CHHS’s Daniels and South team beat North, 85-76

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 25, 2002

Sports Editor

Lakory Daniels took his lighting-quick game to Auburn University-Montgomery last Thursday night, scoring 13 points in the South’s 85-76 win over the North as part of the annual Alabama All-Star Sports Week.

Daniels, a senior at Charles Henderson High School, was one of four South players in double digits. Livingston’s Mack Bealim finished with 18, Selma’s Jai Miller scored 15 and Sylvester Evans of Vigor scored 12. However, Daniels wasn’t the only Pike County native on the court.

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Goshen head coach Major Lane was on the sidelines as well, coaching his last basketball game.

Daniels said Lane told the players during their first practice that the Thursday night all-star game would be his final one.

"We got to practice and he said, ‘this will be my last time coaching,’" Daniels said. "We was like, ‘oh man, we’ve got to win this one.’ It put a little more pressure on us but not a lot. It just made us want to win a little more and give him a going away present I guess."

Lane said Daniels did a great job both offensively and defensively for the South. Daniels shot 5-of-10 from the field and turned the ball over just once.

Only one North starter, Vestavia Hills’ Butch Caldwell, scored in double digits against Daniels and his South teammates.

Caldwell finished with 10 points and back-up player Tyler Dunaway of Buckhorn had 11.

"He’s a fantastic player and he had an excellent game for us," said Lane about the CHHS guard.

Daniels complemented Lane as well. Lane coaches an up-tempo style of basketball, which played well to the South’s speed and athletic ability

"He’s a great coach," said Daniels. "He was on us, but he made it fun so we could understand what he wanted us to do better."

Facing a larger North squad, Daniels said the plan was simple in its execution; run their Northern counterparts as fast as they could.

"They were a whole lot bigger then us, but athletically they couldn’t stay with us. They were slower," he said. "Since they were so big, we wanted to run, get them tired in the beginning of the game, and in the second half just wear them out on defense."

Daniels alternated with Selma’s Miller between point and shooting guard. He said he became good friends with Miller, one of the state’s top prospects in both basketball and football, as well as Bealim and Trinity’s Christian Schweers.

"It was a great experience," he said about the three days spent in Montgomery.

"It was a lot of hard work but it was a fun thing to do."

The game didn’t come off with its share of snags though.

During the MVP announcement following the contest, jersey numbers were mixed up and Carver’s Lontrell Jackson was awarded the trophy by mistake. It was supposed to go to Bealim, who finished with seven rebounds to go along with his game-high 18 points.

"We were looking around like ‘why did they just do that?" joked Daniels

Eventually everything was worked out and Bealim went into the record books as the South MVP.

After starting at point his sophomore year, Daniels was moved to shooting guard last season, where he excelled, averaging over 20 points per game for Coach Carl Hollis and the Trojans.

"You don’t get as tired," Daniels said when asked about the differences between the two positions. "When you’re playing point, you have to bring the ball down the floor, then you have to look to pass or score, then you have to turn around right there and play defense. You get tired. Playing shooting guard gives you a little rest, because you know your main objective is to score."

Daniels and the rest of the CHHS team are spending time in the gym this summer; offseason preparation for next year’s schedule.

"I have a feeling we’re going to have a great season," Daniels said. "Much better then last year."