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.”




J.O. Johnson, Madison Co., Oneonta, Clarke Co. Win In 4A

Sparkman, Mountain Brook Boys & Hoover, Blount Girls Advance To 6A Finals

     J.O. Johnson and Madison County moved to the Class 4A boys title game as did the Oneonta and Clarke County 4A girls Thursday in day three of the AHSAA Final 48 Basketball Championships at the BJCC Arena in Birmingham.
    Sparkman, grabbing an overtime victory, moved into the 6A boys finale against Mountain Brook and
Hoover’s exciting semi-final win set up a Class 6A girls title game with Blount.


J.O. Johnson 69, Handley 62
J.O. Johnson overcame a 10-point halftime deficit with a tenacious defense in the second half to beat Handley 69-62 in Thursday's final game.
    Keon Ray’s 17 points paced Coach Maurice Ford’s Jaguars (22-8). Ray also had three of the 15 steals forced by Johnson’s defense and cleared five rebounds.  Teammates Charles Woodard and Lionel Love added 11 points each.
    Travius Dunson poured in 32 points for Handley (26-8) with 18 coming in the first half as the Tigers built a 34-24 lead.   He also had four assists and three steals.  Semaj Nunn added nine points.
   Handley made just 21-of-39 free throws and had 18 turnovers while Johnson was 20-of-30 at the foul line.
    J.O. Johnson advances to Saturday’s 3 p.m. Class 4A boys state championship game aganst Madison County. 


Madison County 71, Escambia County 68
 Madison County senior forward Monterio Burchfield scored 25 points and cleared 22 rebounds to pace the Tigers (28-4) to a 71-68 win over Escambia County (21-8).
Burchfield had 12 offensive rebounds and was a key factor in Madison County’s ability to overcome an 18-for-35 team free-throw shooting performance.
Tyrell Clark added 18 points and Seab Webster scored 15 for Coach Bubba Webster’s Tigers.
Leading Escambia County was Fred Knight with 20 points and Tyrell Ford with 19. The Blue Devils of Coach Earlando Courtney were 17-of-24 at the foul line but were out-rebounded 52-29 on the night.
Madison County takes on the winner of the J.O. Johnson in the finals Saturday at 3 p.m.

Oneonta 50, Dadeville 34
Oneonta junior forward Destiney Elliott scored 23 points and collected 21 rebounds in the and  advances to the Class 4A girls championship game.
     Elliott had 11 offensive rebounds and 10 defensive boards, was 6-of-6 from the foul line and also had three steals for Coach Amber Deline’s team.  Abby Blackwood also had 11 points and Maddie Boyd had seven. Dimonique Sanders also cleared eight rebounds.
    Janeisha Moss had nine points and Rae Williams scored seven to pace Dadeville (20-10), coached by Mitch Joiner.
    Oneonta will now play Clarke County (28-4) Saturday at 1 p.m. in the finals.

Clarke County 55, Madison County 51
     Clarke County outscored Madison County 23-14 in the final period to beat the Tigers 55-51 in the Class 4A semifinals.
     The Bulldogs (28-4), coached by Tori Johnson, were led by Rachel Brownlee and Jordan Hollins with 14 and 13 points, respectively. K’Dejah Arnold had seven points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Hannah Nichols led Madison County (24-7) with 16 points. Madison Baggett added 14 points and four steals and Beth Maples scored 12 points.
     Clarke County now advances to the state finals, set Saturday at 1 p.m., for the first time since winning the 1991 Class 3A state title.

Sparkman 79, Carver-Montgomery 68 (OT)
     Sparkman (29-7) outscored defending state champion Carver-Montgomery 20-9 in overtime Thursday to knock off the Wolverines 79-68 in the Class 6A Boys semifinals.
     The Senators of Coach Jamie Coggins led 59-57 in regulation before Carver senior Jeremy Johnson put back a missed shot just before the buzzer to tie the game. In the extra period, however, Sparkman’s Jason Russell and Lamonte Turner hit back-to-back treys to give the Senators the lead they never relinquished.
     Sparkman was 17-of-24 at the foul line for the game and Carver 8-of-18.
     Pacing the Senators offensively was Turner with 27 points. He was a perfect 6-of-6 at the foul line, had three steals, six rebounds and three treys. Russell added 15 points, Will Crowell 14 and Rakiya Battle 11.
     Johnson led Coach James Jackson’s Wolverines with 22 points, four steals and four rebounds. Demetrius Houston chipped in 12 points.
     Sparkman will face Mountain Brook in the 6A finals Saturday at 7.

Mountain Brook 49, Blount 46
     Mountain Brook advanced to the Class 6A boys’ state finals Thursday with a 49-46 win over Blount.
     The Spartans (29-6) saw a 10-point fourth-quarter lead dissolve as Blount battled back late. Coach Bucky McMillan’s team was 20-of-39 at the foul line for the game but made just enough free throws down the stretch to pull out the win.
     Patrick Keim made two critical free throws in the last 27 seconds for Mountain Brook and finished with five points and three steals. Eric Raszela led the Spartans with 11 points. Brothers Malek Grant and Tawarren Grant added 10 points each. Malek also had a team-leading seven rebounds.
     John Arnold had 12 points, Demetrius Caldwell 11 and Divine Myles 10 for Blount (21-7). JaMarcus King led a strong defensive effort with five steals. Myles also had four as Coach Jeffery Pope’s Leopards forced 31 Mountain Brook turnovers.

Hoover 37, Carver-Montgomery 35

     Senior Courtney Hunter sank two free throws with 7.7 seconds left to give defending state champion Hoover a 37-35 win over Carver-Montgomery.
     The victory sends the Lady Bucs (27-4) into the 6A championship game for the fifth straight year. Coach Tiffany Frederick’s team will face Blount (29-4) Saturday at 5 p.m.
     Hunter finished with five points. Senior Mar’Ques Webb, who set the Final 48 state tournament record for rebounds in a game (30) and a tournament (51) while playing for Brewbaker Tech as a sophomore, pulled down 20 rebounds. She has 16 in two Final 48 games last year and now has 87 in five Final 48 games in her career with one more to play.
     Kendra Fowler, Taja-Wana Russell, Pamela Allen and Tatyana Calhoun each scored seven points for Carver (26-3), coached by Yvonne Simmons. The Wolverines were just 8-of-23 from the foul line and Hoover was 14-of-20.

Blount 50, Huntsville 28
     Blount out-rebounded Huntsville 45-28 in the semifinals to advance to the state finals with a 50-28 win.
     Coach Jarvis Wilson’s Leopards (29-4) had six girls with six rebounds or more and Alexis Smith had a game-high 11. Laporsche Grissett scored 18 points, Whytney Singleton added 10, Cierra Johnson nine and Priscella Hall eight.
     Shaquera Wade led Coach Krystle Johnson’s Panthers (30-7) with 12 points.