MONTGOMERY – Midfield High School has been fined and placed on probation for one year for the boys’ basketball exceeding the maximum number of contests allowed in the regular season. The school self-reported the violation.
Furthermore, all regular-season contests the boys’ varsity basketball program played and won after exceeding the maximum number allowed must be forfeited. Accordingly, the AHSAA Restitution rule requires the basketball team to sit out the same number of contests in which they played ineligibly. On page 27 of the AHSAA 2017-18 Sports Book, it states in item 2: Schools are permitted to play (a maximum) 20 regular-season games and (unlimited contests) in three tournaments prior to area, sub-regional, regional and State Finals play.
Restitution begins immediately. Midfield, the Area 8 tournament champion, will not participate in the Class 3A sub-regional playoff game versus Area 7 tournament runner-up American Christian. As a result, American Christian will advance to the Central Regional Tournament.
The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.
MONTGOMERY – Selma High School girls’ coach Anthony Harris saw his Class 6A Lady Saints beat Central-Tuscaloosa 58-56 at the buzzer when Kynadra Lewis nailed a lay-up in overtime.
The shot sealed Harris’ 399th career coaching win at Selma and landed the coach and his team in the AHSAA Basketball Spotlight this week. The Lady Saints captured win 400 the next night with a victory over rival Southside.
The victory also improved Selma to 22-4 on the year – clinching a 20-win season for the 15th time in Harris’ 20-year coaching tenure. With an overall record of 400-96 heading into the area tournament this week, he has seen his share of buzzer beaters during that span.
He’s been on both sides of such dramatic finishes – and still finds them exciting.
As the seconds ticked away, he said was concerned that his clock was going to run out. “Lewis picked it up and laid it up,” Harris told the Selma Times-Journal. “I turned my head away because I thought the time was going to run out.”
The victory avenged an earlier 53-35 setback to the Falcons.
“We knew it was going to be a test, and I wanted it to be a test,” Harris said. “It got a little tough for us, but we told them to never quit.”
The milestone Selma victory edged out an amazing shooting performance by defending Class 3A state girls’ champion Locust Fork. Opening play in the Class 3A, Area 11 tournament Monday night, Coach Barbara Roy’s Lady Hornets sank an AHSAA single-game state girls’ basketball record 20 3-point goals in a 95-36 win over Blount County rival J.B. Pennington.
Eight different girls sank at least one 3-pointer with Rachael Baker and Carissa Horton making four each, Jayleigh Tawbush and Hannah Armstrong sinking three apiece. Locust Fork shot 64.5% from the 3-point arc for the game, another AHSAA single-game record, nailing 20 on just 31 attempts.
The previous record was 19 3-point goals made by North Sand Mountain (2011), Clay-Chalkville (2009) and Cold Springs (1999).
In other outstanding performances reported:
QUA’DARIUS PETERSON, HOUSTON COUNTY: Scored 21 points and had 12 rebounds as the Lions (15-8) beat Rehobeth 108-104 in overtime in the final game of the regular season. Seven players scored in double figures for Coach Brandon Brown with Savion Jones scoring 18, Zydarien Brown 17. Rehobeth (14-13), which placed five players in double figures, was led by Jordan West, who had 31 points, and Samuel Mounce with 20. The combined 12 players who scored in double figures is believed to be a record for a single game.
Rehobeth’s 104 points in a loss ties for fourth all-time in the AHSAA Record Book. Pisgah set the record in a 127-126 five-overtime loss to Sylvania in 1998. Springville also scored 123 in a 124-124 two-overtime setback to Pinson Valley, Lamar County had 119 in a 151-119 loss to South Lamar in 1992, and Huntsville-Butler had 104 in a 107-104 six-overtime loss to Grissom in 1996. Ironically, Houston County followed with an 18-13 win over Pleasant Home in the Class 1A, Area 2 tournament.
RALPH BARRETT, CENTRAL-FLORENCE: The 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior scored 27 points in a 64-55 win over Brooks to hand the Lions their first loss of the season – snapping a game winning streak. He also has 23 points in a win over Lauderdale County.
BRANDON GREEN, PHILLIPS: Scored 34 points in a 76-61 victory over Hackleburg and added 19 points, including a shot at the buzzer, to give the Bears a last-second 50-49 win over Phil Campbell.
LUKE TIDMORE, WHITESBURG CHRISTIAN: Sank five 3-pointers and finished with 29 points in a 64-54 win over New Hope.
QUAIMAINE OLIVER, BARBOUR COUNTY: Had 24 points and 10 rebounds and the Class 2A Jaguars beat Class 6A Northview 66-58.
CALVIN DAVIS, BLOUNT: His 3-point play with 1.2 seconds left gave the Leopards a 59-56 win over Baker. He had 15 points in the game – helping Blount battle back from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
DEMONTREZ BROWN, BOB JONES: Sank a shot at the buzzer to give the Patriots a 43-41 win over Columbia.
B.J. ANDERSON, ANDALUSIA: Scored 25 points as the Bulldogs closed the regular season with a 77-44 win over Opp.
ROBERT SCOTT, PLEASANT HOME: Had 21 points and Austin Kelley added 15 as the Eagles beat T.R. Miller 60-50 in the final regular-season game of the season.
KYLA BELL-BARTON, T.R. MILLER: Led the unbeaten Tigers (24-0) to a 66-61 win over Samson (24-3) with 19 points in the come-from-behind win. LaTascya Duff scored 35 for Samson.
SADIE THOMPSON, LAWRENCE COUNTY: Scored 32 points as the Class 5A Red Devils beat defending Class 1A state champion R.A. Hubbard.
KAYA JOYNER, CHEROKEE: Had games of 31 and 24 points in two wins over Vina and Athens Bible.
TYONNA ROGERS, SPRING GARDEN: Had 25 points, including 8-of-10 at the foul line, in Spring Garden’s regular-season closing 71-33 win over Weaver.
TAYLOR AIKERSON, DESHLER: Had back-to-back 23-point performances as the Tigers beat Mars Hill Bible and Russellville.
KATHLEEN WHEELER, PRICEVILLE: Scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Bulldogs beat West Morgan 52-38.
KAITLYN RIDLEY, PIEDMONT: Sank two free throws with four seconds left to give Piedmont a 38-35 win over Pleasant Valley.
RIVER BALDWIN, PLEASANT HOME: Had 27 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots as the Class 1A Eagles fell to Class 3A T.R. Miller 46-36.
T.R. Miller 66, Samson 61: In a battle of state ranked teams, Class 3A sixth-ranked unbeaten T.R. Miller edged Class 2A top-ranked Samson in Samson, 66-61.
MONTGOMERY – Georgiana senior guard Ja’Michael Stallworth scored a school-record 55 points in last week’s 88-81 overtime win J.F. Shields to land in the AHSA Basketball Spotlight this week.
Stallworth had 27 in the first half, 18 in the third and fourth quarters and closed out going 10-for-10 at the foul line in overtime as Coach Kirk Norris’ Panthers improved to 22-2 on the season. Stallworth missed his first free throw of the night and then made with 18 in a row to finish 18-of-19. He made two free throws in the final seconds of the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime.
Stallworth has been a part of 108 Georgiana wins in his high school career. The Panthers have lost just 11 times during that stretch. The 55 points surpassed the previous high of 41 by Jacquez Payton in 2014. Stallworth now has 1,559 points 119 career games and is averaging 22.9 points per game this season. He also has 397 career assists, 381 career rebounds and 251 career steals.
Pisgah senior Annie Hughes also went over 50 points in the Eagles’ 99-75 win over North Sand Mountain. She finished with 54 points.
LAUREN WATSON, ARAB: Broke the Lady Knight’s single-game school record scoring 42 points in 62-60 loss to Fort Payne last week, breaking the previous record of 41 scored by Ali Smalley in the AHSAA Class 5A State Basketball Tournament in 2006. Watson, who went over 1,000 points for her career earlier this season, was 17-of-28 from the field and 10-of-11 at the foul line versus Fort Payne. She also had 25 in a 54-49 win over Albertville in what was likely the last varsity game played in Arab’s current gymnasium.
DONOVAN O’MALLEY, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: The senior manager for Coach Phillip Murphy’s Yellow Jackets, who was born with Down Syndrome, saw his dream come true when he started in the school’s final regular-season game versus Baker, a 55-49 win. He hit a bucket to tie the game at 2-2 before taking a seat on the team bench. He also got back into the game late. Donovan, who served four years as the team manager, discussed the chance to play last spring with Murphy. He was honored prior to the game along with the six other seniors on the team. Baker coach David Armstrong graciously worked with Murphy to provide this special memorial for Donovan, who accompanied McGill-Toolen to three straight Class 7A state football games and two straight basketball state tournament appearances. In December, he was introduced with the football seniors at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa prior to the title game against Hoover.
KOLBY TINKER, PLAINVIEW: Was 5-of-12 from the 3-point line and finished with 19 points to lead Plainview (25-2) to an 88-77 win over Houlka (MS). The Bears made 17 of 39 to give them 364 made 3-pointers on the season, a new AHSAA single-season record. Cullman held the mark previously with 353 made treys in the 2014-15 school year.
DEJONTE THOMAS, FAITH ACADEMY: Sank two free throws with eight seconds remaining to lift the Rams (18-9) to a 53-49 win. He finished with 12 points. He also had 21 points in a 63-45 win over Williamson.
In other highlights reported:
BROOKS BARNHIZER, ALMA BRYANT: scored 27 points and cleared 10 rebounds in a 62-47 win over Mary Montgomery.
TRINITY BELL, ALBERTVILLE: His 23 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks helped the Aggies beat Boaz 56-47.
NOAH BOLER, DECATUR HERITAGE: Scored nine point in a 57-26 win Whitesburg Christian to go over 1,000 points for his career for Decatur Heritage.
RYAN McILWAIN, UMS-WRIGHT: Scored 19 points to lead the Bulldogs past Thomasville 61-39. UMS-Wright (20-5) had 30 points in the second quarter hitting 8-of-11 3-pointers in the period to take a 40-19 lead into intermission.
Pickens County High School has been fined and placed on probation for one year for violating the Academic Rule. The school self-reported the violation.
PCHS allowed a student to participate on the boys’ basketball team before he had met all eligibility requirements. Therefore, Pickens County’s boys’ basketball team must forfeit any games won in which the student participated while ineligible. In accordance with the AHSAA Restitution Rule, once the student becomes eligible, the student must sit out the same number of contests in which he participated ineligibly. The area tournament bracket will reflect any forfeits that affect final area standings.
The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.
Sumter Central High School has been fined and placed on probation for one year for the boys’ basketball exceeding the maximum number of contests allowed in the regular season. The school self-reported the violation.
Furthermore, all contests the boys’ basketball team played and won after exceeding the maximum number allowed must be forfeited. Accordingly, the AHSAA Restitution rule requires the boys’ basketball team to sit out the same number of contests in which they played ineligibly. Due to the restitution, Sumter Central will not participate in the Class 5A, Area 7 tournament and their season has ended. The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.
Huffman High School has been fined and placed on probation for one year for violation of Coaching Outside the School Year and for coaching a transfer student from another school prior to enrollment. The school self-reported the violation.
Furthermore, any coach that coaches a student from another school renders that student ineligible at the coach’s school for the next school year. Huffman’s boys’ basketball must forfeit all games won in which the student participated. Moreover, in accordance with the AHSAA Restitution Rule, once the student becomes eligible, the student must sit out the same number of contests in which he participated ineligibly. The area tournament bracket will reflect any forfeits that affect final area standings.
The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.
MONTGOMERY – Headland High School senior guard Daveon Taylor stands just 5-foot-4. However, in last Friday’s 91-77 victory over Rehobeth, Taylor stood taller than all the rest with 37 points, including 11 3-point goals, for the Rams.
Meanwhile, just west of Headland in near-by Samson, senior LaTascya Duff was busy scoring 50 points as the Tigers downed defending Class 2A state girls’ champion Geneva County 81-37. The victory was the 400th career win for Duff’s coach Chad McKnight. Both performances captured this week’s AHSAA Basketball Spotlight.
“Dameon was on fire,” said Headland Coach Mike Henry of his floor leader. “It was just a gigantic effort from a great kid.”
Taylor finished 11-of-26 from the 3-point arc (42.3%) and the Rams (13-9) finished the game 14 of 44 with teammate Jailan Simpson sinking the other three. Rehobeth (12-10) also made 10 of 36 with both teams combining to attempt 80 3-pointers to tie the AHSAA single-game state record set earlier this month by Plainview and North Sand Mountain.
The 11 treys by Taylor were the most in a game in the AHSAA since Plainview’s Koby Tinker sank 11-of-20 attempted in a 93-42 win over DAR last season. He was 17-of-22 in that effort. James Raines of Berry and Chance McCarver of Section also sank 11 treys in a game in 2016 and 2010, respectively, which ranks sixth best in the AHSAA. The record (17), was set by Fred Turner of Wilcox Central in a 96-54 win over Francis Marion in 2011.
Huff scored 42 of her 50 points in the first half as Samson (21-2) beat the Lady Bulldogs (13-9) to improve to 19-0 this season against in-state opponents. The Tigers are 2-2 versus out-of-state competition. Duff, who is averaging over 30 points per game this season, finished with six 3-pointers and was 8-of-8 at the foul line. The 50-point effort was the first in the AHSAA since Brewbaker Tech’s Biancha Jackson scored 58 last season in a win over Greenville. Jackson is now a freshman at NCAA Division I defending national champion South Carolina.
The AHSAA girls’ single-game record (63) was set in 1991 by Houston Academy’s Carlee Bevis in a win over Bayside Academy. Sunshine’s Raven Mitchell had 61 in a win over Akron in 1997 and Taurus Pyles of Birmingham-Phillips scored 61 that same season.
Other top performances reported include:
ANNISTON GIRLS’ TOURNEY DOMINANCE CONTINUES: The Lady Bulldogs won the Calhoun County Tournament for the 18th time with a 59-55 win over Oxford at Jacksonville State’s Pete Mathews Coliseum. The win in the finals was Anniston’s fourth in the last five years for Coach Eddie Bullock. Center Toniah Foster earned MVP honors with 20 points and five rebounds in the finals. Allasha Dudley was named best offensive player in the tournament. She finished with 10 points in the championship game.
DIANTE WOOD LEADS SACRED HEART TO TITLE: Scored 22 points to lead the Cardinals past Oxford 66-61 in the finals of the Calhoun County tournament at Jacksonville State. He and became just the second player in the tourney’s long history to earn Best Defensive Player, Best Offensive Player and MVP. Len Stafford was the first, winning all three individual awards for Oxford at the 1983 tournament.
STRAUGHN POST KINSAUL’S 400TH WIN: Teammates Allie Kelley and Colby Adams had 18 and 10 points, respectively as the Bulldogs beat Slocomb 47-41 – giving head coach Scott Kinsaul a milestone victory, No. 400 of his prep coaching career.
LIOR BERMAN, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Nailed two free throws with six seconds remaining to lead the defending Class 7A state champs to a 58-56 win over Huffman (21-3). Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook’s 6-foot-8 junior, had 24 points and 12 rebounds, including eight points in the fourth period. His bucket with 1:14 to play tied the game at 56-56. Jeremiah Williams had 22 for the Vikings. The Spartans (22-5) and Huffman are now tied at 3-1 in 7A, Area 6.
CURTIS SOWELS, BLOUNT: Sank two free throws with 5.8 seconds remaining to lift the Leopards past LeFlore 49-47. He scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth period.
MONTGOMERY – The assessment is official. Fayette County High School senior Darius Nails, a multi-sport standout, has made the adjustment from football to basketball.
Nails, who led the Tigers to the Class 4A state football finals this past season catching 78 passes for 1,659 yards and 19 touchdowns, scored 60 points in Fayette County’s 72-57 victory over Hamilton January 12 to land himself in the AHSAA Basketball Spotlight for this week.
His 60 points is the most ever by a Class 4A player (since the AHSAA went to more than four classes) and ranks tied for 14th all-time in the AHSAA. The last player to clip 60 points in a game in the AHSAA was Gardendale’s Dustin Duncan in 2001.
The state record (97) was set in 1963 by Walter Garrett of Birmingham’s West End High School in a 97-63 win over Glenn High School. Garrett’s performance also set a national record as the most by a high school player when scoring all his team’s points. Nails scored all but 12 of Fayette’s points in last week’s win over the Aggies.
The 6-foot-2 senior’s 60 points came on a 24-of-37 field-goal shooting effort. He was 3-of-6 on 3-point goals and a perfect 9-of-9 on free throws for Coach Ron Hamilton. He also had eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and fouled out with two minutes to play. Nails is averaging 27.2 points in 14 games this season with 30 or more points in five games and 20 or more in 12.
Nails’ 1,659 receiving yards on the year ranks second all-time in the AHSAA Football Record Book – 76 yards shy of the record (1,735 yards) set by Westbrook Christian’s Brandon Greer in 1998. Nails’totals included 11 catches for 108 yards in the 21-7 loss to UMS-Wright in the Class 4A Super 7 “Snow Bowl” game at Bryant-Denny Stadium Dec. 8 and tied Oneonta’s Alvin Scott for most receptions in a Super 7 championship game for all classes. Scott’s 11 catches in the 2012 Super 6 Class 4A title game also came against UMS-Wright.
The 60-point effort edged out a clutch performance by Lafayette senior Corey Boston for this week’s Spotlight. Boston scored five points in the final 10 seconds, including a 40-foot desperation 3-pointer, to lift the Bulldogs (14-5) of Coach Obadiah Threadgill IV to a 49-46 win over Valley. He finished with 16 points.
The Rams took a 46-44 lead with 15 seconds left when Keionte Dent nailed a short jumper. Boston was fouled with 10 seconds left while attempting a shot and tied the game at 46-46 with two free throws. Valley, after a timeout, in-bounded the ball, brought it into the frontcourt and was working for a last-second shot when the ball was knocked free. Boston ran down the loose ball, turned and heaved the game-winning shot from well behind the 3-point arc toward the LaFayette goal. The final buzzer sounded while the ball was in the air.
Other top performances reported last week included:
GARRETT HICKS, JAMES CLEMENS: Scored 33 points, including a perfect 19-of-19 at the foul line, as Coach Danny Petty’s Jets (13-8) shocked the ASWA’s top-ranked Class 7A team Huffman (21-2) 78-67 at the Marvin Stone Classic at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. It was the first in-state loss for Coach Steve Ward’s Vikings. The 19-of-19 free-throw shooting performance tied a 57-year year old state record for most free throws made in a perfect free-throw game performance. Florala’s Kris Scarbrough originally set the record in 1961 with his 19-of-19 free-throw shooting performance in a 66-38 Florala win over Elba. Hicks made all 11 free throws attempted in the fourth quarter to seal the win over Huffman. James Clemens finished 21-of-23 at the foul line as a team.
PLAINVIEW ATTEMPTS 57 3-POINT SHOTS: The Bears (19-2) of Coach Robi Coker broke their own AHSAA 3-point attempt record in last Friday’s 71-46 victory over North Sand Mountain with 57 attempts – at least one try by all 12 players on the team. Caden Millican made 3-of-8 to lead Plainview, which sank just 13 for only 22.8% that is well below the team’s season average. Seven players recorded at least one made trey. North Sand Mountain was also 6-of-23, giving the two teams 80 3-point attempts combined, another state record. The Bears were also 15-of-20 on 2-point tries and 2-of-5 on free throws. The old 3-point attempts record (54) was set against the Bison last December in a 119-55 win. The Bears made 25 in that contest.
JOLEE COLE, DANVILLE: The sophomore guard had two big performances, scoring 22 points in a 55-34 win against West Limestone and 24 in a win against Falkville to go over 1,000 points for her prep career.
MATTHEW McNEECE, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: The three-year starter for Coach Phillip Murphy had 20 points and 12 rebounds as the Yellow Jackets (15-5) beat Murphy (12-10) 52-50. His 2-point bucket with 32.5 seconds remaining put McGill ahead 51-50. He followed with a free throw for the final point of the game.
WILLIE SCREWS, BARBOUR COUNTY: Scored 35 points, including two free throws late in the second overtime, to lead the Jaguars (12-5) to an 81-79 double-overtime win over Pike County (7-9). Jahzarian Lampley scored 31 for the Bulldogs.
SHAMAR SPINKS, WEAVER: Nailed two free throws with 10 seconds remaining to lift the Bearcats past White Plains 65-63. He finished with 26 points.
DaKENYA FAIRLEY, MURPHY: Sank a layup with 18.5 seconds left to lift the Panthers to a 43-42 win over McGill-Toolen. She finished with 10 points.
JASHA FILS-AIME’, DALEVILLE: Sank two free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining to give Daleville a 47-46 victory over Elba. She finished with 16 points and teammate Kiarra Pouncy had 22.
Other highlights reported include:
DEE HUGHES, CHEROKEE: Had 31 points in a 59-48 win over Athens Bible.
MARK SEARS, MUSCLE SHOALS: The sophomore scored 31 points in a 72-59 win over Athens and 28 in the Trojans’ 52-41 victory over Westminster Christian.
CADE DEESE, COTTONWOOD: Led the Beats to a 56-54 overtime win over Samson with 17 points and 10 steals.
JAY JORDAN. ELBA: Canned seven 3-pointers en route to 27 points as the Tigers beat Zion Chapel 74-13.
BRYCE PEAVY, ARITON: Had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Purple Cats past Dale County 59-55. He also handed out six assists.
DONTAVIOUS DAVIS, ANNISTON: The 6-5 senior forward had 18 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots in the Bulldogs’ 90-40 win over Faith Christian in the Calhoun County tourney at Oxford.
BROOKE HAMPEL, HAZEL GREEN: Led the Lady Trojans (23-2) to a 56-47 win over Spain Park (20-4) at the Marvin Stone Classic at UAH. Hampel scored 19 points and cleared 11 rebounds. The game pitted Hazel Green, the ASWA’s top-ranked Class 6A team, against the second-ranked Class 7A Jaguars.
SIDNEY BEVIS, WILSON: Scored a career high 27 points to lead the Warriors past Mars Hill Bible 62-58.
LEXIE GANN, COVENANT CHRISTIAN: Had 35 points in a win over Waterloo, 24 in a win over Hackleburg and 23 points and seven assists in a Colbert County tournament win over Cherokee.
CALEIGH CORTEZ, WEAVER: Had 24 points, sinking 16-of-22 free throws, as the Bearcats won a Calhoun County tournament game over White Plains 45-35.
JAMIRACLE BASS, SAKS: Scored 28 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked seven shots in a 54-43 overtime win over Ohatchee in the Calhoun County tournament at Oxford.
MAORI DAVENPORT, CHARLES HENDERSON: Tallied 18 points and teammate Niaira Jones had 13 as the Lady Trojans (22-4) posted a 45-16 win over Dothan (14-6). Charles Henderson, ranked first in the ASWA Class 5A rankings, lost a 48-44 decision to four-time Georgia defending state champion McEachern on Monday at the BallN’ Prep Classic at Montgomery with Jones scoring 18 points and Davenport 16. Charles Henderson also downed Greenville 62-31 in an area game with Davenport scoring 32 points.
ARIANA FOSTER, PARK CROSSING: Scored 23 points to lead Park Crossing to a 62-61 triple-overtime victory over Northview at the BallN’ Prep Classic at Montgomery.
BEE GRIFFIN, GOSHEN: Scored 33 points in a 53-43 loss to 2A, Area 6 rival Luverne.
MONTGOMERY – Wenonah High School’s Lady Dragons (15-6) beat Pleasant Grove 67-50 on the road Tuesday night to present head coach Emanuel Bell the 500th win of his storied girls’ basketball coaching career. The milestone victory for one of girls’ basketball’s biggest ambassadors captured the AHSAA Basketball Spotlight for this week.
Markesha Body, who scored 21 points in the win, summed up what her teammates were feeling about their beloved coach following the victory. “He’s an encourager. When he’s around, we go harder,” she told Josh Bean of Al.com. “He’s legendary. He’s an amazing coach.”
Senior guard Faith Reynolds added, "He's been through a lot. We dedicate everything to him."
Bell’s overall coaching record improved to 500-184 with the win. Now in his 24th season, Bell has guided the Lady Dragons to five state championships including the last four Class 5A state titles in a row.
Bell, who was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2016, said he has nothing but love in his heart for the many players who have played in his program for the last quarter century. He said their encouragement has helped sustain him during his battle with the disease.
“The girls and my assistant coaches have been amazing,” he said. “They work just as hard and do what I need them to do even when I am not there. But more important, I can really feel their love and concern. They really have kept me going when things got tough.”
The Wenonah coach missed more than two months of work earlier this school year and is still undergoing chemotherapy. He said the good news is that the cancer is not growing and has gotten smaller. “God has been so good to me,” he said. “When I was growing up my dad was involved with kids by coaching youth teams and working with Cub Scouts. I told myself I wasn’t going to do that. I didn’t really understand back then.
“However, my life was in a downward spiral when God introduced me to coaching girls’ basketball. It turned my life around. Coaching girls all these years has made a lot of difference in the lives of so many. Some call me their second daddy. But what they don’t realize is that they have made an even bigger difference in my life.”
The school plans to celebrate the milestone win at Friday night’s home game with a ceremony between the girls’ and boys’ games versus Woodlawn. The ceremony will get underway at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Other highlights reported include:
INDIA BROWN, COOSA CHRISTIAN: In a game played in late December, Brown pulled down a school-record 31 rebounds to help the Lady Conquerors beat Cleveland 62-46. She had 17 offensive and 14 defensive rebounds to write her name in the AHSAA Record Book. The 31 boards ties for third best in a single game. Maida Harris of Childersburg set the record with 38 in a game versus B.B. Comer in 2000. Toyonda Peoples of Satsuma and Shamika Culpepper of Sylacauga cleared 32 in 2004 and 1995, respectively. Miracle Mayo of Lanett, Marqu’es Webb of Brewbaker Tech and Kristy Moore of Leeds also had 31 rebounds in a game in 20014, 2011 and 1996, respectively.
OLIVIA JONES, BRANTLEY: Nailed a game-winning shot from mid-court at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 37-34 win over Luverne. She finished with 12 points, all coming on 3-point goals. Kassidy Wilcox led Brantley with 14 points, sparked by four 3-pointers.
DALLAS HOWELL, ENTERPRISE: Scored a career-high 34 points, including a putback in the final 10 seconds, to power the Wildcats (13-5) past Headland 56-53. Howell, who also had seven rebounds in the game, scored 14 of Enterprise’s 16 points in the final quarter. He also had 21 points and 13 rebounds in a 60-45 win over Prattville.
CAM’RON GINN-McKINNEY, REHOBETH: Fired a 3-pointer from the corner with five seconds left in overtime to lift Rehobeth (12-7) over Headland 82-81. He finished with 18 points.
HENRY MITCHELL, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Sank two free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining in the second overtime to lift the Raiders (16-1) to a 63-61 win over Daleville. Teammate Ben Nelson made a steal at midcourt and passed the ball ahead to Mitchell, who was fouled driving to the basket to set up the winning free throws. Houston Academy led 36-27 at halftime. The score was tied 56-56 at the end of regulation and 61-61 after the first overtime.
TOMMY MURR, LINDSAY LANE: Sank two free throws with one second remaining to lead the Lions (19-1) past Waterloo 59-57. He finished with 41 points and four steals. Murr also had 34 points and six steals in Lindsay Lane’s 67-38 victory over Whitesburg Christian and 30 points in a 72-59 loss to Decatur Heritage.
JACOREY JACOBS, ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL: Sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Class 2A Wildcats (11-5) downed Class 5A Vigor 56-53. He finished with 11 points.
JABRE BARBER, NORTHVIEW: Sank two free throws with 5.1 seconds remaining to lift the Cougars (7-8) past arch-rival Dothan (7-9). He finished with a game-high 21 points including 13 free throws.
DELO FOSTER, PIEDMONT: Had 16 blocked shots, including 10 in the first quarter, to lead the Bulldogs to a 60-57 win over Weaver. He scored only three points, but his defensive effort tied for third in the AHSAA Record Book for most blocked shots in a game. He now has 70 blocked shots on the season.
TRAVARUS CARROLL, HUFFMAN: Scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to lead the Vikings (19-1) to a come-from-behind 68-67 win over Mountain Brook (19-5) – and kept his team unbeaten versus AHSAA schools this season in the process. He finished with 12 points. Teammate Eddie Smith had 24 and Trendon Watford had 24 for the Spartans.
J.P. ROBINSON, DESHLER: Had a career-high 46 points as Deshler held off Central-Florence 84-80 in a Class 4A, Area 16 game. Robinson scored 20 of Deshler’s 21 points in the fourth quarter to cap the Tigers’ comeback from an early 11-point deficit.
MARK SEARS, MUSCLE SHOALS: Sears averaged 34 points in two games as the Trojans beat Loretto (TN) and Athens. He had 37 points in a 74-59 win over Loretto.
SJRDAN PETROVIC, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Had 29 points, nine rebounds and nine assists to pace the Class 3A Raiders (15-1) to a 75-41 win over Wicksburg.
DEMETRIUS HUFF, GADSDEN CITY: Had 17 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, as the Titans beat Talladega 66-65. Huff’s bucket in the waning moments put Gadsden City ahead for good. The Titans trailed by as many as eight points in the final quarter. Talladega made 11 3-point goals in the loss. Chaztin Tanner had four of the Tigers’ treys to finish with 14 points.
NOAH BOLER, DECATUR HERITAGE: Had 26 points, 16 rebounds, five blocked shots and four assists as the Eagles (15-3) beat Lindsay Lane (19-2) in a key Class 1A battle 72-59.
ANDREW WHEELER, ARITON: Scored 22 points and cleared 14 rebounds as Ariton (8-6) downed Rehobeth 79-53.
VINCENT DOUGLAS, BAKER: Was 13-of-16 at the foul line to finish with 23 points to push the Hornets (12-9) past Theodore 46-32.
MATTHEW McNEECE, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Jackets (14-5) to a 68-63 win over Ocean Springs (MS). Teammate Eric Toth also had a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds.
BRAXTON & BROOKS BARNHIZER, ALMA BRYANT: The brothers combined for 45 points as the Hurricanes (16-3) beat Davidson 72-41. Braxton, a sophomore, had 24 points, and Brooks, a freshman, had 21. Braxton and Brooks also had 28 and 24 points, respectively, in a 74-59 win over B.C. Rain.
JEFFREY GRIFFIN, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Had 24 points, including a game-winning free throw with 19 seconds remaining, in the Leopards’ 47-46 win over Clarke County.
MARTAVIUS PAYTON, GEORGIANA: Had 15 points and 12 rebounds as the Class 1A Panthers (16-1) beat Red Level 88-39.
DARRON HOWARD, SPARKMAN: Led the Senators (20-3) to a 66-65 win over James Clemens with 22 points.
GRAHAM COPELAND, RANDOLPH: Had 28 points as the Raiders beat Madison County 70-66.
TREY BONHAM, UMS-WRIGHT: Totaled 18 points, 10 assists and six rebounds to lead the Bulldogs (15-5) past Williamson 74-58.
DIAMOND ACREES, COTTONWOOD: Scored 16 points and had six rebounds as the Lady Bears (8-7), two years removed from a 103-game losing streak, knocked off defending Class 2A state champion Geneva County 44-42.
LATASCYA DUFF, SAMSON: Scored 31 points and her sister LaTora Duff had 16 as Samson (18-2) had 25 steals and forced 34 turnovers to beat defending arch-rival Geneva County (11-6) 62-33. LaTascya also had 17 rebounds. Michelle Duff, the youngest sister, also had 11 points. Karoline Striplin led the Bulldogs with 14 points.
ALLI TEMPLE, HALEYVILLE: Temple scored a career-high 45 points as Haleyville beat Fayette County 82-31. Temple was 21-of-26 from the field in the win.
LEXIE GANN, COVENANT CHRISTIAN: Gann scored 35 points in a win over Waterloo.
RIVER BALDWIN, PLEASANT HOME: The 6-foot-5 center had 37 points, 11 rebounds, three blocked shots and five steals to lead the Eagles (16-4) to a 49-29 win over Houston County. She also had 33 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots in a 60-13 win over Kinston.
KAITLIN PETERSON, EUFAULA: Scored 33 points, had five steals, five assists and four rebounds in leading the Tigers (14-4) to a 77-48 win over Russell County.
BREE GRIFFIN, GOSHEN: Had 33 points to lead the Eagles past Bullock County 57-44.
DESTINY RAMOS, FAITH ACADEMY: Led the Lady Rams (12-6) to a 54-51 win over Murphy with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Teammate Ashanti Lipscomb nailed 6-of-8 free throws in the final quarter to finish with 12 points. Ramos also had 20 points in a 76-31 win over St. Paul’s Episcopal (15-4).
IVY TURNER, DOTHAN: Tallied 33 points as the Tigers (13-5) nipped Northview (10-5) in a key Class 6A, Area 3 game. She sank two key free throws with 25 seconds remaining to tie the game and teammate Kyra McGlon, who had 17 points, sealed the win with two more charity shots.
ALYSE MADDEN, LANETT: Scored 11 of her team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter as the Lady Panthers (5-3) outscored LaFayette 25-9 in the final eight minutes to win 58-53. Lanett trailed by as many as 11 points in the final period. Madden sank two crucial 3-pointers down the stretch to ignite the comeback effort. She also had 11 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in a 62-52 win over Russell County.
DESTINEE McGHEE, JAMES CLEMENS: Had 29 points in a 58-54 overtime loss to Sparkman. T.J. Webster had 15 to pace the Senators.
ALEXIS LEGGETT, ARITON: Totaled 23 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocked shots as the Purple Cats (7-1) downed Rehobeth 54-40. Teammate Zakyria Johnson also contributed 18 points and 13 rebounds.
KATHLEEN WHEELER, PRICEVILLE: Had 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in a 56-41 win over Danville and another double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) in a 59-30 win over West Limestone.
WHITNEY NOVAK, ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL: Scored 17 points and had 10 steals as the Wildcats forced 48 turnovers in a 56-16 win over J.U. Blacksher.
MONTGOMERY – Abbeville High School finished strong, outscoring defending tournament champion Eufaula 12-2 in the final 2:30, en route to a 65-55 victory in the finals of Downtown Dothan Hoops Classic boys’ basketball tournament – and grabbed the AHSAA Basketball Spotlight in the process.
The Class 2A Yellow Jackets (13-3) of Coach Emanuel Brown won the prestigious tournament played at Dothan’s Civic Center for the first time since 2006. For Brown, however, it was the seventh Hoops Classic tourney title he has coached in 12 seasons – winning in 2006 and 2008 while at Houston County High School and taking four straight from 2012-15 while serving as head coach at Class 6A Dothan. He is in his second season as head coach at Abbeville.
“I tell anybody this – it is not me,” Brown told the Dothan Eagle. “God has blessed me with some great groups of young men, starting at Houston County. I love all of them like they are my sons. We still stay in touch.
“I moved on to Dothan High and it was same thing. Those guys did all the work there. And now here, it is just a carryover. The guys at Houston County and Dothan come and talk to the guys at Abbeville and tell them how important it is to relish the moment they have now. The three groups are close.”
For Jermaine Glover, Abbeville’s title run was especially important. He had three strong games to lead the Jackets – earning the Moses Knight Most Outstanding Player award for the tournament. He scored seven of his nine points in the final stretch to seal the win. The award is named in the memory of Knight, the Wiregrass Hall of Famer who was Abbeville’s head coach for 37 years coach. He died in 2017 after a battle with cancer.
“It is an honor (receiving this award named for Coach Knight),” Glover said. Daquon Kincey led Abbeville’s balanced scoring with 17 points. Jaylan Coxson had 14 and Jaquon Kincey added 13. Eufaula (12-8), coached by Michael Smith, was led by Terrell Jones’ 19 points.
Most teams played in tournaments during the Christmas break.
Other highlights reported:
STAPLER NOTCHES 750TH WIN: Westminster Christian of Huntsville beat Madison Academy 49-42 on Tuesday as veteran coach Ronnie Stapler recorded the 750th win over his long prep boys’ basketball coaching career.
HESTER NOTCHES 1,000TH ASSIST: Vina point guard Abby Hester recorded 11 assists to go over 1,000 for her career and scored 15 points for the Red Devils (17-5) in a 59-23 win over Waterloo.
TRUITT HAS MILESTONE GAME: Just a week after earning MVP honors for Lanett in the Class 2A state football finals at the Super 7 Championships at Tuscaloosa, the Lanett point guard handed out 11 assists in a 72-70 win over Fairland (OH) in the Beach City Classic at Myrtle Beach (S.C.). The 11 assists was the sixth best assist effort in the 37-year history of the Beach Ball Classic. Lanett (5-4), the AHSAA’s two-time defending Class 2A state basketball champs, closed the road trip with a 71-70 win over Milton at the Big South Shootout at Duluth (GA). Anquaevious Pollard had 24 points and 19 rebounds and Truitt had 17 points in that win.
KIRA LEWIS, HAZEL GREEN: In one of the top clutch performances reported during the Christmas break, Lewis sank a 3-point shot with 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter to help the Trojans overcome a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit and send the game into overtime as Hazel Green beat defending Class 7A state champion Mountain Brook 94-91 in the semifinals of the AL.COM Classic tourney at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center. Lewis finished with 35 points and eight rebounds. Trendon Watford had 43 points and 11 rebounds for the Spartans. Lewis had 23 points and eight assists in a 71-67 win over Sparkman (18-3) in the finals to give Hazel Green the tourney championship for the first time in school history.
TRAVARUS CARROLL, HUFFMAN: Had 23 points, sinking 9-of-12 free throws, to earn MVP honors as the Vikings beat Birmingham city rival Parker 72-69 in the finals of the Steel City Classic played at Samford University.
TY RAPER, HACKLEBURG: Scored 20 of his 38 points in overtime as the Panthers (7-3) beat Marion County 77-70. The game was sent into the extra period when Hackleburg’s Collier Cantrell sank a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left in regulation. Brayden Pyron had 32 points for the Red Raiders.
JUSTIN ALLISON, PELHAM: Sank nine 3-point goals and finished with 44 points in a 63-61 loss to Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in the Metro Tourney at Homewood last week. The Panthers dressed only eight players for the game. Allison sank his final trey with 2 seconds left, but Pelham could not get a timeout called before time expired.
DEANTONI GORDON, LEFLORE: Turned in a stellar defensive effort and scored nine points in a low-scoring Gulf Coast Holiday Classic tournament final at Bishop State Community College to earn MVP honors as the Rattlers (17-4) beat Murphy 38-25 to win the tournament for the third year in a row.
JA’MICHAEL STALLWORTH, GEORGIANA: Scored 28 points as the Panthers (14-1) beat Pleasant Home 72-52 to claim the Red Level Christmas tournament MVP award. He also had 26 points in a tourney win over Samson.
KURAN GARNER, BUCKHORN: Helped the Bucks (18-2) win its 10th consecutive game with two clutch free throws with 10 seconds remaining to seal a 50-49 regular-season win over Huntsville on Tuesday. Buckhorn won two tournaments over the Christmas break capturing the King of the Smokies Christmas Classic at Pigeon Forge (TN) and the Bayside tourney at Daphne.
MARK SEARS, MUSCLE SHOALS: Tallied 37 points as the Trojans (10-3) beat Loretto (TN) 74-59.
J.P. ROBINSON, DESHLER: The junior guard had 36 points as Deshler beat Rogers 61-41.
JAMARCUS GREEN, MONTEVALLO: Sank eight 3-pont goals and finished with 30 points to lead Montevallo to a 63-36 win over Fultondale in the Jefferson-Shelby Hoops Classic Tuesday. Teammate Jabrian Sullens also had 15 rebounds.
JACOREY TURNIPSEED, SUMTER CENTRAL: Had 15 points as all five starters scored in double figures in a 79-70 loss to Choctaw (FL) in the championship game of the Northwest Florida Shootout. Sumter Central is now 20-3 on the season.
GARRETT HICKS, JAMES CLEMENS: Had 29 points in an 84-62 win over Fairview.
VIRGIL CRAWFORD, DALE COUNTY: Cleared 10 rebounds, blocked seven shots and scored eight points as Dale County beat Cottonwood 47-34 in a regular-season win.
BROOKE HAMPEL, HAZEL GREEN: Had 34 points in a 79-52 win over Muscle Shoals in the AL.com Girls’ basketball tournament at Madison and followed with 18 points in the finals as the Trojans won the title with a 41-26 win over Charles Henderson.
ZIPPORAH BROUGHTON, LEE-MONTGOMERY: Sank five 3-point goals and finished with 37 points and 10 steals as the Lady Generals (11-7) beat Enterprise 74-30.
TENASIA GORDON, GEORGIANA: Poured in 33 points in Georgiana’s 64-44 win over Andalusia in the Red Level Christmas tourney consolation game.
LATASCYA DUGG, SAMSON: Had 24 points in a 52-31 win over Poplar Springs (FL) in the Red Level Tourney for the Lady Tigers (17-2). She added 32 points in a 68-34 win over Andalusia on Tuesday.
CIERRIA CUNNINGHAH, HILLCREST-TUSCALOOSA: Scored 26 points and Anya Banks added 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Lady Patriots (14-2) beat Carver-Birmingham 59-45 to go 3-0 in the Marine Corps/Ball’N Prep round-robin basketball tournament at Thompson High School.
ALLIE CRAIG CRUCE, LAUDERDALE COUNTY: Had 25 points as the Lady Tigers (16-2) beat East Limestone 48-43 in a regular-season game on Tuesday.
KARLEIGH SLEDGE, DESHLER: Scored a season-high 29 points as defending 4A state champion Deshler (17-2) beat Rogers 55-28 in a Class 4A, Area 16 game.
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