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Wallace State men's basketball has established itself as one of the top programs in the state after winning another state championship during the 2013-14 season. Wallace State men's basketball has now captured three Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC)/Region 22 state tournament championships in the last five years and two in the last three after the Lions put together one of their best campaigns ever during the 2013-14 season.
Wallace State, which finished with a 28-7 record, earned the ACCC regular-season championship, won the conference tournament title and advanced to the second round of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I national tournament under coach John Meeks. The Lions, who earned a top seed at the conference tournament for the first time in six seasons, reeled off 14 wins a row in a stretch between Dec. 19-Feb. 13 and gave opponents fits all season.
The Lions were paced by the backcourt trio of Jestin Lewis, Lee Moore and Marcus Johnson all season.
Lewis finished his two-year career as one of the most prolific scorers in school history. He averaged a team-high 19 points per game, good for third in the conference, and added team-bests 127 assists and 64 steals. Lewis, a Virginia native, was a NJCAA Region 22 first-team selection for his regular-season work and an ACCC/Region 22 All-Tournament member after tying a career-high with 31 points in the Lions' championship-clinching title game versus rival Shelton State. As a freshman at Wallace State, Lewis averaged 17.1 points and was second-team All-Region and a first-team All-ACCC North Division selection.
Moore, a freshman from Kennesaw, Ga., was just as hard to defend for Wallace State opponents. Moore finished with 18 points per game and a team-high 7.2 rebounds. He was also named to the NJCAA Region 22 first team and was the 2014 ACCC/Region 22 tournament MVP.
Johnson, one of Wallace State's unquestioned leaders during the 2013-14 season, battled a hip injury down the stretch, but still poured in 13.5 points per game at point guard and was named to the All-Tournament team.
After winning the state championship in early March, Wallace State won its NJCAA Division I tournament opener in thrilling fashion in Hutchinson, Kansas, knocking off Westchester (N.Y.) CC 101-99 in double overtime. Lewis and Moore each had 28 points in the victory. The Lions were eliminated in their second-round game, losing to Vincennes (Ind.) University.
Other key contributors for Wallace State during another championship season included forward Cody Farley, who finished with 7.6 points and 4.7 rebounds, All-Tournament selection Marcus Burwell, X-keem Jones, Quinterian McConico and Sean Anthony.
After four seasons at Wallace State, Meeks has developed into one of the most successful coaches in the conference, compiling an 82-51 record. The 31-year-old has won two state/region championships with the Lions and was named the 2014 ACCC Coach of the Year.
Before earning the Wallace State helm, Meeks spent two seasons as the head man at Louisburg College in North Carolina, where he went 51-15 and guided the Hurricanes to the NJCAA Division II championship, where they won their first ever national tournament game. Meeks, who has a 132-67 career record in six seasons between his two head coaching stops, was also selected as the 2010 NJCAA District 15 Coach of the Year.
Meeks' entire coaching career spans 13 seasons and includes assistant stops at Bluefield College in Virginia and three years at NAIA Lee University (Tenn.). He has coached six NAIA All-Americans, one NJCAA All-American, 11 All-Conference players, five conference MVPs, six All-Region performers and one defensive player of the year.
Wallace State also won state championships in 2012 and 2010. In 2012, the Lions reeled off four wins in four days as a No. 6 seed at the 2012 ACCC tournament and prevailed in a consolation game at the national tournament. In 2010, the Lions won their first state championship and made their first national tournament appearance in coach Allen Sharpe's final season in Hanceville, finishing fifth in the country.
Wallace State basketball set school records for wins (32) during the 2009-10 and 2007-08 seasons, was seventh in the preseason rankings by The Sporting News in 2009-10 and has been ranked No. 1 in the nation once (2007-08). The program has also produced two first-team All-Americans in Cory Cooperwood (2006-07, 2007-08) and L.A. Farmer (2009-10).
For more information about the Wallace State basketball program, contact Coach John Meeks at 256-352-8365 or at John.Meeks@wallacestate.edu.
*Coach Meeks would like to thank this year's sponsors of Wallace State basketball. They include: Dairy Queen in Hanceville; Sonic in Cullman; Ryan's in Cullman; Hardee's in Hanceville; Captain D's in Cullman; Domino's Pizza in Hanceville; Huddle House in Hanceville; McDonalds in Hanceville; Zaxby's in Cullman; Ruby Tuesday in Cullman; Arby's in Cullman (Cherokee Ave.); Taco Bell in Cullman (Hwy. 157 location); Bojangles in Cullman; K-May Donuts in Cullman; Pasquale's Pizza in Cullman and Chick-Fil-A in Cullman.