Final 48 Championship Games Set For Classes 1A, 2A
The AHSAA Final 48 State Basketball Championships got underway Tuesday at Birmingham’s BJCC Arena as defending champ St. Jude and Parrish won in Class 1A boys’ action. Other semifinals winners included defending champ Brantley and Loachapoka in 1A girls, Elba and Luverne in Class 2A boys, and defending champ Woodland and Red Bay in Class 2A girls.
Class 1A Boys
Parrish 60, Sunshine 46
Parrish (28-2) clinched spot in the Class 1A boys’ finals with a 60-60-46 win over Sunshine (25-3).
Treyvon Chatman scored 16 points and 6-foot-8 senior Labarrius Hill added 14 for the Tornadoes of Coach Heath Burns. Jermichael Harris also had eight points and 12 rebounds.
Pacing Sunshine, coached by Walter Jones, was Cletrell Pope. The 6-foot-6 junior had a game-high 14 rebounds and 16 points. Keonta Edwards also had six points and nine rebounds.
The Class 1A finals will be played Friday at 11 a.m.
St. Jude 66, Sacred Heart 51
Coach Earl Taylor’s defending Class 1A state champion Pirates led by 19 at the half before Sacred Heart clawed back to make it much closer most of the second half.
Three players registered double-doubles for St. Jude (23-7). Tommy Burton, a 6-foot-8 senior center, led with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Senior 6-4 forward Andrew Rogers added 16 points and 10 rebounds, and 6-6 junior Jacob Winston had 16 points and a game-high 13 boards.
Sacred Heart (25-7) had a double-double of its own with Diante Wood sinking 16 points and clearing 12 rebounds. Coach Ralpheal Graves’ Cardinals also had 14 points from D.J. Heath and 10 from Quendarius Williams.
St. Jude faces Parrish in the 1A finals Friday at 11 a.m.
Class 1A Girls
Brantley 56, Falkville 54
Defending Class 1A state champion Brantley prevented an upset when Peyton Hill came up with a steal in the final second to seal a 56-54 semifinal win.
The Bulldogs (26-5) advance to the championship game Friday at 9 a.m.
Payton Burnett led Brantley, coached by Andrew Kilcrease, with 18 points and seven bounds. Raven Davis added 12 points and Amahni Upshaw, who put the Bulldogs ahead by two with a free throw with 21 seconds remaining, had 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. She also had four assists.
Falkville (21-8), coached by Jeff Underwood, was led by Autumn Eddy’s 13 points. Emily Mickelson and MaKenzie Newman added 11 each. All three had five rebounds each.
Loachapoka 60, Woodville 50
Loachapoka went on a 17-2 run in the first half to jump out to a big lead and then held off a furious fourth-quarter Woodville rally to win 60-50 in the Class 1A Girls Semifinals.
The Indians (27-2), coached by Coach Anthony Edwards, advance to the state finals Friday to face defending champion Brantley (26-5) at 9 a.m.
Keremi Vinson led the way with 19 points and 18 rebounds. Nautika Philpot added 13 points and Normesha Pitts had nine. Teva Stinson also had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Woodville (23-9), coached by Stormy Stevens, was paced by Kelsi Sisk and Caytie Dixson. Sisk had 16 points, 16 rebounds and five assists, and Dixson had 12 points including four 3-point goals. The Panthers were 8-of-24 on 3-point goals.
CLASS 2A BOYS
Elba 61, Tanner 52
Elba sank its free throws down the stretch to nip Tanner in the first 2A boys’ semifinal.
The Tigers (26-2), coached by Karl Bledsoe got a huge performance from 6-foot-4 center Cobe Goosby. The senior finished with 23 points including 15-of-19 at the foul line. Elba finished 23-of-34 for the game. Goosby also pulled down 17 rebounds and had three steals. Teammates Nicholas Green and Martavious Gray added 11 points each. Green cleared 15 rebounds, helping the Tigers hold a 50-32 rebound advance.
Defending state Tanner (20-9), coached by Chris Whitt, was led by junior guard Johnathan Fletcher’s 27 points. Fletcher sank 5-of-12 3-pointers attempted. Desmond Love and Ibrahim White added 10 points each.
Elba meets the winner of the Luverne-Lanett semifinal game played late Tuesday night in the state championship game Friday at 3 p.m.
Luverne 58, Lanett 43
Luverne downed Lanett in the final game of the day to advance to the finals. The Tigers (25-2) play Wiregrass rival Elba in the finals. The two teams met twice this season with Luverne winning both times.
Donta’ Hall, Dorsey’s 6-foot-9 junior center, was officially credited with a state-tournament record 11 blocked shots to lead Luverne. He also had eight points and 12 rebounds. DeAnthony Rutledge and Quindarius Thagard added 13 points each and Preston Sankey had 10. Luverne finished 18-of-28 at the foul line and Lanett did not make a free throw attempt all night.
Lanett (22-4), coached by Richard Carter, was led by Justin Jones’ nine points and eight by Anquaevious Pollard. Pollard also had a team high eight rebounds.
CLASS 2A GIRLS
Red Bay 54, Samson 38
Red Bay shot a blistering 55 percent from the field in the first half and cruised to the win over Samson.
The Tigers (32-3), coached by the state’s all-time wins leader for girls basketball Donnie Roberts (815 victories), built a 32-17 lead by intermission. Kasey Sparks scored 22 points with an 8-of-15 shooting performance from the field and 6-of-10 at the foul line. Allie Kennedy chipped in 11 points and five rebounds, and Darby Madden had seven points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Samson (28-2), coached by Chad McKnight, was paced by LaTascya Duff’s 14 points. Janesha Green also had eight points and a game-leading 14 rebounds, and LaTora Duff had nine points.
Woodland 77, Montgomery Academy 52
Senior point guard Leah Strain scored 35 points to lead defending Class 2A state girls basketball champion Woodland (33-1) back into the finals as the Bobcats downed Montgomery Academy.
Strain’s 35 points also pushed her to second on the AHSAA All-Time Career Scoring Leader list – pushing her ahead of West Morgan’s Hayden Hamby (4,506 points) and second now to her older sister Courtney Strain, who scored 5,283 points in a career that stretched from 2004-10. Hamby finished her career in 2012. Leah Strain had 4,499 points coming into the semifinals and now has 4,534 heading into Friday’s 1 p.m. finals versus Red Bay (32-3).
Leah Strain was 12-of-25 from the field, 10-of-18 on free throws, grabbed 15 rebounds, four steals and nine assists versus the Eagles (24-6). Coach Larry Strain, the father of Leah, also got 11 points from Shayln Strain, 10 each from Shanna Strain and Jaide Walker. Shalyn, who had 11 rebounds, and Shanna are twins and nieces.
Jade Brooks led Montgomery Academy, coached by Barry Fencher, with 13 points. Kayla White added nine points and 14 rebounds.