Dallas Co., Johnson Boys; Calera, Oneonta Girls 4A Finalists;
Mountain Brook, Blount, Shades Valley, Sparkman Win In 6A
Dallas County and J.O. Johnson will meet in the Class 4A boys’ title game while defending champion Oneonta and Calera will battle in the girls’ finals following semifinals victories on day two of the AHSAA Final 48 State Basketball Championships Wednesday at Birmingham’s BJCC Arena.
In Class 6A games earlier in the day, Shades Valley and Sparkman advanced to the girls’ championship game as did the boys’ teams from Blount and Mountain Brook, the defending champs.
CLASS 4A BOYS
Dallas County 53, Madison County 52 (OT)
Dallas County 6-foot-9 senior center William Lee scored 25 points, had 12 rebounds and four blocked shots against defending state champion Madison County. But, it was his final defensive stand that forced an errant pass from underneath the Tigers’ basket to seal the overtime win. A shot under the basket was diverted by Lee’s outstretched arms and the pass bounced loose as the buzzer sounded the end.
The nip-and-tuck game was tied at 45 all at the end of regulation.
Lee was also 9-of-11 at the foul line for Dallas County (28-3), which advances to face J.O. Johnson Saturday at 11 a.m. in the finals. Teammate Jarrod Moorer added 13 points and three steals. He was 5-of-13 at the foul line, hitting two free throws with 23 seconds left that put Coach Willie Moore’s Hornets up 53-50. Marquise Irvin’s lay-up for Madison County cut it to one.
A missed Dallas County free throw with seven seconds left was rebounded by Madison County and set up Lee’s big defensive play.
Madison County (24-6), coached by Bubba Webster, was led by Sean Edwards’ 17 points. Tyrell Clary added nine points and Riley Webster added eight. The Tigers were 15-of-20 at the foul line but lost the rebound battle 30-22.
J.O. Johnson 75, Wilcox Central 38
J.O. Johnson downed Wilcox Central 75-38 to claim a berth in the finals for the second year in a row. Madison County beat Johnson in last year’s finals 28-25.
John Petty had 21 points, Lionel Love 18, Damione Freeman 12 and Terrion Bone 10 in the balanced Jaguars attack. Coach Jack Doss, in his first season as head coach at Butler after winning five state titles at Butler and two at Hayes, saw his team shoot a blistering 61.2 percent from the field and outscore Wilcox (24-8) 32-12 in the second half.
Coach Mark Dukes’ Jags were paced by Freddie Smith’s 17 points.
CLASS 4A GIRLS
Calera 45, Anniston 44
Tyesha Haynes rebounded a missed shot and made the short put-back count as Calera downed Anniston in dramatic fashion.
Haynes, who finished with 24 points for Coach James Knowles’ Eagles (26-4), also made two key free throws with 1:01 left to pull her team within one at 44-43.
Anniston’s 6-foot-2 senior Quanetria Bolton kept the Bulldogs (25-6) of Coach Eddie Bullock close with a 29-point, 19-rebound performance. She was also 10-of-11 at the foul line. Marticia Jackson had eight points for Anniston, including a 3-point goal that put her team ahead 44-41 with 1:15 left.
Breonna Caldwell and A’Kia Harris added six points each for Calera. Harris also had seven rebounds and Keyanna Gayden had nine.
Calera will play defending champion Oneonta in the 4A finals at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Oneonta 55, Charles Henderson 28
Senior Destiney Elliott scored 29 points and cleared 14 rebounds and teammate Abby Blackwood added 20 points to lead Oneonta over Charles Henderson.
Charles Henderson (21-3), making its first Final 48 appearance, was led by India Blakely’s 14 points and nine rebounds. Kyra Scott also had 12 points for Coach Dyneshia Jones’ Trojans.
The Lady Redskins (32-6), coached by Amber Deline, will play in the finals Saturday at 9 a.m.
CLASS 6A BOYS
Mountain Brook 49, Carver-Montgomery 35
Mountain Brook (33-3) advanced with a 49-38 victory over Carver-Montgomery. The Spartans’ tenacious defense limited the Wolverines (26-5) to just 25-percent shooting and only six made field goals in the second half. Coach Bucky McMillan’s squad faces Blount (27-3) in the championship game Friday night at 7.
Inspired by a large Mountain Brook crowd, the Spartans forced 16 turnovers with Jack Kline and Ben Shearer making three steals each. Kline finished with nine points, Tawarren Grant and Alex Peters had 11 each and Patrick Keim added 10. Peters also had eight rebounds and Keim had four assists.
Carver, coached by James Jackson, was led by Demetrius Houston’s 16 points. Harold Cardwell had nine points and eight rebounds.
Blount 68, Bessemer City 57
Demetrius Caldwell’s 23 points helped Blount (27-3) top Bessemer City as the Leopards rolled into the Class 6A finals.
Caldwell was 8-of-12 at the foul line and sank three 3-pointers for Coach Jeffery Pope’s Leopards. Teammate Divine Myles added 16 points and five assists and Reginald Harbin had nine points and nine rebounds.
Bessemer City (19-8), coached by Ontario Tillman, was led by Micah Fuller’s 17 points. He also sank three treys. Dusharme’ Jones added 14 points, Carlos Bell had nine points and Alexander Johnson pulled down nine rebounds for the Tigers.
Class 6A Girls
Shades Valley 55, Jeff Davis 34
Morgan William scored 18 points as Shades Valley (30-4) beat Jeff Davis to reach the Class 6A finals. The senior also had four steals and was 6-of-8 at the foul line for Coach Tonya Hunter’s team. Frantisha Tyson added 10 points and Aylese Givens had eight points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Jeff Davis (24-7), coached by LaKenya Knight, was led by Lavarsha Thigpen’s 13 points and 11 rebounds. Jasmine Walker and Kayla Jackson had six points each, and Walker also had 10 rebounds.
Heading into the state finals brought back some fond memories for Shades Valley’s Coach Hunter. She played in the finals as a player 20 years ago in the first Final 48 State Tourney at the BJCC. She helped Eufaula win the 5A title with a win over Wenonah.
Shades Valley will meet Sparkman in the finals Friday at 5 p.m.
Sparkman 56, Blount 45
Alexis Jennings scored 18 points and Toni Brewer 17 to pace coach Patrick Delay’s Sparkman Senators (33-2) to a 56-45 win over Blount (31-4).
Jennings was 8-of-8 at the foul line as Sparkman finished 16-of-23 as a team. She also had eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Brewer had a team-high nine boards.
Cierra Johnson led Blount with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Coach Jarvis Wilson’s Leopards also got 10 points from Whytney Singleton and eight from Tyler Phelion.