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Year in Review: Concordia wins two national championships, local athletes sign to play in college

Editor’s Note: Through Jan. 1, the Times-Journal will look back on the top sports stories of 2017. Here’s the year in review for January-March:

Dallas Co. vs. Ellwood in top 10 matchup

The Dallas County Hornets were ranked No.7 in class 5A and the Ellwood Christian Eagles were ranked No. 8 in class 1A when the two teams met at the end of this past January.

Andre Hall scored 24 points for the Hornets as Dallas County defeated Ellwood 75-62. Justin Bufford scored 17 points for the Eagles.

Four local athletes sign to play college football

Former Dallas County tight end Paul Daniels signed to play football at Faulkner University. Southside alumni receiver DeQuan Johnson, running back Chris Edwards and linebacker Keandrae Rutledge signed on to play football at Alabama State University, Graceland University and Fort Valley State respectively.

Willie Moore honored for coaching career

Dallas County High School principal and former head basketball coach Willie Moore was honored during halftime to celebrate his 22-year coaching career. Community members and several of Moore’s former players came to show their support for the long-time coach. Moore won a state championship with DCHS in 2014.

Haskell signs to play at UWA

Dallas County High School’s former long snapper Patrick Haskell signed his letter of intent to play football at The University of West Alabama.

Lady Saints overwhelms Stanhope Elmore for area title

Selma High Lady Saints head coach Anthony Harris won his tenth area championship in 14 years at the school by defeating Stanhope Elmore 64-26. Ta’Sharri Grimes led her team in scoring with 16 points and was an all-area tournament selection. Areyana Williams also made the all-area tournament team and had 14 points in the game. Aaliyah Hatcher also scored in double figures, and scored 12 in the area championship game.

Buzzer beater wins Saints’ area championship

Jeffery Huff Jr. scored the final three points of the game, including a buzzer-beating jump shot, to win the area title 72-70 for the Selma High Saints. The team sprinted across the court in celebration of their win over Stanhope Elmore in the class 6A area 5 championship, according to head coach Ronald Lane. Huff led the team in scoring with 25 points. He and Jacquez Wright were selected to the all-tournament team.

ECA wins first area championship

Ellwood Christian defeated Autaugaville 47-40 in the first class 1A, area 5 championship in the school’s history. Duantrey Franklin led the team with 16 points and Loveless Craig earned 13.

Moore’s final game

Dallas County principal and former state champion basketball coach Willie Moore coached the final game of his career this past Valentine’s Day. Even though DCHS lost 74-63 to Central Tuscaloosa in the sub-regionals. Moore spent 22 years coaching basketball, and won a state championship with DCHS in 2014.

ECA makes history

Ellwood Christian basketball earned their first trip to Montgomery after defeating Shades Mountain Christian 87-65 this past February. Loveless Craig scored 34 points to lead his team to the Central Regional at Alabama State University for the first time.

Brackin rises in tennis rankings

Morgan Academy’s Will Brackin rose to as high as No.28 in the state of Alabama in the boys 16 division according to the United States Tennis Association.

Morgan Academy golf qualifies for state

The Senators qualified for state after their opening tournament at Arrowhead Country Club in Montgomery where the team finished in third place. Jones Free, Gus Colvin, Thomas Morris and David Cothran all broke 90, which qualified them for the state tournament.

Concordia wins USCAA championships

The Concordia College Alabama men’s and women’s basketball teams both won their USCAA national championship games this past March. The men’s team defeated Illinois Tech 61-51, and tournament MVP Dennis Miles scored 16 points for the Hornets.

The women’s team defeated Berea College 70-59 for their sixth women’s basketball championship. Traniya Pitts was the women’s tournament MVP, and scored 23 points in the championship game.

Dallas County lineman signs to play football at Graceland

Senior offensive lineman Leonard King Jr., also known as “Rev” signed his letter of intent to play football at Graceland University in Iowa.

Girls basketball Coach of the Year

Selma High Lady Saints head coach Anthony Harris was named the Times-Journal’s 2017 Girls Basketball Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Saints to a 27-3 record and reaching the state quarterfinals.

Girls basketball Player of the Year

Selma High’s Areyana Williams was named the Times-Journal’s 2017 Girls Basketball Player of the Year. She averaged 13.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and helped lead her team to the state quarterfinals. Williams scored 1,505 points in four years with the Lady Saints, averaging 12.6 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Boys basketball Coach of the Year

Ellwood Christian’s former coach Darrell Walker won the Times-Journals 2017 Boys Basketball Coach of the Year after turning his team around and finish 15-10. The Eagles were three games shy of the 1A state championship last season.

Boys basketball Player of the Year

Loveless Craig was named the Times-Journal’s 2017 Boys Basketball Player of the Year by being one of Ellwood Christian’s top scorers.

Craig was a transfer from Selma High, and he helped lead the Eagles to a class 1A area5 championship.