to Deshler with ease
Changing schools for her senior year hasn’t slowed down Deshler’s Keyonda Mason.
In March, the two-sport athlete transferred to Tuscumbia from Decatur, where she had played girls basketball and volleyball the last two years.
She has showed her potential on the volleyball court in her first season with the Tigers, racking up 428 kills, 180 blocks, 54 digs and 18 aces for Class 3A No. 5 Deshler (30-9).
That second statistic, in particular, sticks out to coach Jana Killen.
“She’s unreal at her blocking,” Killen said. “I’ve coached a lot of good players and I’ve never had one as good at that. She just has a natural timing when to go up. She’s quick, and for a 6-foot girl, she has one of the highest jumps I’ve seen.”
Mason actually measures 5-foot-9, she said. And her knack at the net has been something that’s always been part of her game.
“It has just come naturally, ever since I started playing in 10th grade,” Mason said. “You just have to have enthusiasm and you can do it. Most times, I don’t realize I’m out-jumping people.”
Mason has always played basketball, moving up to the varsity team three games into her freshman season at Decatur. Volleyball came a little later.
“I tried out for the team in eighth grade and didn’t make it,” Mason said, “so I was kind of scared and didn’t try out in ninth grade.”
She made the team as junior and has started ever since.
The transition to Deshler has come naturally, too, Killen said.
“It’s like she’s been here for forever,” she said. “She showed up on the scene and she’s been a good leader.”
As for which sport she’s better at, Mason can’t decide.
“It’s 50-50,” she said. “I play my hardest for both.”
Added Killen, who also coaches girls basketball, “If she’s as good at basketball as she is volleyball, that would be huge for us.”
Liner remains in top 3
Muscle Shoals defensive lineman Dee Liner remains one of the high-ranked prospects in the latest Rivals state rankings.
Liner is No. 3 in the new rankings, which were released Wednesday.
Auburn high school linebacker Reuben Foster, an Auburn University commitment, remains Rivals’ top-ranked player in Alabama, while Autauga Academy tight end O.J. Howard, an Alabama commit, is second.
Rated a five-star prospect, Liner is ranked the No. 2 strongside defensive end in the country and No. 21 overall prospect nationally.
Liner, who experienced some off-field issues during the summer and was briefly suspended from the Muscle Shoals team, had been ranked the state’s No. 2 prospect by Rivals in August.
Liner is not available to the media since returning to the team. However, Muscle Shoals coach Scott Basden said Liner’s verbal commitment to Auburn remains unchanged.
Central’s Kimbrough signs with Martin Methodist
Central catcher Andrea Kimbrough has committed to a softball scholarship to play for Martin Methodist next year.
The senior signed a letter of intent last month with the NAIA school, for which there is no designated signing period, unlike the NCAA.
Kimbrough has a career .481 batting average and .577 on-base percentage. She was named to the all-county team at last season’s 2012 Lauderdale County tournament.
Bryan App can be reached at 256-740-5730 or email@example.com. Follow @bappster on Twitter.