Area basketball teams turn in exciting 2011-12 seasonPublished 8:55pm Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Though the basketball teams throughout the county are currently “hooping” it up, and preparing for another state title push, the 2011-12 seasons was one to remember for some of the schools.
Charles Henderson made a run to the sub-regional level of the playoffs, before falling to Wilcox-Central in a close game. Both the girls and boys teams at Pike Liberal fell in the first round of the regional tournament. The Pike County Bulldogs raised many eyebrows by winning the first round matchup in the area tournament under first-year head coach Doug Branson. The Goshen Eagles had one of the more memorable runs in school history, as 2012 Player of the Year Joshua Millsap led the team to a 13 win season.
Millsap was named The 2012 Player of the Year after turning a brilliant senior season for coach Pate Harrison. Millsap signed to play basketball at the University of West Alabama after the season wrapped up. Millsap averaged 21 points per game, and was the key factor in the Eagles’ upping their win total from three in 2010/11 to 13 a year ago.
Two members of the Charles Henderson Trojans were named to the All-Area First Team, Tyler Mitchell and Devantez Jackson. Mitchell was the Trojans go to guy in 2011. The junior led Charles Henderson with 14.6 points per game. He was also a force under the glass averaging 7.1 rebounds per game. Jackson was a balanced player for the Trojans this season averaging 9.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest. Jackson could handle himself inside against bigger guys and knock down a clutch shot when needed.
The Patriot boys team was led by then-sophomore Chandler Avant. Avant, known for being a standout on the baseball diamond, showed he could ball on the court as well. Avant proved to be a solid ball handler and scorer for the Patriots. As a sophomore, he scored a season-high of 29 points in January and followed that with a 26-point performance a week later.
Doug Branson closed out his first year as “Top Dawg” in Brundidge by pulling an upset in the first round of the area tournament. The young Bulldogs defeated Opp in the first round of the tournament, before losing in the championship round. The Bulldogs were led on the court by senior Marlon Meadows. Meadows was a leader for the Bulldogs in his senior season. When a big shot was needed, Meadows was the one to take it. Meadows averaged 13.6 points per game.
Editors Note: The Messenger’s look back at the 2012 athletic seasons in four segments. The remaining three articles in the series will run as follows: Basketball – Dec. 26, Recreation Jan. 1, Football – Jan 2.