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Class 4A Boys Semifinals Monroe County 75, Madison Academy 66 (2 OT)

    Monroe County outscored Madison Academy 16-7 in the second overtime Tuesday night and captured a 75-66 win to advance to the 2017 AHSAA Class 4A state boys’ basketball finals.
    Coach Anthony Hayes’ Tigers (23-4) will meet Hale County (27-4) in the 4A championship game Friday at 5:45 p.m. at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The 95th AHSAA State Basketball Championships will feature semifinal games for girls and boys in Class 6A and Class 5A Wednesday and in Class 7A Thursday morning. State finals in Class 1A will be held Thursday afternoon. Championships for boys and girls in Classes 2A, 3A and 4A are scheduled for Friday with Class 5A, 6A and 7A finals set for Saturday’s final day.
     Tuesday’s final game of the eight-game slate turned out to be the most exciting as Madison Academy (24-7), the 3A state champ in 2016 playing in Class 4A for the first time, and Monroe County battled toe-to-toe.
     The Mustangs of Coach Andy Blackston led after one quarter 14-9, Monroe County led 31-25 at halftime and 47-43 after three quarters. The fourth quarter turned out to be a thriller as Madison Academy’s defense forced several turnovers and the offense whittled away to finally tie the game at 52-52 with 2:35 remaining. The game was deadlocked at 54 all at the end of regulation.
      Each team scored five points in the first overtime and was still tied at 59-59.
      In the second overtime Tyler Stallworth and Deandre Robinson took over inside for two lay-ups and then sank two free throws each to put Monroe County ahead for good.
     Robinson, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds. He was 8-of-11 on the night at the foul line. Stallworth added 20 points, eight rebounds, three treys and three assists, and Albert Middleton scored 18 points. His free throws in the final seconds of the second overtime sealed the victory. He sank 10-of-12 free throws for the contest.
    Guard Collin Blanchard led his team back in the second half finishing with 21 points, eight rebounds and two assists. He was 5-of-6 at the foul line.  Calvin Walker added 17 points and Calvin Bacon had 15. Each had three 3-pointers and Walker was also 4-for-4 at the foul line.
      All semifinals are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network, and the finals will be televised live and live-streamed by Raycom Sports. The AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting all games over its statewide radio network and internet link.



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