Two area basketball standouts won TSSAA Miss Basketball awards on Saturday in Murphy Center.
Riverdale senior Alexa Middleton took home the honor for Class AAA and Cannon County senior Abbey Sissom won the honor for Class AA.
Middleton, a Tennessee signee, averaged 17.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game for the Lady Warriors this season.
“It feels good and it’s quite an honor,” Middleton said. “I had no idea. I knew the other two girls out there were great players, great girls. I’ve played against both of them and they were just as deserving as me. I’m glad I got to be able to stand out there with them. It means a lot to me.”
Blackman’s Crystal Dangerfield and Columbia’s Keiana Gilbert were the other two finalists for the award.
“It’s an incredible honor for her,” Riverdale coach Cory Barrett said. “She’s the best basketball player I’ve ever coached and this award shows how valuable she was to our program.”
Middleton, who was an all-state selection as a freshmen, sophomore and junior, is the third person from Riverdale to win the award, joining Shacobia Barbee (2011, 2012) and Anne Marie Lanning (2007). No other Rutherford County school has ever had a Miss Basketball winner.
“It’s pretty cool,” Middleton said about joining Barbee and Lanning as past Riverdale winners. “I know Anne Marie and (Barbee) is one of my best friends. I’m just honored.”
Middleton was also named a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American and a McDonald’s All-American.
Sissom, who is an MTSU signee, led the area in scoring at 24.4 points per game and also averaged 4.5 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. It was the third time she was a finalist for the award in Class AA. She joined Julie Powell (1989, 1990) as the only other Miss Basketball winner from Cannon County.
“It feels great to be up there and get recognized like that,” Sissom said. “There were two other great athletes up there so this means a lot.”
The other finalists in Class AA were Creek Wood’s Rachel Bell and Grainger’s Allison Hodge.