Pike County basketball coach Doug Holland and the Bulldogs' standout player Andres Burney headline the Dothan Eagle Super 12 boys basketball selections.
Doug Holland / Pike County
2020 Coach of the Year
Background: A graduate of Pike County who played on the school’s 1989 football state championship team, Holland was in his seventh year of his third tenure in Brundidge. He coached football and track/field in 1999-2000 there before moving to Booker T. Washington. He returned to Pike County in 2008-09, leading the basketball team to a 21-8 record and to the regional that season before going back to BTW from 2009-13. He returned to Brundidge in 2013-14. He has a 149-64 record at Pike County.
Numbers: With just two starters back, Holland guided Pike County to a 24-6 record and the school’s first state title in basketball, winning the Class 3A crown with a 59-45 win over Lauderdale County. This is his third Dothan Eagle Coach of the Year award in six years. He also earned the honor in 2015 and 2016.
Reaction to coach of year honor: Once again it is humbling. It is always humbling for someone to take time to recognize you for things you love doing that you don’t consider work, but something that you have a passion for doing. Anytime you can get an award like the Dothan Eagle Coach of the Year with so many good coaches in this area, it is a humbling experience.
What were your preseason expectations? Like all years, we expect to compete at a high level. To be honest, we didn’t know what we would get with so many young players that we had returning. We thought we had an opportunity to be a good team when we had a piece like (Andres) Burney and we had Jordan Hobdy coming back.
When did you sense this could be a special season? When we lost Reginald Evans (died in car accident in December). It was sad then you see the players commit after losing a teammate. The attitude changed and their work ethic changed. Also when you play teams like Central of Phenix City, Dothan High, Eufaula and Barbour County – our area is tough and Providence Christian is in the mix with them. Those games prepare you for something special. When you play those teams, you see how tough it is.
What was the key to the team on the court? The development of our B Team (junior varsity) players. I thought we were playing on dead legs toward the end (of the area tournament) and we moved four of those guys up. With the development of those guys and the minutes they gave us were big. In the area tournament, they were the ones that gave us the lift because I thought we were on dead legs.
How big was (transfer) Omar Cumberbatch? Omar played tremendous. When you transfer in, there is always going to be questions of how will they adapt to the other players and the coaching staff. First of all, he is an exceptional student and he doesn’t cause any problems in the school. Secondly, he is very coachable. With him and Burney playing down low, it was huge for us.
Andres Burney / Pike County
2020 Player of the Year
Background: A 6-foot-8 senior center, Burney was on Pike County’s varsity team for four seasons after transferring from Lakeland, Fla., prior to his seventh-grade year. He earned Dothan Eagle Super 12 team honors as a junior. Burney has signed to play next year at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa.
Numbers: In 30 games, Burney averaged a Wiregrass-best 25.9 points plus 16.4 rebounds, 7.0 blocks, 3.8 assists and 2.4 steals a game in helping Pike County win the Class 3A state title and finish with a 24-6 record. He was also named the state’s Class 3A Player of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
Reaction on being named player of year: Just knowing all the hard work paid off all these years. I improved on a lot of stuff from the past years.
What did you work on to try and improve? Mainly being more aggressive and improving on my shot.
Did you have particular goals for the season? I just wanted to prove to everyone that though you come from a small town you can achieve everything if you work hard at it.
So no goals like X amount of points or rebounds? I tried to average a triple double (in points, rebounds and block shots) every game. It was hard in some games.
How did you feel about your season? I achieved the main thing I wanted, which was to bring a state championship to Brundidge. I did that.
How do you feel about signing with Shelton State? I am happy. It is a nice place to go to. It is one of the best two-year colleges in the state of Alabama. I get to play with some of the players I played against like Barbour County’s Willie Screws and Ralpheal Williams.
What are your goals at Shelton next year? Just improve in everything. You have to get better every day working in the gym, so I am just going to do that. I also want to win a ring (for junior college national title).
What was your routine for this season? A lot of travel ball, a lot of AAU. That is what I did most of the summer. I went to my gym on Saturdays and Sundays when I didn’t have to go out of town for AAU. I wanted to get my shots in and I lifted weights.
Head coach Doug Holland on Burney: He made everybody around him better. He was not one of those players who came in the locker room and said ‘Me, Me. Give me the ball.’ He never did that. When he felt it was his time to play with a sense of urgency, he would push forward. It will be hard to replace a player like that. You get players like that come into your program every once in a while and he is one of those special ones.
Super 12 team selections
Andres Burney, Pike County
Player of the Year
In 30 games, Burney averaged 25.9 points, 16.4 rebounds, 7.0 blocks, 3.8 assists and 2.4 steals a game in helping Bulldogs win Class 3A state title. Signed with Shelton State.
Jabre Barber, Dothan
In 20 games, Barber averaged 13.2 points (264), 6.4 rebounds (128), 6.8 assists (136) and 3.6 steals (71) per game.
Eiszeric Thomas, Eufaula
In 33 games, Thomas averaged 15.6 points (515), 8.2 rebounds (269), 2.0 assists (65), 2.0 steals (64) and 1.2 blocks (40) for state semifinalist Tigers.
Patrick Burke, Headland
In 25 games, he averaged 23.9 a game (597), second best in the Wiregrass, and also 1.7 rebounds (42) and 1.3 steals (33) per game.
Erik Matthews, Opp
In 18 games, he averaged 17.5 points (315), 10.9 rebounds (197) and 1.1 blocks (19) per game.
Braydon Whitaker, Slocomb
In 25 games, he averaged 18.7 points (468), 5.5 rebounds (138), 2.5 assists (63) and 2.4 steals (60) per game.
Hayes Floyd, Ariton
In 31 games, he averaged 15.2 points (472), 10.2 rebounds (315), 3.5 assists (109), 1.8 steals (56) and 1.1 blocks (35) a game.
Willie Screws, Barbour County
In 34 games, he averaged 12.3 points (419), 6.3 rebounds (215), 5.2 assists (177), 3.8 steals (129) and 2.6 blocks (87) a game for state runner-up Jaguars. Signed with Shelton State.
Ralpheal Williams, Barbour County
In 37 games, he 12.7 points (471), 7.7 rebounds (285), 2.9 assists (109), 4.6 blocks (169) and 1.0 steals (38) a game. Signed with Shelton State.
Tomar Hobdy, Daleville
In 29 games, he averaged 17.8 points (517), 6.0 rebounds (174), 3.3 assists (97) and 2.8 steals (81) per contest.
Emmanuel Henderson, Geneva County
In 31 games, he averaged 17.4 points (516), 7.4 rebounds (217), 4.8 assists (127) and 3.4 steals (104) a game.
DaVantae Bowick, Lakeside
In 23 games, he averaged 16.8 points (387), 8.0 rebounds (184), 2.7 assists (62) and 2.5 steals (65) a game for AISA Class AA state champions.
Honorable Mention Super 12: James Pouncey Jr., Dothan; Jadarious Blackshire, Eufaula; Rodarius Thomas, Eufaula; Daniel Pruitt, Carroll; Elijah Terry, Carroll; Akeives Short, Charles Henderson; Devonte Townsend, Rehobeth; T.J. Holston, Ashford; DeChristian Newton, Ashford; Keshaun Martin, Dale County; Omar Cumberbatch, Pike County; Jaylen Nobles, Slocomb; Collins McClintock, Providence Christian; Bryan Matthews, Opp; Javier Walker, Barbour County; Raymond Bryant, Cottonwood; J’Quan Broxson, Geneva County; Colby Fuller, Geneva County; Brakevion Saffold, Houston County; Randarious Maddox, Goshen; Braxton Whitehead, G.W. Long; Hayden McCoy, Samson; Javon Christian, Pike Liberal Arts; Jack Anderson, Northside Methodist; Jackson Blalock, Abbeville Christian; Jacari Richardson, Lakeside; Jaylyn Brown, Emmanuel Christian and Caleb Miller, Wiregrass Kings.