4 BA players in all-star games

Published 6:00 am Thursday, March 6, 2008

The 2008 MPSA North vs. South All-Star Basketball Games arescheduled for Friday in the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the MississippiCollege campus in Clinton.

The game times are 11 a.m. for the A girls, 12:45 p.m. for the Aboys, 2:30 for the AA-AAA girls and 4:30 for the AA-AAA boys.Representing Brookhaven Academy on the South AA-AAA squad are KelliSnider, Corey Dickerson and Daniel Lofton. Betsy Lynch was alsoselected but is unavailable due to a prior commitment.

The All-Star soccer games will be played at Jackson Academy.Jeremy James will represent Brookhaven Academy on the Southall-star team.

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Area basketball players playing in the all-star game includeDane Hogan and Maggie Jackson of Parklane. Joining them is EmilyFahner of Copiah Academy.

Serving as head coach for the South AA-AAA girls team is MelanieHall of Trinity. Russell Cruise of Parklane is the assistant.

Gary Harris of Kirk Academy is the North AA-AAA girls head coachwith Stan Hughley of Oak Hill as the assistant.

“Kelli was our most consistent 3-point shooter,” said BrookhavenAcademy Barry Gray. “She worked hard to get stronger in the weightroom.

“She spent a lot of extra time working on her shooting skills,”continued Gray. “Kelli has vastly improved on finishing playsaround the basket and the fast break. She became a much betterdefender this season. She has an extremely good attitude.”

Snider says she is thrilled about being selected to the dreamteam. “I am excited about being an all-star.”

Snider, who represented Brookhaven Academy last fall on theSouth All-Star soccer team, plans to attend Mississippi StateUniversity and major in industrial engineering.

Snider said she learned a lot from her mentor. “Coach Gray is atough coach. He taught us a lot over the year. I’d like to thankhim for all he did for me. He taught me a lot more than justbasketball.”

Snider averaged 12.5 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 stealsper game as the Lady Cougars won District 4-AA and South Statechampionships, placing third in the state tourney. She had several20-point games against AAA opponents.

“I’d also like to thank my family and teammates for all theirsupport,” said Snider.

Ricky Gray of Parklane is coaching the AA-AAA boys. Hisassistant coach is Roger Stockton of River Oaks.

Brookhaven Academy boys coach Dale Watts was pleased to haveCorey Dickerson and Daniel Lofton representing the school on theall-star team. His Cougars won a fourth consecutive Class AA StateTournament this season.

“I can’t say enough about Corey,” said Watts. “He was the bigreason we won the state championship. He took this team on hisshoulders and said ‘Let’s go.'”

According to Watts, Dickerson averaged 21-22 points a game thisyear.

“Corey is a winner.” added Watts. “He hates to lose. He scored28 points in the state title game.”

Dickerson also excels in football and baseball. “It is excitingto be an all-star,” said Dickerson.

“I’d like to thank Coach Watts for preparing us. He did a greatjob. He is a good coach. I look up to him.”

Dickerson plans to play baseball with the Meridian CommunityCollege Eagles next year. He plays third base for Coach SteveCooksey and the Cougars. Dickerson has maintained a .500-plusbatting average the last two seasons.

Watts praised Lofton for being able to play any position on thefloor.

“Daniel stepped up this year,” explained Watts. “I had himplaying in several positions and I ended up using him at pointguard. Around Christmas, we moved him to point guard and everythingcame into focus. He did a good job.

“Your point guard is your quarterback,” continued Watts. “Danieldid a lot for us. He led us on the floor. He was just a really goodall-around player. He did everything we asked.”

Lofton was proud to have won state and played Coach Watts. Healso starred at quarterback for BA’s district championshipsquad.

“It was really fun,” stated Lofton. “It was a long trip. We hadbunches of practice and we had good coaching. Coach Watts taught mea lot about basketball and life.”

Lofton plans to major in engineering at Mississippi StateUniversity.

“I am proud and excited,” said Lofton about being an all-star.”It’s an honor. I’d like to thank my family and the coaches.”

Watts had more to say about Dickerson and Lofton.

“I think these are two quality guys,” added Watts. “They areboth just great kids. They will represent BA real well. They areboth outstanding players.”

James played forward for the Cougars and finished with 25goals.

“I”m excited,” said James about being selected to the Southall-star squad. He has signed a soccer scholarship with Co-Lin. Heplans to major in nursing.

“I’d like to thank my coaches,” added James.