Deramus, Ivey lead Devils to new heights

Published 10:01 pm Monday, March 12, 2012

Difference makers: Marqueska Deramus, left, scored 401 points as Verbena’s girls basketball team enjoyed perhaps its best season ever, in coach Nicole Ivey’s first year. The Red Devils won their first county tournament title.

Nicole Ivey knew nothing about the Verbena girls basketball team until the new coach held an open tryout session.

Ivey became acquainted with Marqueska Deramus in a hurry.

It was obvious to Ivey how much Deramus’ teammates depended on and looked up to her—and how talented the senior center was.

“You started putting it together real quick,” Ivey said. “Get Marqueska the ball—that was the game plan.”

After perhaps the best season in the program’s history, Deramus is The Clanton Advertiser’s Girls Basketball Player of the Year for how she was able to grow into her role as the team’s star, and Ivey is the Coach of the Year for how she was able to get the most out of the players surrounding Deramus.

Deramus transferred to Verbena as a shy freshman. She will leave having scored 1,382 points in her career and 401 as a senior while leading the Red Devils to their first ever Chilton County Tournament championship.

She has scored as many as 31 points in a game but says her best game was because of an outstanding defensive effort.

“I like blocking shots more than anything,” she said.

Opposing teams this season knew their best chance to win was if Deramus was on the bench, so they would try to bait her into fouls, even using abusive language in an effort to get Deramus to retaliate.

She took the abuse, but Ivey said Deramus had a more difficult time when her teammates took a pounding.

“She’s very protective of her teammates,” Ivey said.

It was those teammates—especially a group of juniors including Lakeyn Edwards, Lacey Short, Hope Driver, Jameshia Green and Taylor Kohn—that helped Deramus and the program reach new heights.

“I think they’ve broken out of their shell,” Deramus said.

Their progression—similar to Deramus’—gives Ivey hope that the program can continue to be successful even without a player of Deramus’ caliber.

Boys all-area team

Parker Bryan / Jr. / Guard

Trey Bryant / Sr. / Guard

Dyquan Floyd / Sr. / Forward

Eddie Hubbard / Sr. / Forward

Anthony Johnson / Jr. / Forward

Girls all-area team

Ebony Childers / Sr. / Maplesville

Sharonda Cooper / Sr. / Thorsby

Lori Davis / Sr. / Billingsley

Marqueska Deramus / Sr./ Verbena

Shelby Lopez / Sr. / Jemison