By Jonathan Deal
Athens senior Nathanial “Giddy” Potts scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds to help Alabama beat Mississippi in the 24th annual All-Star game Friday at Jackson State University’s Lee Williams Assembly Center.
As a team, Alabama used a balanced scoring attack to beat Mississippi as Riley Norris, the team’s MVP, scored 10 of his team-leading 16 points in the second half to pace the all-stars coached by Reginald McGary of Parker and Darrell Barber of Midfield. Norris, of Albertville, also had a team high nine rebounds and handed out three assists.
The University of Alabama signee had plenty of help offensively from Divine Miles of Blount, Potts, William Lee of Dallas County and Lewis Sullivan of Hazel Green with each adding 10 points. Demetrius Houston of Carver-Montgomery and T.J. Lang of LeFlore chipped in nine points apiece.
Miles, who played 31 of the 40 minutes at point guard, also had six rebounds and six assists. Potts had seven rebounds while Lee and Sullivan, both UAB signees, had five each. Purdue signee Isaac Haas, a 7-2 center from Hokes Bluff, also had five rebounds and six points. Lee added two blocked shots.
Jacob Ivory scored 17 points, all in the second half, for Mississippi. The Murrah guard is a Middle Tennessee signee.
Alabama, which made 29-of-43 free throws and out-rebounded the host Mississippi team 55-46, has now won three in a row and holds a 13-11 edge in the series that started in 1991.
Mississippi Girls 95, Alabama 89
Victoria Vivians of Scott Central scored a new Alabama-Mississippi All-Star girls’ record 36 points and also had 15 rebounds to lead Mississippi to victory.
Vivians, a Mississippi State signee, was 12-of-16 at the foul line and sank four 3-pointers en route to earning Mississippi MVP honors. She also had three blocked shots despite playing much of the second half with four fouls.
Alabama got an almost equal performance from Sylacauga’s Shakayla Thomas. The Florida State signee earned Alabama MVP honors with an Alabama all-star record 31 points. She was 13-of-21 from the field, 5-of-8 at the foul line and also played most of the second half with four fouls. Eufaula’s Gwen Jackson set the Alabama scoring mark in 1999 with 26.
Mississippi was 33-of-40 at the foul line with Christa Reed of Bay, an Ole Miss signee, nailing 8-of-10 free throws to finish with 14 points. The head coach for Mississippi was Vivian’s high school coach at Scott Central, Chad Harrison.
Alabama, coached by Lauderdale County’s Brant Llewellyn and Emanuel Bell of Wenonah, was 22-of-34 at the line. Sparkman’s Alexis Jennings, who is headed to Kentucky, had 19 points and seven boards. Shades Valley guard Morgan William, a Mississippi State signee, added 12 points. The 82-percent free-throw shooter as a senior was a perfect 7-of-7 at the foul line late – including three after being fouled in the act of attempting a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to cut the Mississippi lead to 92-89. Tyler Phelion of Blount, who signed with Jacksonville State, also had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Mississippi evened the series to 12-12 with win. Mississippi is also 5-2 in games played in Mississippi. Alabama is 10-7 in games played in Alabama.