Author: Marvin Chou

Marvin Chou's Article

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. 

AHSAA State Basketball Finals Celebrate 25 Years as Combined Extravaganza in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A groundbreaking idea 25 years ago changed the face of Alabama High School Athletic Association basketball. Why not bring the girls’ and boys’ state semifinals and finals to one site for a week of the best basketball in the state? It had never been done in Alabama and the format proposed for that 1994 championship tournament was likely the first ever in the nation.


The AHSAA would crown its champions at one site, all classifications, with girls’ and boys’ games alternating until all the nets had been cut down.


“I think everyone will agree it’s been a great 25 years for basketball in our state,” said Steve Savarese, the current AHSAA Executive Director. “Having all the teams playing at one site makes for a special environment to showcase our student-athletes, their coaches and all the fans.


“The tournament has been a great success for the AHSAA and for the city of Birmingham. We are grateful for all of our partners who make it such a memorable event.”


The genesis of the tournament finals coming to the state’s largest city came from the Birmingham Tip Off Club’s then-president John D. Clements and then-AHSAA Executive Director Dan Washburn in 1993. Clements’ idea was to bring the six prep champs to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center for a “Tournament of Champions” to create an extra buzz for the sport. Washburn rejected that idea, but offered a different plan – why not crown all the champions in an event in the Magic City to generate a next level of excitement?


Clements and his fellow Tip Off Club members leapt into action, creating the Alabama Basketball Foundation to serve as the organization to administer the tournament, securing sponsors, housing at the Sheraton Civic Center hotel for the teams and officials, and creating a volunteer program that rallied the community around the teams and the event.


Former Tip Off Club president Jim Conrad prepared a tournament manual that has served as a blueprint for conducting the event. A logo and marketing theme was put into place – “State Finals, 48 Teams, 1 Dream” – that was used for many years.


Clements said the consolidation and move of the tournaments to Birmingham had its risks for the AHSAA, including the end of the long tradition of having eight boys’ teams advance to the finals. The makeup of the first Alabama Basketball Foundation board helped smooth the transition. The board was made up of Tip Off Club members Clements, Edgar Welden, Ron Edwards, Bill Meagher, Dick Coffee III and Mike Washburn. Members from the AHSAA were Washburn, Jimmy Cal, Max Ray from the Central Board of Control, Vestavia Hills High School coach Fran Brasch and Bryant-Jorden Scholarship Foundation board member Larry Striplin.


The agreement that combined the two tournaments into “Final Four” extravaganzas also started the four regional tournaments, dubbed collectively as the “Road to Birmingham.”  The first year the regionals were played at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Jacksonville State University, Wallace State Community College in Hanceville and Faulkner Community College in Bay Minette. Along the way, the the south site moved to Troy University, the University of South Alabama and is currently held at Dothan Civic Center. Since that first season, approximately 2 million spectators have watched the state championship qualifier tournaments.


Birmingham businesses joined the effort to support the tournament in Birmingham from the get-go, Clements said. “Coca-Cola United of Birmingham has been a loyal sponsor and supporter of the tournament since its inception,” he said, “not only financially but with in-kind products for the participants during the tournament, marketing and personnel to assist with the production of the tournament.


“HealthSouth (now Encompass Health) also committed as an initial sponsor. HealthSouth provided trainers and medical personnel in attendance during the games and participant medals given to each player. The Birmingham News provided in-kind promotional and advertising services. Alabama Power also participated by providing promotional assistance – and sponsored a popular slam-dunk contest and 3-point shooting contest. Later, Alabama Power became a full participating financial sponsor. The City of Birmingham and Jefferson County also agreed to help.”


The Tip Off Club also devised the concept of providing hosts for each team to assist them from the moment the results of the regionals were known until their state in Birmingham was complete. Sally Bryant, and later Janis Clements, headed up the effort to recruit volunteers and match them with the teams. Many of the hosts went the extra mile, providing treats for the players and some even invited players and coaches to their homes and/or offices for a sort of “career day.” At least one host was later invited to speak at “his” team’s postseason banquet and others have received championship rings from their team.


Welden, a Birmingham businessman and longtime supporter of high-school athletics, told the Over The Mountain Journal in a 2016 interview: “I really think putting the boys and the girls in the same venue was one of the best things that ever happened for girls’ basketball in the state. We put them on equal footing with the boys and gave them a showcase they hadn’t had previously. Other states have followed our format.” That unique concept has been copied by other several other states since then.


That first year at the BJCC, the girls’ Class 2A matchup between Lauderdale County and top-ranked Fyffe drew the largest crowd with a record-breaking 6,500 in attendance.


This year’s State Finals begin on Monday with Class 1A and 2A girls’ and boys’ semifinals.  The Class 1A girls’ semifinal contest between Linden (20-3) and Phillips (28-3) kicks off the eight-game slate at 9 a.m.  Classes 3A and 4A play Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A tip on Wednesday and Class 7A semis will be Thursday.  Championship games begin Thursday afternoon and continue through Saturday afternoon. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.

Thompson, Oxford, Arab Sweep 63rd AHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Von Braun Center

HUNTSVILLE – Thompson High School junior Gabe Hixenbaugh captured the fourth state wrestling championship of his prep career Saturday to spark Thompson High School to the Class 7A state wrestling title at the 63rd AHSAA State Championships held at the Von Braun Center.
    The Warriors of Coach Sean Weltzin totaled 120 points to claim the crown. Central-Phenix City finished second with 93 points and Oak Mountain was third with 84.5. Oxford, coached by Matt Hicks, posted 203 points to win the Class 6A state championship for the second year in a row, Benjamin Russell had 111 and Clay-Chalkville totaled 103.5. Arab edged Scottsboro by 4 points, 157.5 to 153.5, as Coach Michael Pruitt’s Knights their sixth straight state crown.
     Hixenbaugh (53-3) won a tough 3-2 decision in the Class 7A 132-pound finals over Maxwell Kauffman of Central-Phenix City (51-5) to seal the championship for the Warriors. He won at 126 pounds as a sophomore, 113 pounds as a freshman and 106 pounds as an eighth grader. Thompson had four wrestlers in the winner’s circle Saturday with junior Dylan Lesueur (47-8) at 106 pounds, junior Chandlar Akins (39-9) at 126 and senior Seth Whitlock (28-11) at 285 pounds.
    Oxford 285-pound junior Clay Webb (35-1) was one of three Yellow Jackets to claim state titles in the 6A competition. Webb beat Hueytown’s Brian Gardner in the finals with a pin at 37 seconds. Webb finished with four pins for a state-tourney leading three minutes and 40 seconds. Freshman Jakob Chisolm (57-14) won the 126-pound title and senior Matt King (55-3) was the victor at 152 pounds.
    Arab had just one wrestler in the winner’s circle, 145-pound senior Clay Jones (69-0). Jones was also one of four wrestlers to finish unbeaten on the season in Class 1A/5A. Macon Edwards, a senior at Fultondale, won at 120 pounds and finished the year 75-0. He won three state titles in the last four years with just one loss – finishing with a 238-1 record overall in that stretch. He won 163 matches in a row from 2015-17.
   Alexandria junior Chris Knop (50-0), who was named the Class 1A/5A state tourney MVP, won at 182 pounds for his third state title and extended his current winning streak to 164 matches. If he can complete his senior year undefeated, he could become the wrestler in AHSAA history to win four straight state titles with unbeaten records.
   In Class 6A, senior Justin Ingram of Spanish Fort finished 76-0 with a victory in the 145-pound finals and earned MVP honors. Senior Tobias Garrison of Stanhope Elmore (40-0 won at 170 pounds to also finish unbeaten.
    In Class 7A, Oak Mountain senior Barrett Blakely (53-0) won MVP honors capturing the 170-pound title for his second straight championship.
Results of all championship matches are listed. Complete results can be found at www.trackwrestling.com



285 pounds: Clay Webb (Oxford) 36-1, Jr. over Brian Gardner (Hueytown) 22-3, Sr. (Fall 0:37).
6A MOST PINS: Clay Webb, Oxford (4 pins, 3:40).
6A BEST MATCH: Steven Bell, McAdory, vs. Jakob Chisolm, Oxford (126 pound finals).
6A MVP: Justin Ingram, Spanish Fort.




AHSAA 63rd State Wrestling Championships
Final Results
Arab 157.5; Scottsboro 153.5; Alexandria 112.5; Cleburne County 111.0; Dora 108.5; Mortimer Jordan 78.5; Hayden 69.0; Moody 69.0; Mae Jemison 64.5; Susan Moore 60.5.
Oxford 203.0; Benjamin Russell 111.0; Clay-Chalkville 103.5; Gardendale 98.0; Athens 97.0; McAdory 88.0; Helena 87.0; Pinson Valley 86.5; Southside-Gadsden 85.0; Stanhope Elmore 71.0.
Thompson 120.0; Central-Phenix City 93.0; Oak Mountain 84.5; Hewitt-Trussville 77.0; Vestavia Hills 77.0; Bob Jones 73.5; Hoover 73.5; Grissom 57.0; Huntsville 36.0; Auburn 33.0.

CLASS 1A-5A Championship Bouts
106 pounds:
Cory Land (Moody) 53-2, 8th. over Cody Souder (Weaver) 34-1, Fr. (Dec 6-4).
113 pounds: Jaden New (Alexandria) 37-5, 8th. over Joseph Martin (Arab) 56-5, Jr. (Fall 1:28).
120 pounds: Macon Edwards (Fultondale) 75-0, Sr. over Dylan Turner (Cleburne County) 31-4, Sr. (Dec 6-0.
126 pounds:
John Mcalpin (Scottsboro) 46-4, Sr. over Landon Castleberry (Hayden) 53-3, Sr. (Fall 1:16).
132 pounds: Zachary Clayton (Dora) 59-1, Sr. over Kage Robertson (Susan Moore) 40-4, Sr. (MD 16-3).
138 pounds: Brantley McHugh (Madison County) 28-5, Sr. over Garrett Mcclendon (Arab) 58-7, Jr. (Fall 6:00).
145 pounds: Clay Jones (Arab) 69-0, Sr. over Rashad Clark (Moody) 53-6, Jr. (Dec 8-6).
152 pounds: Aaron Whittaker (Alexandria) 46-4, Sr. over Brady Richardson (Holtville) 49-2, Sr. (Dec 7-5).
160 pounds: Carial Tarter (Mortimer Jordan) 62-0, Sr. over Colby Hallmark (Hayden) 47-9, Jr. (MD 15-2).
170 pounds: Kolton Clark (Scottsboro) 51-2, Jr. over Ethan Pippin (Westminster Christian) 44-5, Sr. (Fall 2:57).
182 pounds: Christian Knop (Alexandria) 50-0, Jr. over Monquavias Ricks (Deshler) 43-3, Sr. (Fall 1:45).
195 pounds: Tanner Woodall (North Jackson) 30-2, Jr. over Andy Baker (Tallassee) 57-2, Jr. (Fall 2:40).
220 pounds: Sean Caleb Allison (Weaver) 57-2, Jr. over Travis Woodall (North Jackson) 30-5, Jr. (SV-1 3-1).
285 pounds: Bradford Womack (Scottsboro) 29-6, Jr. over Michael Barnes (Mortimer Jordan) 46-11, Jr. (Dec 6-0).
1A/5A MOST PINS: John Mcalpin, Scottsboro (4 pins, 5:02).
1A/5A BEST MATCH: Aaron Whittaker, Alexandria vs. Brady Richardson, Holt (152-pound finals).
1A/5A MVP: Christian Knop, Alexandria.

CLASS 6A Championship Bouts
106 pounds:
George Vazquez (Pinson Valley) 32-3, Jr. over Bobby Charsha (Benjamin Russell) 56-10, So. (Dec 8-5).
113 pounds: Andrew Smith (Southside-Gadsden) 71-4, Sr. over Chase Hicks (Oxford) 59-8, Fr. (MD 12-1).
120 pounds: Jacob Dease (Southside-Gadsden) 61-10, Fr. over Landon Burrage (Oxford) 53-21, Jr. (MD 8-0).
126 pounds: Jakob Chisolm (Oxford) 57-14, Fr. over Steven Bell (McAdory) 69-2, Jr. (Dec 8-5).
132 pounds: Gage Hudson (Gulf Shores) 42-6, Jr. over Brandon Seawright (Minor) 36-3, So. (Dec 11-6).
138 pounds: Alex Miller (Helena) 51-2, Sr. over Deacon Cowart (Athens) 35-14, Jr. (Fall 3:06).
145 pounds: Justin Ingram (Spanish Fort) 76-0, Sr. over Saxon Coker (Benjamin Russell) 55-11, So. (Dec 5-1).
152 pounds: Matt King (Oxford) 55-3, Sr. over Javonic Turner (Homewood) 42-1, Sr. (Dec 4-2).
160 pound: Zaquarius Harris (Columbia) 42-9, Jr. over Trevor Muncey (Gardendale) 26-6, Sr. (Dec 2-1).
170 pounds: Tobias Garrison (Stanhope Elmore) 40-0, Sr. over Isaiah Mcdougal (Columbia) 45-3, Sr. (Dec 5-2).
182 pounds: Nathan Dunaway (Helena) 67-1, So. over Thomas Carter (Athens) 12-2, Sr. (Dec 6-2).
195 pounds: Carlos Miguel Figueroa (Homewood) 61-1, Jr. over Anthony Talton (Clay-Chalkville) 43-5, Jr. (Fall 1:23).
220 pounds: Jackson Jones (Clay-Chalkville) 36-2, Jr. over Daiquion Thedford (Brookwood) 32-4, Sr. (Fall 1:55).
285 pounds: Clay Webb (Oxford) 36-1, Jr. over Brian Gardner (Hueytown) 22-3, Sr. (Fall 0:37).
6A MOST PINS: Clay Webb, Oxford (4 pins, 3:40).
6A BEST MATCH: Steven Bell, McAdory, vs. Jakob Chisolm, Oxford (126 pound finals).
6A MVP: Justin Ingram, Spanish Fort.

CLASS 7A Championship Bouts
106 pounds:
Dylan Lesueur (Thompson) 47-8, Jr. over Adrian Neco (Central-Phenix City) 51-6, Fr. (Dec 1-0).
113 pounds: Tyler Ivey (Grissom) 22-0, Jr. over Emmanuel Oliver (Thompson) 32-6, So. (Dec 5-1).
120 pounds: Sullivan Tipton (Oak Mountain) 50-7, So. over Riley Huff (Hoover) 35-9, Jr. (Dec 4-3).
126 pounds: Chandlar Akins (Thompson) 39-9, Jr. over Mark Hurt (Central-Phenix City) 39-7, Sr. (Dec 3-0).
132 pounds: Gabe Hixenbaugh (Thompson) 53-3, Jr. over Maxwell Kauffman (Central-Phenix City) 51-5, Jr. (Dec 3-2).
138 pounds: Stone Barden (Hewitt-Trussville) 26-3, Jr. over Hector Candelaria (Central-Phenix City) 51-1, Sr. (MD 9-1).
145 pounds: Conner Smith (Hewitt-Trussville) 43-4, Sr. over Jonathan Handy (Grissom) 52-3, Sr. (Dec 10-4).
152 pounds: Cale Land (Hewitt-Trussville) 23-9, Jr. over Peter Dazzio (Vestavia Hills) 38-7, Jr. (Dec 6-3).
160 pounds: Robert Morales (Central-Phenix City) 49-3, Sr. over Bowman Hill (Vestavia Hills) 28-3, Sr. (Fall 3:12).
170 pounds: Barrett Blakely (Oak Mountain) 53-0, Sr. over Jordan Hunter (Buckhorn) 31-3, Jr. (Fall 3:42).
182 pounds: Spencer Haddock (Vestavia Hills) 22-2, Sr. over George Francovitch (Bob Jones) 42-5, Jr. (MD 14-5).
195 pounds: D`angelo Dewitt (Hoover) 46-2, Sr. over Harold Gilmore (Bob Jones) 41-6, Sr. (MD 10-2).
220 pounds: Jaeger Clark (Huntsville) 57-2, Sr. over Seth Dupree (Bob Jones) 45-5, Sr. (Dec 4-2).
285 pounds: Seth Whitlock (Thompson) 28-11, Sr. over Camron Hill (Lee-Montgomery) 29-2, Sr. (DQ).
7A MOST PINS: Robert Morales, Central-Phenix City (3 pins, 8:24).
7A BEST MATCH: Jaeger Clark, Huntsville vs. Seth Dupree, Bob Jones (220-pound finals).
7A MVP: Barrett Blakely, Oak Mountain.

Arab, Oxford, Thompson Lead Wrestling Divisions Heading into Final Day of 63rd AHSAA State Meet

     HUNTSVILLE – Defending Class 1A/5A state champion Arab totaled 148.5 points after Friday’s competition and holds a slim 21-point lead over Scottsboro heading into Saturday’s final round of the 63rd AHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Von Braun Center.
    Defending 6A champion Oxford had a much more comfortable lead in Class 6A with 179 points overall. Benjamin Russell was 74 points back with 105. And in Class 7A, which had its first day of competition Friday, Thompson and Central-Phenix City emerged 1-2 with the Warriors amassing 102 points and the Red Devils just 15 points back with 87. Defending 7A state champion Vestavia Hills was third with 72 points, bunched closely with Bob Jones (70.5) and Oak Mountain (68.5).
    The consolation finals kick off Saturday’s final day of wrestling at 9 a.m., with the championship matches to follow beginning at 11:30 a.m. All matches will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network by TrackWrestling.
     Highlights from Friday were plenty.
     Hueytown senior Brian Gardner pulled the biggest upset of Friday’s wrestling action with a pin over defending Class 6A state 285-pound state champion Jake Andrews of Stanhope Elmore. Gardner (22-2) pinned Andrews (25-3) at 2:12 in the semifinals match for his third straight by fall in the Class 6A competition.  He will now face Clay Webb of Oxford (34-1), who pinned Opelika sophomore Michael Dawson (51-13) at 1:25 in the other semifinal bout. Webb finished second in last year’s competition and Gardner was fifth.
    Andrew Smith of Southside-Gadsden, last year’s 6A champion at 106 pounds, improved to 70-4 on the season with a 14-0 major decision win in the 113-pound semifinals. The senior will meet Oxford junior Chase Hicks (59-7), who won his semifinal match with a pin (1:54).
    Justin Ingram of Spanish Fort (75-0) moved into the 145-pound finals after going 53-1 last season to win the 132-pound state crown. Javonic Turner of Homewood (42-0) reached the 152-pound finals to face Oxford’s Matt King (54-3), who won last year at 160 pounds. Turner’s teammate Carlos Miguel Figeroa takes a 60-1 record into the 195-pound finals. He won at 182 pounds last year as a sophomore. Other defending champions to reach Saturday’s finals include Jackson Jones of Clay-Chalkville (35-2) at 220 pounds and Thomas Carter of Athens (12-1), last year’s 170-pound champ, in the 182-pound finals.
   In Class 1A/5A, Weaver’s Sean Caleb Allison (52-3) advanced to the 220-pound championship match with his a 5-1 decision over Scottsboro junior Caleb Anderson. Allison won his first two matches in a total of just 69 seconds – with pins at 0:32 and 0:37. His opponent in the finals will be Travis Woodall of North Jackson (30-4). Woodall and his twin brother Tanner (29-2) both advanced to the finals with Tanner competing in the 195-pound championship bout.
     Four defending champions advanced to the finals in Class 1A/5A. Landon Castleberry of Hayden (53-2), who won at 113 pounds last season, will be facing Scottsboro’s John McAlpine (45-4), last year’s 120-pound winner, in the 126-pound finals Saturday.
    Mortimer Jordan senior Carial Tarter (61-0), who won at 145 pounds last season, reached the 160-pound finals pinning Mae Jemison’s Michael Flynn in the semifinals at 1:43 for his third win by fall in the state meet. Now 119-0 in the last two seasons, will face Hayden junior Colby Hallmark (47-8) in the finals.
    Kolton Clark (50-2), a Scottsboro junior was runner-up to Tarter last season at 145 pounds, advanced to the 170-pound championship match to face defending state champion Ethan Pippen of Westminster Christian (44-4), who finished 53-0 last season.
    Junior Christian Knop of Alexandria (49-0), the defending champion at 182 pounds, pinned Beauregard’s Kyle Hugley (51-3) at 1:13 for his third straight win by fall to advance to the finals again. He will face Monquavious Ricks (43-2) of Deshler, who finished third last season.
     Fultondale senior Macon Edwards advanced to his fourth consecutive championship bout with a quick pin (0:56) in his semifinal match and will meet Cleburne County senior Dylan Turner (31-3) in the finals. Edwards is 237-1 over the last four seasons with winning streak of 163 straight match wins coming to an end in last year’s 113-pound finals.
   Arab’s Clay Jones (68-0) is also undefeated heading into the 145-pound championship bout.
    Six wrestlers who claimed state titles in the Class 7A division last season advanced through the quarterfinals and semifinals Friday to reach Saturday’s championship bouts. Oak Mountain senior Barrett Blakely (52-0), the 2017 160-pound champ, won one match by technical fall (15-0) and won the semis with a pin (0:58) to move into Saturday’s 170-pound finals. He will face Buckhorn junior Jordan Hunter (31-2). Other state champions back on center mat for Saturday’s finals include 126-pounder  Chandler Akins of Thompson (38-9), who won at 113 last year, and Thompson 132-pounder Gabe Hixenbaugh (52-3), who won at 126 in 2017.
   Hewitt-Trussville 138-pound junior Stone Barden (25-3), who won at 120 last season, will meet Central-Phenix City’s undefeated senior Hector Candelario (51-0). Hewitt-Trussville senior Conner Smith (42-4) won his semifinal match and will be in the 145-pound finals again facing Grissom senior Jonathan Handy (52-2). Hoover senior D’Angelo Dewitt (45-2) will be attempting to defend his 195-pound crown against Bob Jones’ Harold Gilmore (45-4).
   The 160-pound finals will feature last year’s 152-pound champ Robert Morales of Central Phenix City (48-3) and last year’s 160-pound  runner-up Bowman Hill (28-2) of Vestavia Hills.

AHSAA 63rd State Wrestling Championships
Saturday’s Championship Matches
(Finals start at 11 a.m.)
106 pounds: Cory Land, Moody (52-2), Jr., vs. Cody Souder, Weaver (34-0), Fr.
113 pounds: Joseph Martin, Arab (56-4), Jr., vs. Jaden New, Alexandria (36-5), 8th
120 pounds:  Macon Edwards, Fultondale (74-0), Sr., vs. Dylan Turner, Cleburne County (31-3), Sr.
126 pounds:  Landon Castleberry, Hayden (53-2) Sr., vs. John McAlpin, Scottsboro (45-4), Sr.
132 pounds:  Zachary Clayton, Dora (58-1), Sr., vs. Kage Robertson, Susan Moore (40-3), Sr.
138 pounds:  Garrett McClendon, Arab (58-6), Jr., vs. Brantley McHugh, Madison County (27-5), Sr.
145 pounds:  Clay Jones, Arab (68-0), Sr., vs. Rashad Clark, Moody (53-5), Jr.
152 pounds:  Aaron Whittaker, Alexandria (45-4), Sr., vs. Brady Richardson, Holtville (49-1), Sr.
160 pounds:  Carial Tarter, Mortimer Jordan (61-0), Sr., vs. Colby Hallmark, Hayden (47-8), Jr.
170 pounds:  Kolton Clark, Scottsboro (50-2), Jr., vs. Ethan Pippen, Westminster (44-4), Jr.
182 pounds:  Monquavias Ricks, Deshler (43-2), Sr., vs. Christian Knop, Alexandria (49-0), Jr.
195 pounds:  Tanner Woodall, North Jackson (29-2), Jr., vs. Andy Baker, Tallassee (57-1), Jr.
220 pounds:  Travis Woodall, North Jackson (30-4), Jr., vs. Sean Caleb Allison, Weaver (52-3), Jr.
285 pounds:  Bradford Womack, Scottsboro (28-6), Jr., vs. Michael Barnes, Mortimer Jordan (46-10), Jr.

106 pounds: Bobby Charsha, Benjamin Russell (56-9), So., vs. George Vazquez, Pinson Valley (31-3), Jr.
113 pounds: Andrew Smith, Southside-Gadsden (70-4), Sr., vs. Chase Hicks, Oxford (59-7), Jr.
120 pounds: Jacob  Dease, Southside-Gadsden (60-10), Fr., vs. Landon Burrage, Oxford (53-20), Jr.
126 pounds: Steven Bell, McAdory (69-1), Jr., vs. Jakob Chisolm, Oxford (56-14), Fr.
132 pounds: Brandon Seawright, Minor (36-2), So., vs. Gage Hudson, Gulf Shores (41-6), Jr.
138 pounds: Alex Miller, Helena (50-2), Sr., vs. Deacon Cowart, Athens (35-13), Jr.
145 pounds: Saxon Coker, Benjamin Russell (55-10), So., vs. Justin Ingram, Spanish Fort (75-0), Sr.
152 pounds: Javonic Turner, Homewood (42-0), Sr., vs. Matt King, Oxford (54-3), Sr.
160 pounds: Zaquarius Harris, Columbia (41-9), Jr., vs. Trevor Muncey, Gardendale (26-5), Sr.
170 pounds: Isaiah McDougal, Columbia (45-2), Sr., vs. Tobias Garrison, Stanhope Elmore (39-0), Sr.
182 pounds: Thomas Carter, Athens (12-1), Sr., vs. Nathan Dunaway, Helena (66-1), So.
195 pounds: Carlos Miguel Figueroa, Homewood (60-1), Jr., vs. Anthony Talton, Clay-Chalkville (43-4), Jr.
220 pounds: Jackson Jones, Clay-Chalkville (35-2), Jr, vs. Daiquion Thedford, Brookwood (32-3), Sr.
285 pounds: Clay Webb, Oxford (34-1), Jr., vs. Brian Gardner, Hueytown (22-2), Sr.

106 pounds: Dylan Leseueur, Thompson (46-9), Jr., vs. Adrian Neco, Central-Phenix City (51-5), Fr.
113 pounds: Tyler Ivey, Grissom (21-0) , Jr., vs. Emmanuel Oliver, Thompson (32-5), So.
120 pounds: Sullivan Tipton, Oak Mountain (49-7), So., vs. Riley Huff, Hoover (35-8), Jr.
126 pounds: Chandler Akins, Thompson (38-9), Jr., vs. Mark Hurt, Central-Phenix City (39-6), Sr.
132 pounds: Gabe Hixenbaugh, Thompson (52-3), Jr., vs. Maxwell Kauffman, Central-Phenix City (51-4), Jr.
138 pounds: Stone Barden, Hewitt-Trussville (25-3), Jr., vs. Hector Candelario, Central-Phenix City (51-0), Sr.
145 pounds: Conner Smith, Hewitt-Trussville (42-4), Sr.,  vs. Jonathan Handy, Grissom (52-2), Sr.ewi H
152 pounds: Cale Land, Hewitt-Trussville (22-9), Jr., vs. Peter Dazzio, Vestavia Hills (38-6), Jr.
160 pounds: Bowman Hill, Vestavia Hills (28-2), Sr., vs. Robert Morales, Central-Phenix City (48-3), Sr.
170 pounds: Jordan Hunter, Buckhorn (31-2), Jr., vs. Barrett Blakely, Oak Mountain (52-0), Sr.
182 pounds: Spencer Haddock, Vestavia Hills (21-2), Sr., vs. George Francovitch, Bob Jones (42-4), Jr.
195 pounds: Harold Gilmore, Bob Jones (45-4), Sr., vs. D’Angelo Dewitt, Hoover (45-2), Sr.
220 pounds: Seth Dupree, Bob Jones (45-4) , Sr., vs. Jaegar Clark, Huntsville (56-2), Sr.
285 pounds: Camron Hill, Lee-Montgomery (29-1), Sr., vs. Seth Whitlock, Thompson (27-12), Sr.