Two county players make all-stateBy Jeremy Smith Published 9:58am Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Two Marengo County basketball players garnered all-state honors over the weekend. Linden sophomore Shauka Reese made the Class 1A, first team for the boys while Marengo High sophomore Tallamachiia Dumas took second team accolades for the Class 1A girls.
“It was shocking,” Dumas, who helped lead her team to within one quarter of the state semi-finals, said of the honor. “That was our first time making it to Mobile. It was a surprise to me.”
Dumas, a 5-11 forward, made her greatest impact under the basket for the Lady Panthers during the 2010-2011 season. Dumas averaged 18 points and 18 rebounds, snagging more than 25 rebounds in both games of the area tournament before making her impact in the state playoffs.
With two years remaining in her high school career, Dumas hopes to do enough to garner the attention of collegiate coaches and is looking to improve her game to that end over the offseason.
“I think I can improve on my dribbling skills,” Dumas said of a key area of concern for her. She will also need to elevate her game to keep her team competitive next season as the Lady Panthers lost five seniors off this year’s team.
“I think I’m going to have to step my game up,” she said. “Two of our point guards are leaving and I’m going to have to really step my game up.”
Just up the road from Dumas is Reese, another player who will spend much of the next two seasons prepping his game in hopes of playing at the next level.
Reese made his name from beyond the arc in his sophomore season, his first playing at the varsity level.
“I thought he had an outstanding season,” Linden head coach Roosevelt Moore said. “Nobody really knew about him, but I felt he would be a good player for us.”
At 5-9, Reese played beyond his stature at times as the Patriots’ starting two-guard while occasionally sliding into more of a small forward position amid the team’s smaller, quicker lineups.
Reese showed his mettle on the defensive end and the boards while diversifying his offensive game enough to get to the free throw line with regularity.
“I’m able to play him at the three some,” Moore said. “This year though, Shauka is actually going to play the point. What we’re working on now is being able to create your own shot. He’s been working hard on that step-back.”
Reese said that his new responsibilities with the Patriots will require quick development in specific aspects of his game.
“Assists and getting to the hole more,” the sophomore guard said.
In the meantime, however, Reese and Moore are importance of having all-state honors at such a young age.
“I think that is a big accomplishment, not only for Shauka Reese as an individual, but also for our program as a whole,” Moore said.
Reese is joined on the first team by Deion Curry and Lajuan Doss of Pickens County, Jarmaine Jones of R.A. Hubbard and Tyric Scales of Cedar Bluff.
Other schools from around the area found representation on the all-state teams as Allison Woods of Southern Academy landed an AISA girls honorable mention spot, Greensboro’s Malesha Williams too a Class 3A girls honorable mention spot, Juanice Newton of Sumter County earned Class 3A girls accolades and Billy Ingram of Sumter County garnered an honorable mention for the Class 3A boys while teammate Kevin May took a first team spot and the Class 3A Player of the Year award. Charvis Teacher and Jimmie Taylor of Greensboro each took Class 3A first team boys honors.