BIRMINGHAM – Seven teams that won state titles last season will be in the 56-team field as the 95th annual Alabama High School Athletic Association State Basketball Tournament tips off Monday at the BJCC Legacy Arena here at 9 a.m..
Defending girls’ champion Spring Garden (25-7) and defending boys’ champion Sacred Heart Catholic (26-8) will be in the Class 1A field as the tournament gets underway Monday. Coach Ricky Austin’s Lady Panthers play J.F. Shields (19-3) at noon and Coach Ralpheal Graves’ Cardinals will meet Georgiana (27-2) at 1:30 p.m. That game is a rematch of last year’s state finals.
Defending 2A boys’ state champion Lanett (22-7) will face Barbour County (18-11) in the final game of Monday’s slate at 7:30 p.m.
Classes 1A and 2A will play girls’ and boys’ semifinals Monday, Classes 3A and 4A on Tuesday, Classes 5A and 6A on Wednesday and Class 7A on Thursday morning. Championship games will begin Thursday afternoon (1A girls and boys)) with six finals (2A, 3A and 4A) on Friday and six (5A, 6A and 7A) on Saturday.
The State Tournament is scheduled for Feb. 29-March 5 at the BJCC with Classes 1A and 2A playing semifinals on Monday, Classes 3A and 4A on Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A on Wednesday and Class 7A on Thursday. Girls’ and Boys’ finals for Class 1A will be Thursday afternoon. Classes 2A, 3A and 4A will play championship games on Friday while Classes 5A, 6A and 7A concluding the tournament Saturday.
All semifinal games will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network and all finals will be televised by Raycom Media. The AHSAA Radio Network will broadcast all finals over its network and will provide the audio for the NFHS Network live-streams. More information can be found at www.ahsaa.com, www. http://statefinalsal.com/ and www.nfhsnetwork.com.
Three defending girls’ champions are in the field and four defending boys champions -- five if you include Mae Jemison of Huntsville, which opened its doors last August. The school replaces J.O. Johnson, which won the 5A state title in 2016 and 2015. Johnson head coach Jack Doss is the head coach for Mae Jemison. Doss (810-329), who recorded his 800th career win earlier this season, has guided the Jaguars (32-4) to national prominence in a hurry. His team had a big win over St. Anthony (N.J.), ranked 13th nationally in the Hall of Fame Classic at Springfield, Mass., on Martin Luther King Day last month.
Doss, inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2015, will be going for his 10th state title as a head coach with titles at Birmingham-Hayes in 1981 and 1982, Huntsville Butler in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, and 2011 and at J.O. Johnson the last two years. Senior John Petty, Alabama’s Mr. Basketball as a junior, is averaging 20.7 points a game this season as a senior.
Other boys’ defending champions in the field are McGill-Toolen Catholic (7A) and Madison Academy, last year’s 3A winner now playing the Class 4A semifinals.
Deshler (4A) and Wenonah (5A) are also girls’ defending champions returning this week. Deshler (33-0), coached by Jana Killen, comes in with a 67-game winning streak after claiming the Northwest Regional Class 4A title last Wednesday. Killen (697-177) is just three wins from her 700th career victory. Wenonah is going for its 5A title in a row with head coach Emanuel Bell just 17 wins shy of 500 wins.
The complete schedule is listed below.
AHSAA 95th State Basketball Championships
At BJCC Legacy Arena
MONDAY, FEB. 27
Westminster Oak Mountain (21-5) vs. R.A. Hubbard (20-8), 9 a.m.
J.F. Shields (19-3) vs. Spring Garden (25-7), noon
Cornerstone (15-9) vs. South Lamar (24-6), 10:30 a.m.
Georgiana (27-2) vs. Sacred Heart (26-8), 1:30 p.m.
R.C. Hatch (22-5) vs. Tanner (27-2), 3 p.m.
Geneva County (29-2) vs. Fyff e (23-7), 6 p.m.
R.C. Hatch (23-2) vs. Sheffi eld (23-10) 4:30 p.m.
Barbour County (18-11) vs. Lanett (22-7), 7:30 p.m.
TUESDAY, FEB. 28
Montgomery Academy (28-4) vs. Locust Fork (33-1), 9 a.m.
Hillcrest-Evergreen (23-0) vs. Pisgah (26-7), noon
Midfi eld (25-6) vs. Holly Pond (32-1), 10:30 a.m.
Hillcrest-Evergreen (22-5) vs. Plainview (30-4), 1:30 p.m.
Greensboro (22-4) vs. Deshler (33-0), 3 p.m.
B.T. Washington Magnet (15-7) vs. Madison Academy (33-1), 6 p.m.
Hale County (26-4) vs. Cordova (23-8), 4:30 p.m.
Monroe County (22-4) vs. Madison Academy (24-6), 7:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1
Sylacauga (25-5) vs. Wenonah (28-3), 3 p.m.
Charles Henderson (29-5) vs. Arab (21-13), 6 p.m.
Sylacauga (26-7) vs. Mae Jemison (32-4), 4:30 p.m.
Faith Academy (21-8) vs. Talladega (26-8), 7:30 p.m.
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (31-2) vs. Hazel Green (36-1), 9 a.m.
Carver-Montgomery (11-16) vs. Homewood (32-2), noon
Paul Bryant (22-11) vs. Aus n (29-5), 10:30 a.m.
Spanish Fort (25-8) vs. Parker (27-7), 1:30 p.m.
THURSDAY, MARCH 2
Central-Phenix City (26-4) vs. Hoover (27-7), 9 a.m.
McGill-Toolen Catholic (27-6) vs. Spain Park (21-11), noon
Auburn (22-9) vs. Vestavia Hills (19-14), 10:30 a.m.
McGill-Toolen (24-9) vs. Mountain Brook (29-5) 1:30 p.m.
CLASS 1A GIRLS: Thursday, 4 p.m.
CLASS 1A BOYS: Thursday, 5:45 p.m.
CLASS 2A GIRLS: Friday, 9 a.m.
CLASS 2A BOYS: Friday, 10:45 a.m.
CLASS 3A GIRLS: Friday, 12:30 p.m.
CLASS 3A BOYS: Friday, 2:15 p.m.
CLASS 4A GIRLS: Friday, 4 p.m.
CLASS 4A BOYS: Friday, 5:45 p.m.
CLASS 5A GIRLS: Saturday, 9 a.m.
CLASS 5A BOYS: Saturday, 10:45 a.m.
CLASS 6A GIRLS: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
CLASS 6A BOYS: Saturday, 2:15 p.m.
CLASS 7A GIRLS: Saturday, 4 p.m.
CLASS 7A BOYS: Saturday, 5:45 p.m.