Parker Boys, Wenonah Girls Hold On For 5A Titles;
Midfield, Lauderdale County, Dallas County, Oneonta Capture Crowns
Both the Parker boys and Wenonah girls withstood fierce battles to win Class 5A state titles Saturday night in the 2014 AHSAA Final 48 State Basketball Championships at Birmingham’s BJCC Arena. Parker beat cross-town rival Ramsay and Wenonah held off Sylacauga in the exciting games.
Earlier in the day, Midfield’s boys and Lauderdale County’s girls rolled to big wins and captured state titles in Class 3A, and Dallas County took a hard-fought overtime victory in the Class 4A boys’ title game and the Oneonta Redskins claimed their second straight Class 4A girls’ championship.
More than 17,000 fans attended Saturday’s session with 61,196 for the week. Approximately 15,000 attended the Parker-Ramsay game.
CLASS 5A BOYS’ FINALS
Parker 56, Ramsay 46
Parker’s Thundering Herd closed out the season with the school’s first state championship since 1975.
Coach Reginald McGary’s Herd (23-6) used a smothering defensive effort and a 32-of-46 free-throw shooting performance to notch the title. Tournament MVP Marquell Oliver had 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots to lead Parker. Omari Williams added 10 points and Alontae Johnson nine. Oliver was 8-of-12 at the foul line, Williams was 6-of-8 and Bryan Dawkins scored eight points on a perfect 8-of-8 free-throw shooting effort.
Ramsay (22-14), coached by Kelly Cheatham, was led by Mitchell Baldwin’s 11-point, 11-rebound performance. Jordan Millsap added 10 points.
The Parker championship came on the 50th anniversary of the Thundering Herd’s 1964 National Black High School Championship won at Tennessee State University.
Class 5A Boys’ All-State Tourney Team
Marquell Oliver, Parker (MVP); Omari Williams, Parker; Alontae Johnson, Parker; Mitchell Baldwin, Ramsay; Jordan Millsap, Ramsay; Jevaris Richey, Central-Tuscaloosa.
CLASS 5A GIRLS’ FINALS
Wenonah 57, Sylacauga 46
Wenonah senior guard Jameka Holmes scored 25 points with 15 coming on clutch free-throw shooting in the Lady Dragons’ victory over Sylacauga.
Holmes, who was named the tourney MVP, was 13-of-16 in the second half at the charity stripe as Wenonah (27-7), held off a strong challenge from the Sylacauga Aggies (28-4). Holmes also had six steals.
Coach Emanuel Bell’s Dragons also got 12 points from Aja Cumbie and 10 from Kaitlyn Rodgers. Cumbie also had 11 rebounds.
Sylacauga senior Shakayla Thomas had 31 points for Coach Derrick Crawford’s Aggies. She was 7-of-10 at the foul line, had four steals, 15 rebounds and two blocked shots. She finished the tourney with 71 points in two games. Tierra Dark also had nine points and six assists.
Wenonah lost in the state finals last season to Faith Academy. The Dragons have now won five state girls’ titles, the last coming in 2004.
Class 5A Girls’ All-State Tourney Team
Jameka Holmes, Wenonah (MVP); Kaitlyn Rodgers, Wenonah; Aja Cumbie, Wenonah; Shakayla Thomas, Sylacauga; Tierra Dark, Sylacauga; Jamya Williams, B.C. Rain; Riley Northway, Brewer.
CLASS 3A BOYS’ FINALS
Midfield 62, Barbour County 40
Midfield won its second state championship in three years with its victory over Barbour County.
Tournament MVP Aaron Gaines scored 22 points, sinking four 3-pointers. Coach Darrell Barber’s Patriots (26-7) also got strong scoring from Alvin Murry and Jermaine Turner, who added 15 and 11 points respectively. Murry also had 10 rebounds and Joseph Murry added nine rebounds and eight points.
Barbour County (22-12), coached by the AHSAA’s winningest active boys basketball coach Raymond White, were paced by Emanuel Thompson’s 15 points. He had 13 in the second half. James Grubbs added 11.
The Patriots, who won the 4A state title in 2012, out-rebounded Barbour County 48-25.
Class 3A Boys’ All-State Tourney Team
Aaron Gaines, Midfield (MVP); Jermaine Turner, Midfield; Alvin Murry, Midfield; James Grubbs, Barbour County; Emanuel Thompson, Barbour County; Daniel Heard, Saks; Nathan Cothron, Madison Academy.
CLASS 3A GIRLS’ FINALS
Lauderdale County 56, Holly Pond 35
With its win over Holly Pond, Lauderdale County (38-0) became the first high school in AHSAA history to win 11 girls state basketball championships.
The 11 girls’ state titles, which date back to 1987, moved Coach Brant Llewellyn’s girls past the R.C. Hatch boys. Hatch has won 10 boys’ championships and one girls’ championship.
Tournament MVP Ivy Wallen scored 17 points and handed out six assists to lead the Lady Tigers. Chatara Cox added 11 points with Emma Wallen and Makayla Liles each scoring eight. Liles also had a game-high 10 rebounds. Emma, Ivy and Ella Wallen are sophomore triplets for Lauderdale County. Ella also had three points and four rebounds.
The victory closed out a perfect season and extended Lauderdale County’s current winning streak to 45 games. The 38 wins also set a girls’ state record for most wins in a season.
Holly Pond (32-4), coached by Scott Adams, was led by Rachel Finley’s 17 points and seven rebounds. Melissa Cling man added six points.
Class 3A Girls’ All-State Tourney Team
Ivy Wallen, Lauderdale County (MVP); Chatara Cox, Lauderdale County; Makayla Liles, Lauderdale County; Rachel Finley, Holly Pond; Natasha Holcombe, Holly Pond; Jacie Williamson, Straughn.
CLASS 4A BOYS’ FINALS
Dallas County 51, J.O. Johnson 48 (OT)
Dallas County senior center William Lee sank a 3-pointer to tie the game and send it into overtime, then won it with three free throws with five seconds left in the extra period after being fouled while attempting a desperation 3-point shot. Lee calmly sank all three free throws to give the Hornets (29-3) their first state basketball title.
Lee, who was named the tournament MVP, finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots for Coach Willie Moore. Jerrod Moorer added 13 points and Keyonis Phillips added seven for Dallas County.
J.O. Johnson (25-6) was paced by Lionel Love’s 18 points and 12 by John Petty. Love also had seven rebounds and Petty had three steals.
Dallas County trailed 29-18 heading into the fourth quarter but outscored the Jaguars 26-15 in the fourth period to tie the game at 44.
Coach Jack Doss, who recorded the 700th win of his prep coaching career earlier this season, was in his first year at Johnson. He led Butler to five state titles and Hayes to two in his legendary career.
Class 4A Boys’ All-State Tourney Team
William Lee, Dallas County (MVP); Jerrod Moorer, Dallas County; John Petty, J.O. Johnson; Lionel Love, J.O. Johnson; Freddie Smith, Wilcox Central; Sean Edwards, Madison County.
Class 4A GIRLs’ Finals
Oneonta 51 , Calera 39
Defending Class 4A state champion Oneonta outscored Calera 21-6 in the final quarter to post a come-from-behind win and capture their second straight title.
Tournament MVP Destiney Elliott led Oneonta (33-6) with 20 points and 18 rebounds, including eight in the final period. Two buckets by Madison Boyd near the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter extended a three-point Oneonta lead to seven. The Eagles (26-5) never fully recovered. Boyd finished with 12 points and Abby Blackwood had 14 for Coach Amber Deline’s Redskins.
Calera, coached by James Knowles, led 22-20 at the half and 33-30 after three quarters. Breonna Caldwell scored 11 points, Tyesha Caldwell and A’kia Harris added 10 points each for the Eagles. Harris also had 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. Caldwell sank two 3-pointers.
The 33 wins for Oneonta was their third consecutive 30-win season.
Class 4A Girls’ All-State Tourney Team
Destiney Elliott, Oneonta (MVP); Madison Boyd, Oneonta; Abby Blackwood, Oneonta; Tyesha Haynes, Calera; A’Kia Harris, Calera; Quanetria Bolton, Anniston.