The cream of the crop
LOOKING FOR HELP n Meridian's Cantea Brown (14) looks for an open teammate to pass to in this file photo. Brown was selected to play in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Classic. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
March 22, 2001
It's no secret high school girls' basketball in The Meridian Star's coverage area was as good as anywhere in Mississippi this past season seven Girls State Tournament appearances and a pair of state championships proved that.
Wednesday, however, some of those same girls picked up more recognition when the Mississippi Association of Coaches announced its all-star selections.
Six area girls were chosen to either the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Classic or the Coca-Cola All-Star Game, and a couple of area coaches and boys' players were also chosen for the showcases.
In fact, it's been quite some time since this area has had three representatives on one of the prestigious 12-person Mississippi/Alabama rosters, but that's exactly what happened Wednesday.
Southeast Lauderdale's Monique Horner, Meridian High's Cantea Brown and Neshoba Central's Tausha Evans were all selected for the game, which will be played June 9 in Florence, Ala., on the campus of the University of North Alabama.
Horner, the state's all-time leading scorer with 4,853 points, led the Lady Tigers to the Class 3A state championship by averaging better than 36 points per game. In the state title win over South Pontotoc, the 5-4 guard tied the Girls State Tournament record with 43 points.
Brown helped Meridian to a Class 5A runnerup finish, and was a key component on three Lady Wildcat teams that made it to "The Big House." The 6-1 forward/center averaged about 15 points and 12 rebounds per game, and had a triple-double with her uncanny passing ability in a state tournament win over Jackson Provine.
Evans, a 5-2 point guard, lit it up in the postseason and got plenty of attention by leading the Lady Rockets to the Class 4A semifinals. A three-year starter for coach Bill Smith, Evans averaged 26 points per game and hit 87 percent of her free-throw attempts.
Among the coaches for the Mississippi teams which included no local boys players is Judy Morgan of Quitman, who will serve as the assistant administrative coach for the Magnolia State squads.
Noxubee County's Narvel Colemon was selected to serve as the administrative coach, but declined due to other obligations and was replaced by Yazoo City's Archie Carlyle.
Three other area girls players, as well as a trio of local boys, were chosen to play for the South squads in the 2001 Coca-Cola All-Star Games, which will be held July 21 at Holmes Community College.
Meridian's Kanecia Williams, Newton County's Tamekia Foley and Wayne County's Thelma Cooper were chosen for the girls' game, while Quitman's Renaldo McKenzie, Wayne County's Rayford Everett and South Leake's Adrian Kelly were named to the boys' game.
Another area coach, Quitman's Steve Hampton, will coach the South boys' team with Ricky Stone of Harrison Central.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.