Wednesday, April 08, 2020



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Central’s Quintasia Leatherwood Passes Her Way into the AHSAA Prep Spotlight

AHSAA Girls’ Basketball Spotlight

    MONTGOMERY – Central-Tuscaloosa senior point guard Quintasia Leatherwood, the Alabama Sportswriters Association Class 5A Player of the Year in 2019, is proving once again that she is not just a “passing fancy.”
   The MVP of the Lady Falcons’ 2019 Class 5A state championship run last season not only leads the AHSAA in assists this season but currently leads the nation, according to AHSAA partner MaxPreps, the nation’s leading high school statistic-gathering service.
   Coach Michael Rivers’ point guard passed her way into the first AHSAA Girls’ Basketball Spotlight of the season by averaging 13.4 assists in 16 games thus far – including back-to-back games with 25 and 20 assists earlier in the year to tie the AHSAA single-game state record (20) set by Tara Tuck of Danville in 2017 and establish a new high (25).
    Leatherwood is the niece of Olympic Gold Medalist Lillie Leatherwood, who won her Gold as a member of the 4x400-meter U.S. relay team at the 1984 Games held at Los Angeles. Quintasia dished out 11 assists in Central’s 61-25 win over Demopolis last weekend as the defending state champs improved to 13-3 on the year. She had 20 assists in a 77-15 win over Paul Bryant in late November – just one day after setting the state record with 25 as Central (13-3) beat Brookwood 82-18. She has had eight or more assists in all 16 games with 10 or more in 13. She has dished out 14, 11, 15, 14, 11, 15 and 11 in the Falcons’ last seven games.
   The cat-quick guard also had 13 steals in the win over Brookwood and has had 10 steals, 10 rebounds, 25 points and nine assists in Central’s first g me of the season, a 53-18 win over Hale County. She has had 12 double-doubles this season and has just 39 turnovers (2.4 per game) while averaging 15.4 points per game. She had 809 career assists through the Demopolis win and 1,140 career points. The AHSAA all-time assist leader is Tonya Tice, who had 1,626 assists and led three different schools – Phil Campbell, Pell City and Hamilton – to state finals during a prep career that spanned 1985-91.
    According to MaxPreps this week, Leatherwood’s 13.4 average is four assists higher than her closest competition nationally. Falcons center Sakya White has been on the receiving end of Leatherwood’s passes. White is averaging 22.1 ppg has been on the receiving end of many of Leatherwood’s passes. She currently ranked fourth nationally in field-goal accuracy with 153-of-205 for 4.6%.

BROOKLYN KEMMERLIN, GENEVA: Had 17 points in the Panthers’ 62-37 win over Samson. The emotional win came in the first-on campus contest since a tragic accident on Christmas Day that took the lives of three Geneva cheerleaders. Fans were admitted free to the game, but were encouraged to donate to charities chosen by the families of the three girls.
KAROLINE STRIPLIN, GENEVA COUNTY: One of the nation’s top juniors, the 6-foot-3 center had 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in a 58-31 win over Ariton last week.
Striplin ranks 11th nationally in blocked shots per game (4.9), according to MaxPreps. She had 11 blocked shots in back-to-back games in December versus Elba and Dothan and had 10 steals in a win over Slocomb in December.
     Her rebounding high this season is 18 in another win over Wicksburg. She is averaging 20.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game this season and has had a double-double in all 15 games played by the Bulldogs (13-2). She is shooting 52.1% from the floor and is 62-of-80 (77.5%) at the foul line. She was 12-of-13 at the charity stripe in an earlier win over Providence Christian and was 10-of-10 with 31 points in the Bulldogs’ 66-40 win over Elba.

ELSIE HARRIS, B.C. RAIN: The senior leads the AHSAA in scoring with 28.1 ppg in 10 games. She ranks 18th nationally in MaxPreps and is also leading the AHSAA in free-throw shooting (53 of 61) with 86.9%. She had 23 points in a 47-46 win over Blount in her last game in December. Her season high is 45 points in an 83-64 loss to St. Martin (LA) in an early-season game. She sank 19-of-21 free throws in that contest and now has 1,479 points in her 84-game career with the rest of her senior season remaining. Harris averaged 24.5 ppg last season.
NEELY ELLISON, COLD SPRINGS:  The senior 3-point shooting specialist is currently ranked 12th nationally with 67 treys this season in 176-3-point attempts. Her season high (9) came against Vinemont in the defending Class 2A state champion Panthers’ season-opening 68-32 win. She had eight in a win over defending 1A state champ Phillips and currently has 176 career 3-pointers in 521 tries.
   Cold Springs (17-2) currently has a 12-game win streak since suffering back-to-back losses to Susan Moore and Fairview in early December. The Panthers of Coach Tammy West led the nation last season in 3-point shooting and is currently ranked fourth this season, according to MaxPreps, with 171 out of 531 (32.0%). Cold Springs is averaging nine treys per game – with 44% of their points coming from the 3-point RC.
MIA HOLLINGSWORTH, HAMILTON: The Aggies’ 5-foot-8 eighth grader had 26 points and 11 rebounds in a 65-54 loss to Winfield and followed with 18 points and 11 rebounds in a 69-50 win over Marion County. The double-doubles give her 15 on the season in the Aggies’ first 19 games, which ranks tied for sixth in the nation, according to MaxPreps. She had 28 points and 13 rebounds in a 61-54 loss at Pelham for her season scoring high and 14 rebounds in a 70-52 loss versus West Point.

NIAIRA JONES, CHARLES HENDERSON: Scored 31 points, all coming in the first three quarters, to pace the Trojans (13-0) to a 55-27 win over Greenville.
RANDREA WRIGHT, CARVER-BIRMINGHAM: Had 28 points as the Rams (18-5) beat the top-ranked team in South Carolina’s 5A division T.K. Hannah 53-44 at the B-Town Classic at Bluffton (SC). Carver finished 2-1 in the tourney. She added 21 in a 47-41 win over Columbia (FL) and had 17 in Carver’s only loss, a 51-48 setback to host Bluffton.
Finished with 28 points, seven rebounds and three assists in a big area win over Lynn on Friday.
MASYN MARCHBANKS, HARTSELLE: Scored a game-high 24 points as Hartselle picked up a 59-35 win over Class 7A Florence on Friday.
AMIYA PAYNE, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: Totaled 20 points and eight rebounds as the Huskies (13-4), the Class 7A runner-up in 2019, beat defending Class 4A state champion Madison Academy 42-40.
CAIDYN CANNON, HOMEWOOD: Scored 17 points and cleared seven rebounds to lead the red-hot Patriots (18-1) to a 60-52 win over Pelham in the finals of the Oak Mountain Tourney.
STANTEN CUNNINGHAM, PLEASANT GROVE: Had 17 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots in a 62-54 overtime win over McAdory.


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