A’mya Davis, Cartersville senior, named to All-County Basketball Team
While the overall amount of success in Bartow County girls basketball certainly increased from 2017-18 to this past season, there was still one team that stood head and shoulders above the rest.
Cass not only made a return to the Class 5A state playoffs following a one-year hiatus but also knocked off a region champion in the opening round. The victory gave the program its first postseason win since the 1993-94 Colonels managed to reach the Final Four.
That being said, it should come as little surprise that Cass is well represented on this season’s Daily Tribune News all-county team. Of the dozen players to earn recognition, half of them wear the Colonels’ blue and white.
Elsewhere in the county, Cartersville saw its win total increase by four, as the Canes finished just below .500 at 12-14 and one win shy of a state tourney berth. The team had plenty more chances at wins slip through their collective fingers, but the season should still be considered an improvement.
Meanwhile, Adairsville doubled its win total, thanks in large part to Player of the Year Nakiyah Washington. After graduating last year’s POY in Whitney Harris, Woodland posted just one victory with an extremely young squad.
Player of the Year: Nakiyah Washington, Adairsville senior
The leading scorer and second-leading rebounder in the county, Nakiyah Washington certainly stepped up for Adairsville during her senior season. After the departure of Josie Summerville, who earned first-team all-county honors along with Washington last year, the offensive-minded forward had even more defensive focus on her. Even still, the first-team all-Region 6-AAA selection managed to put up solid numbers with 13.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. The 1,000-point scorer will take her talents this fall to Piedmont College, where she’ll not only play basketball but also compete on the school’s track and field team in the throwing events.
Amber Brittian, Cass senior — On easily the best team in the county, Amber Brittian might have been the most important player. She did a little bit of everything, scoring 7.7 points, grabbing 7.1 rebounds, dishing out 4.6 assists and grabbing two steals a game. Her ball handling and passing were vital for a Colonels team that found itself pressed plenty and loved to play an up-tempo style. She was selected as MVP of the Adairsville holiday tournament and earned honorable mention honors in Region 7-AAAAA. The first of three senior point guards on this list, Brittian will be difficult to replace next season.
A’mya Davis, Cartersville senior — The fact that Cartersville head coach Cindy Moore started to tear up, when talking about how much A’mya Davis meant to the program after her final game, pretty much tells you all you need to know. Davis led the Canes with seven points per game, even though shooting was rarely her primary objective. She took it upon herself to shoot as many of Cartersville’s free throws as possible, and that’s how she scored a good chunk of her points. A consummate leader, Davis will pass the point guard duties to Haley Johnson, who could easily be on this team next year.
Claire Davis, Cass freshman — The only freshman on this list, Claire Davis has a bright future. There were moments when Davis played like a freshman, mostly getting caught dribbling out of control, but more often than not she played like a veteran. She came off the bench for Cass and almost always provided an instant offensive spark, leading the team in scoring with 11.7 points per game. A second-team all-region player, she contributed in several other areas, though, averaging 7.9 rebounds, three blocks and two assists. She’ll be among the favorites to challenge for 2019-20 player of the year.
Madgie Robinson, Woodland senior — One would be hard-pressed to find a tougher player in the county than Madgie Robinson. She’s played point guard for Woodland almost exclusively for the past four years against some of the toughest competition the state has to offer. Her numbers per game don’t jump off the page — team-high seven points, team-high two assists, three rebounds and two steals — but she earned everything she got this season (and throughout her career). The Wildcats have some young players with potential, and Robinson proved to be a model leader for the group.
Londaisha Smith, Cass sophomore — A strong case could be made for Londaisha Smith being the best defensive player in the county this past season. With great speed and length at the top of the Colonels defense, Smith created plenty of turnovers, averaging a whopping four steals per game, and scored a ton of easy buckets in transition. Along with her oodles of steals, Smith racked up eight points, six rebounds and two assists a night. If she gets a little bit stronger around the basket, the sky’s the limit for Smith, who will almost certainly be back on this team each of the next two seasons.
Payton Stoddard, Cass senior — One of the few players to return to the all-county team this season, Payton Stoddard saw her points-per-game average drop slightly to 10.2 this season. Then again, she didn’t need to score as much this year with an offense that didn’t struggle for points too often. As she did her junior campaign, Stoddard provided great contributions in the rebounds (six per game), blocks (2.4) and steals (two) categories en route to second-team all-region honors. She posted 21 points in the first round of the state playoffs and also eclipsed the 1,000-point mark.
Sharia Wade, Cass senior — Without a doubt, Sharia Wade was the most improved player in the county during the 2018-19 season. She went from being almost exclusively a catch-and-shoot 3-point specialist as a junior — and she was pretty darn good at that, by the way — to a player with a well-rounded offensive game and solid numbers across the board. Wade played to averages of 10.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and two steals per game. Her improvement proved vital to the success of the Colonels this season, and she earned all-region honorable-mention recognition for it.
Alexis Ware, Cass senior — When Alexis Ware hurt her knee midway through the season and missed some time, anyone who questioned her impact quickly saw how important she was to the Colonels. Her presence inside on the defensive end led to two blocks a game and resulted in countless other missed shots. Ware also scored 7.1 points and pulled down 8.7 rebounds a game. She stepped up at the most important time for Cass, producing arguably the best game of her career — 18 points and 10 boards — against Kell in the quarterfinals of the region tournament to send the Colonels to state.
Havyn Isaac, Adairsville senior; Coriana McDaniel, Adairsville senior; and London Shaw, Cartersville senior.