Prep basketball photo

Pike County's Andres Burney works against the defense of Lauderdale County's Daniel Romine during the AHSAA Class 3A championship game at Legacy Arena in Birmingham on Friday, Feb. 28.

All season long, Pike County’s Andres Burney showed his basketball skills with one dominate performance after another.

It started with 18 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots in the season opener against Charles Henderson for the 6-foot-8 Burney. He followed it with a 14-point, 14-rebound, eight-block shot performance against eventual Class 2A state runner-up Barbour County in the season’s second game.

The senior finished it in style too, earning 21 points, 24 rebounds and eight block shots in the Class 3A state championship game, leading the Bulldogs to the 3A state title. Burney was named the state tournament MVP as he also had 12 points and 17 rebounds in just 14 minutes of a foul-plagued state semifinal game.

Burney’s consistent dominate performances have now been recognized by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, who have named him one of three boys finalists for the state Class 3A Player of the Year award.

Burney was the lone Wiregrass boys player to be so honored by the ASWA, which announced all 24 boys finalists over the seven Alabama High School Athletic Association classes and in the Alabama Independent Schools Association Saturday night.

The other two finalists for the Class 3A Player of the Year honor are Plainview 6-foot-1 sophomore guard Cole Millican and Piedmont 6-foot-2 freshman guard Alex Odom.

All three players are first-time finalists for player of the year.

The winner, along with the other boys class winners, will be announced via state newspaper websites next Saturday night at 11 p.m. and in Sunday print editions.

Traditionally, all the finalists would have been honored at the annual Mr./Miss Basketball banquet in Montgomery. However because of the COVID-19 virus, this year’s banquet has been canceled.

Instead girls player of year winners will be announced on state newspaper websites this Friday night at 11 p.m. and in the ensuing Saturday print edition.

The girls state Super 5 All-State team will be released on Tuesday, March 31 at 11 p.m. and in print editions on Wednesday, April 1. The boys team will be released the following days.

The announcement of the Miss Basketball winner is set for Friday night April 3 and in April 4 print editions and the Mr. Basketball winner on Saturday night April 4 and in print editions on Sunday, April 5.

Burney finished this past season averaging 25.9 points, 16.4 rebounds, 7.0 blocks, 3.8 assists and 2.4 steals a game. He helped the Bulldogs to a 24-6 overall record and the state title, the program’s first in boys basketball.

He didn’t just dominate at the beginning and at the end of the season, but throughout, highlighted by a memorable 49-point, 16-rebound and four block shot game in mid-January against Class 6A semifinalist Eufaula. He scored 16 of Pike County’s 22 fourth-quarter points to force overtime before the Bulldogs fell to the Tigers 77-74.

To be considered for state player of the year honors, a player had to named first-team all-state in his classification. Burney was one of the five players on the Class 3A first-team.

Only one other Wiregrass boys player was a first-team selection and that was Barbour County senior center Ralpheal Williams. However, he was not named a finalist.

The 2A finalists selected where Calhoun junior guard J.D. Davison, Central of Coosa senior forward Noel Jones and J.U. Blacksher’s junior guard Kedarieon Rabb. Davison, who hit a game-winning jumper to win the state championship game for Calhoun, was a finalist last year.

7A BOYS

Colby Jones, Mountain Brook

Riley Leonard, Fairhope

Duke Miles, Lee-Montgomery

6A BOYS

Brody Peebles, Hartselle

Tony Toney, Mae Jemison

Kam Woods, Pinson Valley

5A BOYS

Xavier Griffith, East Limestone

KeShawn Murphy, Ramsay

Reginald Perry, Fairfield

4A BOYS

Trey Bonham, UMS-Wright

Justin Bufford, Catholic-Montgomery

Kobe Simmons, Talladega

3A BOYS

Andres Burney, Pike Co.

Cole Millican, Plainview

Alex Odam, Piedmont

2A BOYS

J.D. Davison, Calhoun

Noel Jones, Central-Coosa

Kedarieon Rabb, J.U. Blacksher

1A BOYS

Tommy Murr, Lindsay Lane

GianCarlo Valdez, Decatur Heritage

Chase Vinson, Jacksonville Christian

AISA BOYS

Tyree Curry, Evangel Christian

Octavious Palmer, Autauga Academy

Kurt Tucker, Southern Academy

David is sports writer for Dothan Eagle.

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