Cunningham All-Area MVP

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 9, 2007

Tyler Cunningham of Parklane is still growing. During his senioryear, Cunningham’s height reached 6-foot-8 and his weight 210pounds which did nothing but add to his athletic ability on thebasketball court.

Cunningham helped lead the Parklane Pioneers to a 28-6 record inthe tough MPSA AAA South Division 1 including Jackson Prep andMadison Ridgeland Academy. He averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds pergame.

For his achievements, Tyler has been Mr. Basketball and MostValuable Player on The DAILY LEADER’S 2007 All-Area Boys BasketballTeam.

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The All-Area Team, composed of players outside of LincolnCounty, was selected by the Daily Leader sports department, withinput provided by area high school and college coaches.

Joining Cunningham on the dream team are Brandt Hood of Wesson,Dane Hogan of Parklane, Otis Smith and Roteddrick Cotten of McComband Jamie Collins of Franklin County. Smith and Cotten arerepeaters from last year’s team.

“It’s a privilege, an honor,” said Cunningham. “There are a lotof good players in the area.”

Cunningham was named named All-Division, All Conference, AllState and All Overall. He and teammate Dane Hogan played on theSouth All-Star team.

Cunningham also excelled on the football field as quarterbackand the baseball field as a pitcher. He signed a baseballscholarship with Meridian Community College.

At quarterback, Cunningham finished with 16 passing touchdownsand 1,507 offensive yards. On the mound, he throws a fast ball thatwas clocked at 91 mph and has a deceptive changeup.

“Tyler is a team leader,” said Parklane boys coach Ricky Gray.”He was fun to coach. He has grown from last year.”

Cunningham is the son of Warren and Mary Jane Adams. He has twobrothers Josh and Tucker and a sister Julianna. Unsure of hismajor, but likes sports medicine or maybe get into coaching.

Brandt Hood (5-10, sr.) had the uncanny abilityto hit the 3-pointer from several feet beyond the 3-point arch aspoint guard for Wesson. As the only senior on the 12-15 Cobra boysteam, Hood finished the year averaging 22.7 pppg. (85 percent fromfree-throw range and 37 percent 3-point range), 5 rebounds, 4steals and 4 assists.

Hood’s biggest honor was being name the Division 6-2A MostValuable Player. The division coaches, excluding Wesson coach RonKessler, selected Hood. They include coaches from Piney Woods,Hinds AHS, St. Andrew’s, Loyd Star, McLaurin, Amite County andMadison St. Joe.

“Brandt is the hardest worker I have every coached,” saidKessler. “He knows the game real well. He is the purest shooterI’ve coached. As our only senior, he assumed the leadership role. Ifell he will bring a lot to the Co-Lin Wolves.”

Hood intends to sign a basketball scholarship with the Co-LinWolves.

Dane Hogan (6-3, jr) played guard for thePioneers and finished the season with a 16 ppg. average. He isexpected to be a big contributor next year as a senior.”

“Dane has been fun to coach,” said Gray. “He is a tremendousathlete.” Hogan was All-Overall, All-State, All-Division and All-Conference.

Cunningham and Hogan played together in the MPSA All-Stargame.

Otis Smith (6-4, sr.) finished up his senioryear with the McComb Tigers averaging 17 ppg. 8 rebounds, 2 stealsand 1 assist. The Tigers were 28-6 on the season, advancing toSouth State.

“Otis is an excellent 3-point shooter,” said McComb coach HiltonHarrell. “He is a good ball player that has the ability to shootfrom the short corner. He has the desire to play the game. He hasgood work habits.”

Smith plans to play football at Southwest Community College.

Roteddrick Cotten (6-0, sr.) played the No. 3forward position, averaging 13 points, 6 rebounds and making 3steals for McComb.

McComb coach Hilton Harrell on Roteddrick Cotten.

“Roteddrick is very athletic,” praised Harrell.” He is veryexplosive.”

Smith plans to play football at Southwest Community College.

Jamie Collins (6-3, soph.) was one of theyounger starters for Chris Jordan’s Franklin County Bulldog team.The Bulldogs finished 10-20 but Collins directed the team as aforward, averaging 16 points,10 rebounds and 2.5 blockedshots.”

“I am glad for us to have him,” said Jordan. “Jamie’s an awfulgood athlete who played football as well.”

Jordan didn’t get Collins until football season was over.

“He did real well for us,” added Jordan. “He didn’t get muchwork in before playing. He is a real good basketball player.”