Friday, February 28, 2020






CLASS 5A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Central-Tuscaloosa 56, Scottsboro 49

     BIRMINGHAM – Central-Tuscaloosa sophomore center Sakyia White scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Falcons past Scottsboro 56-49 in the Class 5A girls’ semifinals Wednesday night at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
     The win sends Central (27-7) into Saturday morning’s 9 a.m. championship game of the 96th AHSAA State Basketball Finals Championships to face Charles Henderson (31-4).
    White’s inside presence was especially big on the offensive boards. She had seven offensive rebounds and finished the game 11-of-17 shooting. Mackenzie Mahone also had eight rebounds and was also strong inside for Coach Michael Rivers’ Falcons. She had 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.
     Mahone and Jones added 10 points each and point guard Quintasia Leatherwood had nine points, five assists and five steals. She was 7-of-10 at the foul line.
     Scottsboro (29-4), making its first appearance in the state tournament since the AHSAA’s inaugural girls’ tourney in 1978, stayed close with strong board work too. Coach Derek Wynn’s Wildcats had 36 rebounds – same as Central – with Abby Jones  clearing 10, Keara Sexton nine and Jasmine Branford nine.  Sexton also had a team-high 13 points and three assists. Branford scored 11 points and Emily Garner had 10.
     Central’s last trip to the finals was 2016. The Falcons’ girls’ basketball tradition goes back to that first girls’ state tourney in ’78 as well. Known then as Tuscaloosa, the school lost to Jeff Davis in the 4A finals.  The Falcons have three state titles to their credit (1982, 1984 and 1996) and three runner-up finishes (1978, 1981 and 2016).
    The Class 7A semifinals will tip off Thursday morning. Class 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be Thursday afternoon. Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney Saturday.
   All semifinal games in the tourney are being live video-streamed by the NFHS Network and broadcast over the AHSAA Radio Network. Both may be accessed at
. Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals over its TV network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all finals over it state-wide radio network and website.

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