digit scoring.
White not only excelled at defense, he had impressive offensive numbers as well. He averaged 13.4 points and 7.2 assists for the Red Devils.
His strong play helped Vina finish the regular season tied for second in the Class 1A, Area 15 standings.
Unfortunately for White and his teammates, their season came to an early end with a loss to Phillips in the first round of the Class 1A, Area 15 Area Tournament.
Elliot is girls Defensive Player of the Year
It is often said the best offense is a good defense.
For the Russellville varsity girls basketball team that good defense began with sophomore Amber Elliot.
Elliot's towering presence in the paint helped the Lady Golden Tigers minimize opponents scoring efforts and sparked Russellville to a 21-win season.
Elliot, who earned All-Area and All-Regional Team honors, also earned Franklin County Defensive Player of the Year this season for her outstanding defensive play.
She averaged nine rebounds and six blocks per game as she helped Russellville reach the Regional Tournament finals.
Elliot was also a strong presence on offense.
Her average of 13 points per game ranked her third on the team.
The future looks bright for Russellville, which will lose only one player from this year's squad.
With Elliot's dominating defense and the Lady Golden Tigers strong offense, a return to the 20-win plateau is not out of the question next year.
First Team
Members of the First Team for the boys include Brent Townsend of Vina, who averaged 17.9 points, 11.6 rebounds and 8.5 assists; Lawrence Butts of Phil Campbell, who averaged 16.8 points, 4.3 assists and 3.6 rebounds; Curtis Morrell of Red Bay, who averaged 11.8 points, eight rebounds and shot 50 percent from the free-throw line; Morgan McCarley of Vina, who averaged 12.9 points, 10.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds; and Jacob Parker of Tharptown, who averaged 11.2 points, two rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.8 steals.
Members of the First Team for the girls include Erin Reynolds of Russellville, who averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and two assists; Chelsea McCluskey of Tharptown, who averaged 16.5 points, three rebounds and three steals; Amber Smith of Belgreen, who averaged 17.9 points, 11.6 rebounds and 8.5 assists; Ciara Harville of Phil Campbell, who averaged 14.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks; and Whitney Sharp.
Honorable Mention
Earning honorable mentions for the boys are Matt Austin of Tharptown, Jordan Benford of Phil Campbell, Wade Berryman of Tharptown, Will Bostick of Russellville, Mark Davis of Russellville, Darrian Graham of Russellville, Nathan Gray of Red Bay, Will Hester of Belgreen, Steven Nabers of Red Bay, Austin Nix of Phil Campbell, Adam Pharr of Vina, Brian Vance of Belgreen and Matt Waid of Phil Campbell.
Earning honorable mentions for the girls are Kendra Baker of Tharptown, Katelin Barber of Belgreen, Devyn Childers of Vina, Janarie Donley, Russellville, Kamri Sears of Tharptown, Hannah Sharp of Red Bay, Caitlin Stancil of Phil Campbell and Claudia Townsend of Vina.
Coaches of the Year
Red Bay's Greg Cash turned around a Tiger team that won five games in 2008-09 and led them to the sub-regional round of the playoffs this year to earn boys Coach of the Year honors.
Russellville varsity girls coach James Bostick earned girls Coach of the Year honors by leading the Lady Golden Tigers to the finals of the Northwest Region Tournament whey they lost to eventual state champion Fairfield 46-45 on a buzzer-beating shot.

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