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Class 3A Girls Semifinals Locust Fork 57, Montgomery Academy 47

    Locust Fork High School outscored Montgomery Academy 21-7 in the second quarter to build a 14-point lead by halftime, then was almost perfect at the foul line fourth quarter to fend off the Eagles’ tenacious comeback effort to win 58-48 in the semifinals of the AHSAA Class 3A girls’ state basketball tournament.
     Coach Barbara Roy’s Hornets (34-1) advanced to the 2017 AHSAA Class 3A state finals Friday at 12:30 p.m. with the victory. Locust Fork lost by one point in last year’s Class 4A semifinals to Sipsey Valley.
     “We looked at that picture of the scoreboard from last year’s game ever since that game,” Roy said, whose team is now in the state finals for the first time in school history.
     Locust Fork’s double-digit lead dwindled to seven with 30 seconds remaining but Carlissa Horton and Kimberly Horton each sank two free throws in the final seconds to seal the win.  The Hornets finished 13-of-15 at the foul line for the game and 9-of-10 in the fourth period.
     Kimberly Horton led Locust Fork with 20 points and six rebounds. She was 5-of-6 at the foul line. Carissa Horton had nine points and four steals. She was perfect on all six free throws she tried.  Ashlyn Adkins added 12 points and six rebounds, and Madison Cater had 10 points.
      Coach Barry Fencher’s Eagles (28-5) got 19 points and 10 rebounds from Kayla White and 16 points from Jade Brooks. White also had three assists and Brooks sank three 3-point goals.  Caroline Kirkham, Montgomery Academy’s usual starting center, came off the bench to start the fourth quarter and quickly put a spark in her team scoring four points. She injured a knee in the regional finals and was not expected to play.
      All semifinals of the 95th annual state tourney are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network, and the finals will be televised live by Raycom Sports. The AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting all games over its statewide radio network and internet link and is providing the audio for the NFHS Network.



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