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CLASS 3A BOYS’ SEMIFINALS Hillcrest-Evergreen 74, Lauderdale County 48

     BIRMINGHAM – Hillcrest-Evergreen High School’s boys’ basketball team downed Lauderdale County 74-48 in the Class 3A state tournament semifinals at the BJCC Legacy Arena Tuesday morning to advance to the state finals Friday.
      The Jaguars (24-2) of Coach Chenson Griffin used a balanced attack with Ryan Nettles and Kobe Bradley scoring 17 points each and Jarrett Taylor notching 15. Nettles, a 6-foot-3 junior who quarterbacked Hillcrest to the Class 3A state football championship last December, also had 16 rebounds. Seven came on the offensive board. He blocked five shots, had two steals and three assists. Bradley also had eight steals and Taylor sank five 3-point goals.
      Lauderdale County (23-10), coached by Mark Newton, got 11 points from senior Buddy Burchell, seven points and 11 rebounds from Reece Thacker and nine points from Connor Smith. Slade Brown also had 10 rebounds.
    Class 3A and 4A girls’ and boys’ semifinals continue this afternoon with Classes 6A and 5A playing Wednesday. The Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning. Championship games begin Thursday afternoon with Class 1A. The remaining 12 state championship games will be Friday and 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 www.ahsaa.com. Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals.

    

CLASS 3A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Lauderdale County 59, T.R. Miller 45

     BIRMINGHAM – Senior Allie Craig-Cruce scored 28 points and cleared eight rebounds Tuesday morning to lead Lauderdale County (35-2) to a 59-45 win over previously undefeated T.R. Miller (30-1). The Class 3A girls’ semifinal victory opened the second day of action at the 96th AHSAA State Basketball Finals championship tournament at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena.
    Class 3A and 4A girls’ and boys’ semifinals are Tuesday with Classes 6A and 5A playing Wednesday. The Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning. Championship games begin Thursday afternoon with Class 1A. The remaining 12 state championship games will be Friday and Saturday.
Cruce was 10-of-19 from the field, sank three 3-pointers and was 5-of-6 at the foul line for Coach Brant Llewellyn’s Tigers. Tamia Watkins and Sadie McIntyre added 10 points each. McIntyre also had seven rebounds. Point guard Jaide Ellick also had four assists.
     Valerie Samuel had 12 points, Steely Ruzic chipped in 10 and Janazsia Nettles scored nine for T.R. Miller, coached by Ron Jackson. Kyola Bell-Barton had eight rebounds.
     The win extended Lauderdale County’s current winning streak to 20 games and ended T.R. Miller’s streak at 30, which was the longest in the state this season.
     The victory improved Llewellyn’s career coaching record to 589-90. Lauderdale County now advances to Friday’s 3A girls’ state championship game and will vying for the school’s 14th state girls’ title. Llewellyn has coached eight of the championships including five in as row from 2012-2016 that produced a state-record 86 wins in a row. Larry Sinyard coached the first five LCHS state championships.
     Jackson has coached T.R. Miller to four state titles (1995, 1996, 2002, 2009) and Monroe County to one (1987), His career coaching record is now 711-153.
     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 www.ahsaa.com
. Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals.
    

CLASS 2A BOYS’ SEMIFINALS Lanett 75, Aliceville 64

     BIRMINGHAM – Two-time defending Class 2A state basketball champion Lanett edged a stubborn  Aliceville squad 75-64 Monday night in the semifinals of the 96th AHSAA State Basketball Championship tournament at the BJCC Legacy Arena to move into Friday’s state finals.
      Coach Richard Carter’s Panthers (25-5) will face St.Luke’s Episcopal of Mobile in the championship game at 10:45 Friday morning. Lanett, which won the Class 2A state football title last December, also won the 2017 and 2016 Class 2A state boys’ basketball titles.
     The Panthers needed all their weapons to dispose of Aliceville (20-3). Lanett’s tall inside presence of 6-foot-7 Emmanuel Littles and 6-7 Anquavious Pollard was complemented by the quickness of guard Terrion Truitt. Pollard finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, Truitt had 21 points and three 3-point goals and Littles scored 15 points with several strong dunks and also cleared a game-high 11 rebounds.
    Still, Aliceville, coached by Chris Walker, was down just five points at one point in the fourth quarter. Jaquan Lee and TyQuane Wright had 18 and 12 points, respectively, combining for seven 3-pointers – most of them coming in an exciting stretch run that closed the gap in the second half. Wright had four treys and Lee had three. Edward Weston added 16 points with two 3-pointers as the Bears finished with 11 on 32 tries. Walker’s team was also 13-of-14 at the foul line but lost the rebound battle 44-27 to the taller Panthers.
    The state tournament, now in its 25th year at Birmingham’s BJCC, resumes Tuesday with Class 3A and 4A girls and boys semifinals.  Classes 6A and 5A play Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning. Friday and Saturday will be championship games in all classes except Class 1A, which has its girls’ and boys’ finals Thursday night.
   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 www.ahsaa.com. Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals.

CLASS 2A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Sand Rock 62, Keith 45

     BIRMINGHAM – Junior guard Kirby DeBoard scored 20 points and senior forward Savannah Blackwell had 17 points. 12 rebounds and five steals to lead Sand Rock past Keith 62-45 in the Class 2A Girls’ State basketball Championships semifinals Monday at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena.
     The victory propels Coach Lisa Bates’ Wildcats (23-8) into the Class 2A state finals Friday at 9 a.m. against Samson (30-3) in the 96th AHSAA state tourney.
     DeBoard was 11-of-14 at the foul line and also had two assists and two steals. Kynleigh Chesnut chipped in 11 points.  
     Keith (19-9), coached by Cecil Williams, was led by Ambreya Snow and Shatavia Moore, with 16 and 13 points, respectively. Moore also had nine rebounds, five steals and three assists. Jakrya Simmons also chipped in eight points.
Classes 3A and 4A girls and boys open play with semifinals Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A play  Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning. Friday and Saturday will be championship games in all classes except Class 1A, which has its girls’ and boys’ finals Thursday night.
   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 www.ahsaa.com
. Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals.
   


CLASS 2A BOYS’ SEMIFINALS St. Luke’s Episcopal 72, Tanner 65

     BIRMINGHAM – St. Luke’s Episcopal nipped Tanner 72-65 Monday afternoon in the Class 2A boys’ semifinals of  96th AHSAA State Basketball Championships tourney at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena.
     Coach Kantonio Davis’ Wildcats (22-8) jumped out to a quick 22-11 lead over the Rattlers (21-12) of Coach Chris Whitt, but had to clinch the win in the final period at the foul line. St. Luke’s was 18-of-26 in the fourth quarter and finished 27-of-44 for the game. Senior 6-foot-5 forward Mark Wilcox, who scored a game-high 27 points, was 10-of-15 on the night on free throws, 8-of-14 from the field and had five rebounds to pace St. Luke’s. Jermaine Brown and Kevin Parden each had 12 points. Brown had a team-high eight rebounds.
     Tanner was paced by senior C.J. Yarbrough’s 19 points and seven rebounds. Jireh Jackson added 12 points, Malik Atkins and J.J. Jones, 11 each. The Rattlers were 18-of-28 at the foul line.
     St. Luke’s will play in the Class 2A finals Friday at 10:45 a.m. The Class 2A boys’ and girls’ semifinals continued Monday night with Classes 3A and 4A scheduled to play semifinals Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A, Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning.
   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 www.ahsaa.com. Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals.

CLASS 2A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Samson 64, Phil Campbell 43

     BIRMINGHAM – Samson High School downed Phil Campbell 64-43 Monday afternoon a the BJCC Legacy Arena to clinch a berth in the AHSAA Class 2A Girls’ State Tournament championship game for the second time in three seasons.
     The Tigers (30-3) of Coach Chad McKnight outscored the Bobcats 21-11 in the second quarter to take a 36-25 lead at halftime. Coach Craig Thomas’ girls clawed back in the third quarter to close the game to six points before Samson closed strong outscoring Phil Campbell 17-4 in the final period.
        Senior LaTascya Duff scored 23 points and her twin sister LaTora Duff added 14 to lead the Tigers. Kaitlyn McKnight added 10 points. Diamonique Williams had seven points and 11 rebounds and LaTascya Duff also had 11 boards, five steals and made three 3-point goals. Samson finished 9-of-17 (52.9%) on threes and was 7-of-8 at the foul line.
      Chloe Roberson led Phil Campbell (27-6) with 18 points and eight rebounds. Abby Davis and Darby Elliott added six points each.
       Samson won the state titles in 2006, 2007 and 2016.
     The Class 2A boys’ and girls’ semifinals continued Monday with Classes 3A and 4A scheduled to play semifinals Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A, Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning.
   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 www.ahsaa.com. Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals.

CLASS 1A BOYS’ SEMIFINALS Sacred Heart Catholic 76, Cornerstone 60

     BIRMINGHAM – Sacred Heart Catholic of Anniston moved one step closer to a fourth consecutive boys’ Class 1A state championship with a 76-60 victory over Cornerstone School in the semifinals of the 2018 AHSAA State Basketball Championships at the BJCC Legacy Arena Monday.
     Senior Kiante Wood had 25 points and 19 rebounds for the Cardinals (22-10). He also has three assists. Teammates Khalil Watkins and Murdock Simmons added 16 and 14 points respectively for Sacred Heart, coached by Ralphael Graves. Simmons also had four assists.  The Cardinals won 1A state titles in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and will face Georgiana (30-3) Thursday at 5:45 p.m. in the 2018 championship game.
    Cornerstone (24-8), coached by Wiley Edwards, was paced by John Stanford’ 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Eriq Williams added 12 points and Kelton Wilson had 10. It was the second straight state tournament appearance for the Eagles.
      The Class 2A boys’ and girls’ semifinals are also scheduled for Monday. Classes 3A and 4A are scheduled to play semifinals Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A, Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning.
   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 www.ahsaa.com
. Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals.
   


CLASS 1A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Spring Garden 40, Loachapoka 28

     BIRMINGHAM – Spring Garden (31-3)  downed Loachapoka 40-28 Monday in the Class 1A girls’ semifinals to clinch a berth in the AHSAA Class 1A girls’ state championship game scheduled for Thursday.
      Coach Ricky Austin’s Panthers will meet Phillips (29-3) at 4 p.m., Thursday at the BJCC Legacy Arena with hopes of capturing the school’s sixth state title and first since 2016.
     Senior Tiyonna Rogers scored 17 points and cleared 20 rebounds to pace Spring Garden. She was 5-fo-5 at the foul line and the team finished 12-of-14 for the game.  Macy Reedy added 11 points and Payton McGinnis had eight points and eight rebounds.
    Loachapoka (22-5), coached by Anthony Edwards, was led by Colby Cox ans Kaitlin Hill, with 14 and 12 points respectively. Hill also had five rebounds.
The Class 2A boys’ and girls’ semifinals are also scheduled for Monday. Classes 3A and 4A are scheduled to play semifinals Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A, Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning.
   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 www.ahsaa.com. Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals.

CLASS 1A BOYS’ SEMIFINALS Georgiana 80, R.A. Hubbard 58

     BIRMINGHAM – Georgiana (30-3) jumped out to 24-7 lead in the first quarter Monday morning and rolled to an 80-58 victory over R.A. Hubbard (27-7) in the opening game of the AHSAA Class 1A Boys’ State Basketball Tournament at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
    The semifinal win by Coach Kirk Norris’ Panthers advanced Georgian to Thursday afternoon’s 5:45 p.m. finals at the 96th annual AHSAA State Finals Championships. The final Class 1A girls’ and boys’ semifinals and the Class 2A boys’ and girls’ semifinals are also scheduled for Monday. Sacred Heart Catholic and Cornerstone School were set to play in the other boys’ 1A semifinal Monday afternoon. Classes 3A and 4A are scheduled to play semifinals Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A, Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning.
    Senior guard JaMichael Stallworth led the Panthers’ offensive effort with 22 points. Martavius Payton added 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, Lecedric Haynes had 13 points and Christian Williams scored 12.
    The Chiefs of Coach Sonny Conwill were led by Riely Evans’ 13 points. Jaivian McGahee added 11 points and seven rebounds and Montoya Kellogg had 10 points. He also had four steals. 
   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 www.ahsaa.com. Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals.
    Georgiana advanced to the 1A title game for the second time in the last three years and reached the semifinals in 2017.
    

CLASS 1A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Phillips 75, Linden 46

     BIRMINGHAM – Sophomore forward Alicyn McCollum sank 14-of-16 field goals attempted Monday morning and finished with 29 points to lead Phillips (29-3) to a 75-46 victory over Linden in the Class 1A girls’ state basketball tournament semifinals at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
    The contest was the first of 42 games to be played this week at the 96th annual AHSAA State Finals Championships. The Class 1A girls’ and boys’ semifinals and the Class 2A boys’ and girls’ semifinals are also scheduled for Monday. Classes 3A and 4A play Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A, Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning.
    McCollum also cleared 14 rebounds with her resounding dominance inside for Coach Scott Veal’s Bears from Bear Creek. Teammate Gracie Hallman, also a sophomore, added 17 points and had three assists. Senior Julianna Taylor chipped in eight points, had a game-high seven steals and handed out three assists. Lexie Dishner had eight points and nine rebounds.
    Linden (20-4), coached by Teressa Bolden, got a big game from senior guard Amber Richardson. She scored 28 points, was 9-of-11 at the free-throw line, cleared 10 rebounds and blocked two shots.  Dajai Miller also had 10 points and five steals.
     Phillips advances to the Class 1A championship game Thursday at 4 p.m., to play the winner of the other semifinal, Spring Garden or Loachapoka.   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 www.ahsaa.com. Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals.
    Phillips has two state titles to its credit, winning championships in 1985 and 1986.