Red Bay's Roberts Notches 800th Career Victory


                                                           By KEITH LETBETTER
                                              Red Bay News (Special to the AHSAA)

    Red Bay High School girls coach Donnie Roberts notched the 800th win of his long prep basketball coaching career Jan. 25 as the Lady Tigers beat Colbert Heights 64-37. The Lady Tigers improved to 22-2 this season with the win.
    Roberts, who has compiled an 800-346 overall record in his 41-year coaching career, is now the state’s career wins leader for girls basketball and the first in state history to win 800 games.  He will be inducted into the Alabama High School Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame in March as a member of the Class of 2014.

   “It’s not about me,” he said. “It’s about how fortunate my career has been at Red Bay and the 10 years Icoached at Tremont (Ms.). All I can do is thank the kids that played for me. They had a lot more to do with it than Idid.

   After earning a Master’s Degree from Mississippi State University, he returned to his alma mater, Tremont High School just across the state line from Red Bay and compiled a 142-127 record in the next 10 seasons. Roberts moved to Red Bay in 1983 and began working on the goal of making that first trip to Birmingham for the state playoffs.
    “I came here and took over a team that was 9-11 the year before. We had a real good year that first year and we went 19-5,” Roberts said.

    Roberts, who owns a 658-219 girls coaching record at Red Bay, led the Lady Tigers to state championships in 1987, 1993, 2001 and most recently directed Red Bay to the 2012 Class 2A state finals, a 54-49 loss to Section. Last year Roberts’ team won the Northwest Regional again and lost in the Final 48 semifinals.
     “It takes a combination of things to have a state championship program. It does take coaching, but it also takes pride in our program from our girls.”

      Roberts said that it also takes the involvement of the community.

“Everybody here is involved in it,”said Roberts. They back us and support us. The community likes to see us do well.

      Roberts said that over the years some of the best memories he has is that of having the opportunity to coach both of his daughters, Laura Beth and Leah.

“I think it’s rare to have coached two daughters and to have those two daughters on two different teams win state championships. I can tell you it’s a great experience.”




Madison Academy Ends Greensboro Boys’ Title Streak;


AHSAA Final 48 Championship Games Set For 5A, 3A Boys And Girls


     Day two of the AHSAA Final 48 Basketball Championships ended with a bang Wednesday as Madison Academy’s boys upended two-time defending Class 3A champion Greensboro. The Mustangs will take on Southside-Selma  in the finals and Lauderdale County and Holly Pond will battle for the 3A girls’ crown.

     In 5A, Wenonah’s boys and girls moved into the 5A championship games. The boys meet Center Point and the girls meet Faith Academy. Play continues Thursday as Classes 6A and 4A open play.


Madison Academy 65, Greensboro 57
Madison Academy freshman Joshua Langford’s 30 points and 16 rebounds lifted the Mustangs to a 65-57 win over Greensboro in the final game of Day 2.
     The loss ended Greensboro’s attempt of a three-peat. The Raiders won the Class 3A state championship in 2011 and 2012.     Langford was 9-of-11 at the foul line and 10-of-19 from the field. Teammate Nick Haas scored 13 points, hitting 3-of-4 from the 3-point line and 4-of-4 at the charity stripe.
     Greensboro (28-3) was led by Donald King’s 15 points. Keimondre Turner added 13 and Jamarcus Gray 12. Jimmie Taylor, the Raiders’ 6-foot-10 senior center who signed last November with Alabama, had six points, hitting 3-of-5 shots from the field. He cleared nine rebounds and blocked seven shots for Coach Marty Everett’s team.

    With the win, Coach Andy Blackston’s Mustangs (23-12) will face Southside-Selma (24-9) in the finals Saturday at 11 a.m.

Southside-Selma 60, Holly Pond 44
Southside-Selma clinched a berth in the state finals for the first time since 1985, beating Holly Pond 60-44.
     Jeffery Mack was one of four players for Southside (24-9) in double figures. He had 15 points and 13 rebounds. Jevon Hall added 13 points, Robert Sullivan 10 and Sammarkus Jones 11. Octavious Gulley also had nine points and 13 rebounds for coach Cedric Brown.
      Holly Pond (25-6), which led 27-23 at the half, got 14 points and 10 rebounds from Gunter Morris. Austin Smith and Colby Smith each added nine points for Coach Mitch Morris.
   Southside plays in the finals Saturday at 11 a.m.


Lauderdale County 71, Midfield 50
Lauderdale County downed Midfield 71-50 to the state finals for the 12th time in school history – an AHSAA state record for girls.
     The Tigers (32-5) have won nine state titles in 17 previous trips – both state records. The most recent state title was last year.
     Coach Brant Llewellyn’s team led 35-14 at the half thanks to a dominating inside game against the smaller Patriots (21-11) of Coach Charles Thomas.  Chatara Cox had 18 points and 11 rebounds and Makayla Liles had 10 points in the post.  Freshman guard Ivy Wallen added 16 points.
     Midfield got a big game from junior guard Gabby Nicholson who finished with 26 points. Dionnika Moore also had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
     Lauderdale County will face Holly Pond in the 3A finals Saturday at 9 a.m.


Holly Pond 38, Straughn 30
Holly Pond (29-5) outscored Straughn 18-6 in the final quarter to clinch the school’s first-ever berth in the state finals with a 38-30 win.
     The Broncos of Coach Scott Adams broke open a 26-26 tie with Meg Gambrill’s short jumper with 3:03 to play. By the time the Bulldogs (32-3) scored again with only 23 seconds remaining, Holly Pond had stretched its lead to 12 at 38-26.
     Gambrill finished with eight points, six steals and three assists. Natasha Holcombe led the Broncos with 12 points and five rebounds.
     Brittany Driver had 12 points for Straughn. Coach Scott Kinsaul’s Bulldogs were 10-of-12 at the foul line with Katelyn Kinsaul going 6-of-8 to finish with eight points and Driver was 4-of-4.

Wenonah 61, Paul Bryant 59
Wenonah (33-3) held off  a furious fourth-quarter rally by Paul Bryant to nip the Stampede 61-59 Wednesday.
     De’Runnya Wilson led Wenonah with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Justin Coleman added 11 points, three assists and was 8-of-8 at the foul line. Isaiah Maston also had 14 points.
     Dexter Hood and Kevin Holland each had 15 points for Paul Bryant (30-4). James Currington also had seven points and 12 rebounds for Coach Shon Peck-Love’s Stampede. 
     Bryant trailed 45-34 heading into the last quarter but out-scored Wenonah 26-16 in the final period and had a last-second 40-foot shot at the end that bounced off the rim.

     Wenonah will take on Center Point in the championship game Friday at 7 p.m.


Center Point 56, Faith Academy 39
Jeffery Hodge scored 16 points and Montego Hoskins had 15 as Center Point (26-7) downed Faith Academy 56-39.
     Hoskins also had 21 rebounds for Coach Rodney Chatman’s Eagles.
     James Davis had 15 points and Dylan Brown and Shawn Benard had nine each for Faith Academy (20-12).

Wenonah 55, Valley 46
Wenonah scored seven straight points in the fourth quarter to break open a tie game and ease into the Class 5A girls state finals with a 55-46 win over Valley.

     Shauntece Taylor’s 3-pointerl jump-started the late rally. She finished with a game-high 17 points, including three treys. Jemeka Holmes added 15 points and 11 rebounds, Kaitlyn Rogers 11 points and 17 rebounds and Aja Cumbie finished with 10 points and nine boards.
     Valley (29-3) was led by Audrianna Walker’s 13 points. Taylor Miller added nine on three 3-pointers. Diamond Walker also had 12 rebounds.

     The Dragons (29-6) will play Faith Academy (29-4) in the championship game Friday at 5 p.m.

Faith Academy 59, Brewer 43
Faith Academy forward Jasmine Rhodes scored 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lift the Rams to a 59-43 win over defending Class 5A state champion Brewer.
     The Rams (29-4) limited the Patriots (32-2) to just four points in the third quarter to break open a close game.
     Angel Carthen and Sydney Westry added 12 points for Coach Woodie Head’s Rams, and seventh-grader Lakhlian Rankins scored 11. Sierra Pittman also had five assists.
     Brewer center Riley Northway had 20 points and 14 rebounds and Savana Flack added nine points.