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Role reversal

In one year, Brian Bailey went from a ball handler expected to distribute the basketball to talented, more experienced teammates to Maplesville’s leading scorer that was expected to carry the team mentally and physically.

The adjustment didn’t happen overnight, but the junior point guard did enough for a young team to earn The Clanton Advertiser’s Basketball Player of the Year honors.

“I wanted him to be the team leader this season, take the most shots and create shots for others,” coach Eric Bailey said. “He had to adjust because, in the past, he didn’t have to do that.”

Brian Bailey was a sophomore on the 2007 Maplesville squad that featured senior starters Nick Andrews, Korey Hatcher, Vic Walls and Marcus Wilson. In 2008, Brian Bailey was surrounded with first-time starters Casey Atchison, Romeo Laister, Cameron Morrow and Josh Talley.

“I had to control the game,” said Brian Bailey, who averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and two steals for the Red Devils.