2005 All-Area Basketball Team
Area coaches choose Orr, Smith Players of the Year
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
After leading Danville to 28 wins and a berth in the state semi-finals, Hawks coach Robert Pope has been named the Enquirer's 2005 boys' basketball Coach of the Year.
Pope saw his Hawks lose three games while winning 28 and reaching the state semi-finals.
Also receiving consideration for Coach of the Year was Brewer's Sam Brown, who led the Patriots to 22 wins and a berth in the sub-regional where they fell to state champion Butler.
Three area players received at least one vote for Player of the Year, but the senior leader of the state semi-finalists took home the honor.
Brewer senior Austin Mooney, who won his second straight MVP award of the Morgan County Tournament in 2005, was named POY on one coach's ballot. Also garnering one vote was Falkville sophomore Heath Alford.
Taking home the Enquirer's POY award after being named on every other coach's ballot was Danville's Nate Orr.
Orr surpassed the 1,000-point mark this year and was named MVP of each tournament he played in, including the Northwest Regional where he led Danville to the Final Four for the first time in 12 years.
Joining Orr on the first team is Mooney, who also topped the 1,000-point mark this season while leading the Patriots to 22 wins. Brewer faced eventual state champion Butler in the sub-regional round of the state players.
Alford made the first team after averaging a double-double for the entire season. The Blue Devil sophomore averaged over 22 points and 11 rebounds a contest.
He had a 34-point, 20-rebound game against Holly Pond and a 28-point, 27-rebound effort against Mount Hope.
Hartselle senior Keith Rodgers, who surpassed the 1,000-point and 500-rebound marks during this season, was also named to the first team. After missing time his junior season with an ankle injury, Rodgers paced the Tigers in scoring this year.
Danville's Matt Young rounds out the first team. His outside shooting was vital to the Hawks success. Young along with Orr gave the Hawks a one-two scoring punch.
Priceville's Stacy Lovett, who missed the 2003-04 season on maternity leave, was named Enquirer's girls' area Coach of the Year. Lovett led the Lady Bulldogs to the Elite Eight of the state playoffs for the first time and saw Priceville finish with a 25-5 record. Hartselle's Greg Adams received strong consideration also after leading the Lady Tigers to 21 wins. Brewer's Ricky Allen was also considered after winning the county title for the 11th time in the last 16 years.
Two sophomores received one vote each from area coaches in the Enquirer's Player of the Year voting. In the end, however, the coaches chose a senior for the honor.
Brewer's Andrea Crawford and Hartselle's Lauren Drake each received one POY vote each, but Priceville senior Tiffany Smith was named on all the remaining ballots.
Smith, who surpassed the 1,000-point mark earlier this season, helped Priceville to a Top 10 ranking all-season long in Class 2A. The senior is the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, as well as leading in steals and assists. A post player who sometimes plays outside, Smith displayed long-range accuracy by shooting 44 percent from behind the three-point arc this season.
Joining Smith on the first team is Crawford, who led the Lady Patriots in scoring and assists, but she's best known for her tenacious defense. She was deadly from behind the three-point line, finding the range on 44 percent of her treys.
Also on the first team is Drake, who took over as the Lady Tigers leading scorer after a knee injury felled Shan Jones in Hartselle's 18th game of the season.
Her work inside, both scoring and controlling the boards, helped Hartselle reach the Sweet 16 round of the state 5A playoffs.
A second Lady Tiger on the first team is Jones.
She was leading the Lady Tigers in scoring, rebounding, steals, blocked shots and field goal percentage before tearing her ACL against Decatur.
Rounding out the first team is Bethel Baptist's Maegan Price, who dominated with her scoring and rebounding while helping the Lady Bobcats to the state semi-finals.
Price poured in 23.9 points per game and grabbed 13 rebounds a contest.