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CLASS 2A BOYS’ CHAMPIONSHIP Lanett 41, St. Luke’s Episcopal 38

BIRMINGHAM – Lanett High School won its third straight Class 2A boys’ state basketball championship Friday with a 41-38 win over St. Luke’s Episcopal of Mobile. The third one, however, was not in tow until the final second as the Wildcats pushed the Panthers to the limit in the 2A finals of the 96th AHSAA State Basketball Finals Championships at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The state tourney is in its 25th year at the BJCC.
     The lead changed 11 times in the contest including five times in the final quarter.  Senior Anquavious Pollard’s inside bucket with 4:29 remaining put Coach Richard Carter’s Panthers (26-5) ahead for good – but not ahead by much. The game see-sawed the rest of the way with any a separation of no more than one made shot.
    Lanett’s Emmanuel Littles, a 6-foot-7 senior, earned Class 2A state tourney MVP with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the finals. Pollard has 12 points and eight rebounds, and Kristian Story had five points – all on as 5-of-6 free-shooting performance.
    St. Luke’s Episcopal (22-9), coached by Kantonio Davis, out-rebounded the Panthers 34-32 and had five less turnovers. Mark Wilcox had 13 points, 14 rebounds and six steals in a superb defensive effort. Jermaine Brown had eight points and five rebounds.
    Lanett won the school’s first state basketball title in 2016, followed up in 2017 and became just the 11th school in the state tournament’s 96-year history to win three boys’ state titles in a row. Two schools (Francis Marion and Sacred Heart) have won four and nine have won three (Wenonah, Pickens County, R.C. Hatch, Madison Academy, Brantley, Austinville, Geraldine and Simpson).
    Lanett also became just the seventh school to win football and boys’ basketball championships in the same school year. Hoover was the last team to accomplish that feat (2016-17).  The first was Sidney Lanier in 1965-67.  Six more schools have won state titles in the same calendar year including the first, Colbert County, in 1972.
    Raycom Sports is broadcast all finals over its TV network consisting of Raycom affiliates’ Bounce and D-2 channels. WAFF TV 48 in Huntsville and WBRC TV 6 in Birmingham aired the 2A girls’ finals over their main channels, WTVM TV 9 in Columbus (GA) will air the Class 5A boys’ finals between Eufaula and Sylacauga, and WSFA TV 12 in Montgomery plans to air the Class 6A boys’ finals featuring Carver-Montgomery versus Paul Bryant Saturday over their main channels.
      The NFHS Network is also live-streaming all finals over its subscriber-based platform, and the AHSAA Radio Network is broadcasting the championship games over its state-wide radio network and website.
CLASS 2A BOYS ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
Emmanuel Littles, Lanett (MVP); Anquavious Pollard, Lanett; Mark Wilcox, St. Luke’s Episcopal; Jermaine Brown, St. Luke’s Episcopal; C.J. Yarbrough, Tanner; Jaquan Lee, Aliceville.

CLASS 2A GIRLS’ CHAMPIONSHIP Samson 69, Sand Rock 65

     BIRMINGHAM – Samson High School twin sisters La’Tascya and LaTora Duff combined for 56 points Friday morning to lead the Tigers past Sand Rock 69-65 in girls’ Class 2A finals of 96th AHSAA State Basketball Finals Championships at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
     The 5-foot-8 seniors each had 17 points in the first half as Samson (31-3) built a 39-33 lead. La’Tascya, who earned Class 2A state tourney MVP, finished with a game-high 32 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots for Coach Chad McKnight’s Tigers before fouling out with 1:11 remaining and her team holding 65-56 lead. LaTora, who had 24 points and six rebounds, made two crucial free throws with 31 seconds remaining to make it 68-60. Kinley Johnson’s free throw nine seconds later was even more critical giving Samson a 69-60 lead.
    Sand Rock (24-10), coached by Lisa Bates, battled back with Caley Garrett sinking a 3-pointer and Savannah Blackwell getting a bucket to cut it to 69-65. The Wildcats forced yet another turnover with six seconds remaining but a 3-point shot bounced off the rim long to run out the final seconds.
    La’Tascya Duff was 10-of-12 at the foul line and LaTora Duff was 4-of-6. Diamonique Williams also had five points and three assists for Samson.
   Sand Rock was led by Kirby DeBoard’s 17 points. Kynleigh Chesnutt had 16 plus eight rebounds, and Blackwell had 15 points and 15 rebounds.
    The state championship was Samson’s fourth, winning previously in 2006, 2007 and 2016. County rival Geneva County won the 2A state crown in 2017.
    Raycom Sports is broadcast all finals over its TV network consisting of Raycom affiliates’ Bounce and D-2 channels. WAFF TV 48 in Huntsville and WBRC TV 6 in Birmingham aired the 2A girls’ finals over their main channels, and WSFA TV 12 plans to air the Class 6A boys’ finals Saturday over its main channel in Montgomery. The NFHS Network is also live-streaming all finals over its subscriber-based platform, and the AHSAA Radio Network is broadcasting the championship games over its state-wide radio network and website.
CLASS 2A GIRLS ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
La’Tascya Duff, Samson (MVP); LaTora Duff, Samson; Savannah Blackwell, Sand Rock; Kirby DeBoard, Sand Rock; Shatavia Moore, Keith; Chloe Roberson, Phil Campbell.

CLASS 1A BOYS’ CHAMPIONSHIP Sacred Heart Catholic 65, Georgiana 56 (OT)

     BIRMINGHAM – Sacred Heart Catholic’s bid for a fourth straight Class 1A state boys’ basketball championship was pushed to brink by Georgiana Thursday night. The Cardinals (23-10), however, outscored the Panthers 10-1 in overtime to post a 65-56 win Thursday night at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
    The victory clinched the fourth consecutive Class 1A state boys’ title for Coach Ralphael Graves’ team from Anniston, tying a state record set by Class 2A Francis Marion from 1988-91. Eight other schools have won three state boys’ basketball titles in a row during the 96-year history of the state tournament. Sacred Heart is the first boys’ team to win four in a row in the BJCC’s 25-year history of hosting the event.
     Sacred Heart senior Diante Wood earned Class 1A state tournament MVP honors scored 22 points, had six rebounds and two blocked shots. He made a key bucket and free throw with a minute left in regulation to give the Cardinals a four-point 53-49 lead.
    Georgiana senior guard responded with a 3-pointer, and after Sacred Heart’s Victor Wilson made two free throws with 25 seconds left,  Stallworth nailed another trey from well beyond arc to with 18 seconds  left to tie the game at 55-55 and send it into overtime.
    Senior guard QuinDarious Riggins, who played much of the second half with four fouls, took over in the overtime period by attacking the basket. He scored the last nine points of the game to finish with 18 points. He also had three assists and six rebounds. Murdock Simmons also had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinals before fouling out in the extra period.
    Georgiana (30-4), coached by Kirk Norris, was led by Stallworth’s 17 points. He was also 4-of-6 at the foul line and finished with three 3-pointers. Sophomore post Martavius Payton had 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots, and junior Christian Williams had 13 points and four assists. The Panthers have reached the state tourney three years in a row and have played in the finals twice.
    The Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals get underway Friday with Samson and Sand Rock tipping off the Class 2A girls’ championship game at 9 a.m. Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney Saturday.
    Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals over its TV network, and the NFHS Network is live-streaming all finals over its subscriber-based platform. The AHSAA Radio Network is broadcasting all finals over it state-wide radio network and website as well.
CLASS 1A BOYS ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
Diante Wood, Sacred Heart (MVP); Murdock Simmons, Sacred Heart; QuinDarious Riggins, Sacred Heart; Ja’Michael Stallworth, Georgiana; Christian Williams, Georgiana; Martavius Payton, Georgiana.

AHSAA 96th State Basketball Championships
Thursday’s results
CLASS 7A Girls
McGill-Toolen Catholic (24-8) 50, Sparkman (29-6) 49
Spain Park (30-6) 60, Lee-Montgomery (23-10) 51
CLASS 7A Boys
McGill-Toolen Catholic (25-6) 64, Sparkman (30-5) 61 (OT)
Mountain Brook (33-4) 70, Central-Phenix City (21-5) 42

CLASS 1A Girls Finals
Spring Garden (32-3) 52, Philllips (29-4) 38 (Spring Garden is champion)
CLASS 1A Boys Finals

Sacred Heart Catholic (23-10) 65, Georgiana (30-4) 56 (OT) (Sacred Heart is champion)

Friday, Mar. 2
CLASS 2A Girls Finals
Samson (30-3) vs. Sand Rock (24-10), 9 a.m.
CLASS 2A Boys Finals
St. Luke's Episcopal (22-8) vs. Lanett (25-5), 10:45 a.m.

CLASS 3A Girls Finals
Lauderdale County (35-2) vs. Pisgah (30-1), 12:30 p.m.
CLASS 3A Boys Finals
Hillcrest-Evergreen (24-3) vs. Plainview (33-2), 2:15 p.m.

CLASS 4A Girls' Finals
Deshler (33-2) vs. Madison Academy (28-7), 4 p.m.
CLASS 4A BOYS' FINALS

Cordova (25-9) vs.Madison Academy (25-8), 5:45 p.m.

Saturday, Mar. 3
CLASS 5A Girls Finals
Charles Henderson  (31-4) vs. Central-Tuscaloosa (27-7), 9 a.m.


 

CLASS 5A Boys Finals
Eufaula (29-9) vs. Sylacauga (30-5), 10:45 a.m.

CLASS GIRLS 6A Finals
Hazel Green (34-2) vs. Ramsay (24-4), 12:30 p.m.
CLASS BOYS 6A Finals
Carver-Montgomery (29-7) vs. Paul Bryant (30-4), 2:15 p.m.

CLASS 7A Girls Finals
McGill-Toolen Catholic (24-8) vs. Spain Park (30-6), 4 p.m.
CLASS 7A Boys Finals
McGill-Toolen Catholic (25-6) vs. Mountain Brook (33-4), 5:45 p.m.


CLASS 1A GIRLS’ CHAMPIONSHIP Spring Garden 52, Phillips 38

     BIRMINGHAM – Spring Garden High School opened the 2018 Class 1A girls’ state basketball championship game Thursday afternoon with guns ‘a blazing’ sinking seven 3-point goals in the first quarter and then turned to its defense to seal a 52-38 victory over Phillips of Bear Creek.
    The state title was the sixth in school history and fourth in the 25-year tournament history at the BJCC.
    Macy Reedy, Coach Ricky Austin’s 5-foot sophomore, made the first trey for the Panthers (32-3) and had four before the quarter had ended. Teammates Payton McGinnis, A.J. Broome and Kerstin Bryant also made one as Spring Garden built a 21-10 lead.
    Reedy finished with four treys and 12 points. Class 1A state-tournament MVP Tiyonna Rogers recorded 15 points, 15 rebounds and three steals, and Broome had 10 points going 7-of-9 at the foul line.
    Phillips (29-4), making its first state finals appearance since 1986, got 12 points from Gracie Hallman. She sank two 3-pointers. Alicyn McCollum added eight points and eight rebounds and also blocked two shots. Misty Dishner had six points, five rebounds and four assists, and Julianna Taylor scored eight points and had 10 rebounds.
    Spring Garden’s previous state titles were won in 1987, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2016. The Panthers lost on a free throw at the buzzer in the 2017 finals.
    The Class 1A boys’ finals closes out Thursday’s six-game slate at 5:45 p.m. p.m. Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney Saturday.
    Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals over its TV network, and the NFHS Network will live-stream all finals over its subscriber-based platform. The AHSAA Radio Network is broadcasting all finals over it state-wide radio network and website.
CLASS 1A GIRLS ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
Tiyonna Rogers, Spring Garden (MVP); Macy Reedy, Spring Garden; Alicyn McCollum, Phillips; Gracie Hallman, Phillips; Amber Richardson, Linden; Colby Cox, Loachapoka.



3 Defending Champions in Finals Championship Matches Set for 46th AHSAA State Volleyball Championships Thursday

    BIRMINGHAM – Fourteen outstanding volleyball teams advanced through quarterfinal and semifinal play Wednesday to advance to the 2017 AHSAA State Volleyball Championships Thursday.
       Defending champions Addison (1A), St. Luke’s Episcopal (2A) and Bayside Academy (3A) each claimed semifinal victories at Birmingham’s CrossPlex Wednesday. The 46th annual championships move to the Bill Harris Arena next door beginning at 8 a.m., with 1A finals at the 5,500-seat arena. The remaining schedule features the Class 6A finals at 9:45 a.m.; Class 7A at 11 a.m.; Class 5A at 1:15 p.m.; Class 4A at 3 p.m.; Class 2A at 4:45 p.m.; and Class 3A closing out the seven championship matches at 6:30 p.m.
    Each championship will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network with veteran announcer Jerry Young handling the play-by-play.
      Bayside Academy (41-10) nipped Carbon Hill (69-10) in the Class 3A semifinals Wednesday 3-1 to move into the 3A finals Thursday. The Lady Admirals of Coach Ann Schilling will striving to claim their 16th consecutive state crown facing Montgomery Academy (44-12) in the championship at 6:30 p.m. That match will close out the 46th annual state tournament.
    Senior setter Ansleigh Daily had 39 assists and senior outside hitter Brantley Rhodes had 18 kills in the tough semifinal win over Carbon Hill. The Bulldogs were led by junior Alyssa Dutton’s 14 kills. Bayside owns 25 state championships dating back to 1981. Schilling’s team won three in a row from 1998-2000, failed to win in 2001 and has won ever since. The 2002-2007 championships came in Class 2A and the rest since then have come in Class 3A.
    Montgomery Academy beat Providence Christian 3-2 in the other semifinal battle. Coach Julie Gordon’s Eagles won the 2A state crown in 2013.
    Addison (50-8) is going for its fourth championship in a row – winning in Class 2A in 2014 and 2015 and last year in Class 6A. Coach Kayla Woodard’s Bulldogs will face arch-rival Meek (46-17), insuring that Winston County schools will own the crown for one more year.
    St. Luke’s (33-15) will meet Goshen (28-13) in the 2A finals. The Wildcats won their first state championship last season and the Eagles are playing in the finals for the first time in school history.
    Deshler and Saint James will meet in the 4A finals. The Tigers of Coach Jana Killen will be vying for the school’s first volleyball state title. Killen has coached the Lady Tigers (43-14) to five state basketball championships, however, winning the 4A titles in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2015 and 2016. Saint James (36-9) captured volleyball titles in 2001 and 2003. Lawrence County (59-4) and Alexandria (43-9) square off in the 5A championship match. The Red Devils have five state championships with the last one coming in 1999. Alexandria won back-to-back titles in 1993, 1994 and 1995.
     In Class 6A, Pelham (40-9) is taking on Jasper (59-4). The Panthers won state titles 1993 and 1997 and the Vikings will be playing for their first state crown. McGill-Toolen Catholic insured a new 7A champion will be crowned by knocking off Mountain Brook in the semifinals. The Spartans won the first three 7A titles since the new class was added (2014, 2015 and 2016). McGill (45-7) has 19 state titles to its credit with the last one coming in 2005. The Dirty Dozen will be facing Bob Jones, which knocked off Oak Mountain in the other 7A semifinal. The Patriots (41-10) have two state titles with the most recent coming in 2013.
        

AHSAA 46th Annual Volleyball Championships
Birmingham CrossPlex

THURSDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
At Bill Harris Arena
(All matches lived-streamed by the NFHS Network)
CLASS 1A
Addison (50-8) vs. Meek (46-17), 8 a.m.
CLASS 2A

Goshen (28-13) vs. St. Luke's Episcopal (33-15), 4:45 p.m.
CLASS 3A
Bayside Academy (41-10) vs. Montgomery Academy (44-12), 6:30 p.m.  
CLASS 4A
Saint James (36-9) vs. Deshler (43-14), 3 p.m.
CLASS 5A
Lawrence County (59-4) vs. Alexandria (43-9), 1:15 p.m.
CLASS 6A
Jasper (57-4) vs. Pelham (40-9), 9:45 a.m.
CLASS 7A
Bob Jones (41-10) vs. McGill-Toolen Catholic (45-7), 11:30 a.m.


AHSAA CLASS 7A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Hoover Sweeps Games 2 & 3 to Capture Class 7A State Baseball Championship

     MONTGOMERY – Hoover High School senior left-handed pitcher Brock Guffey hurled a 2-hit shutout to beat Auburn 4-0 in game two of the AHSAA Class 7A State Baseball Championship Series Saturday, then hurled the final 1 1/3 innings in game three to earn the save as the Bucs captured the state crown.
   Guffey (11-0), the 7A Series MVP,  struck out 11, walked none and faced just one batter over the limit in the first-game win Saturday for Coach Adam Moseley’s Bucs (41-11). He set the pace early striking out the first three batters he faced.  Auburn center fielder Trey Woodham got a double but was thrown out at third and first baseman Carter Phillips managed a single to also reach base safely.
    Third baseman Peyton Wilson had two hits and an RBI and left fielder Brandon Agsalud had a single and two RBIs to pace Hoover.
    Hoover picked up where it left off in game three with senior Devin Cole (5-2) hurling five strong innings as the Bucs built a 6-0 lead. The Bucs shut out Auburn for 11 consecutive innings on Saturday and ran the streak with 13 counting the final two innings Friday night in game one.
     Junior first baseman Sonny DiChiara doubled in a run in the first inning to give Hoover a quick 1-0 lead. The Bucs scored five runs in the third with DiChiara doubling in another run, Drew Guffey, Brook’s brother, singling to plate another run and Ty Robinson driving in two with a double.
     Auburn, coached by Matt Cimo, finally got on the board with two unearned runs off Cole in the fifth. Cole, who got the win, allowed just one hit, walked two and struck out three before yielding to Hoover reliever Griffin Lape in the sixth.
     Woodham singled and scored to highlight the fifth for the Tigers. Auburn closed to 6-3 in the sixth and Moseley turned to his first-game winning Guffey to come in to close out the win. Guffey allowed three hits and two runs in his relief stretch but pitched out of a seventh-inning jam to get the save. Auburn’s Rowdey Jordan drove in two runs with a single to give the Tigers one last chance at the win.
    DiChiara’s two doubles paced Hoover’s eight-hit attack. Tyler Williams also had two hits while Robinson and DiChiara each had two RBIs. Shortstop Garrett Farquhar scored two runs.
    Ryan Lambert (6-2) started for Auburn and got the loss.
    Hoover’s baseball title was the school’s second. The 7A Series closed out the 2017 State Baseball Championships.

CLASS 4A STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP Finals: Northside 4, Westminster Christian 0

     MONTGOMERY – Northside High School beat Westminster Christian in the winner’s bracket finals 2-1 and then beat the Wildcats again the championship game Saturday to claim the AHSAA 2017 Class 4A state softball tournament.
      Winning pitcher and 4A state tourney Most Outstanding Player Savannah Stamps hurled a four-hitter in the finals, walking none and striking out two for the Rams (43-17-1) of Coach Tommy Honeycutt. Carson Beatty was 3-for-4 with a double and RBI and Savannah Tidwell also had three hits with a solo homer. Catcher Destiny Noble also had a double for Northside.
   Westminster senior  Annie Willis scatter eight hits and struck out nine and got the loss. Amy Tillman had two hits including a double for Coach Mandy Lowman’s Wildcats (51-5-1).
    Northside also had wins over Cordova (12-4) and Alabama Christian (4-2).
    The Class 5A tournament was still underway Saturday with Springville and Scottsboro battling in the finals. All championship games have been live-streamed over the NFHS Network. All state-tournament boxscores are available on line at www.ahsaa.com.
Class 4A All-State Tournament Team
Savannah Stamps, Northside (MOP); Riley Grace Honeycutt, Northside; Carson Beatty, Northside; Gabby Hilliker, Northside; Destiny Noble, Northside;  Annie Willis, Westminster; Olivia Aycock, Westminster; Lauren McCoy, Westminster; Macy Kate Toon, Westminster.

CLASS 1A STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP Finals: Sumiton Christian 9-9, Brantley 3-8

     MONTGOMERY – Sumiton Christian, competing in Class 1A after capturing the Class 2A state championship the last two seasons, came out of the loser’s bracket to beat Brantley twice, 9-3 and finally 9-8, Friday night to clinch the 2017 AHSAA Class 1A state softball championship at Lagoon Park.
    Coach Jessica Adderholt’s Eagles (56-9) finished 6-1 in the tourney.  They opened with an 11-1 win over Marion County but lost in the second round to Pleasant Home 6-5. Sumiton then battled back to the finals with wins over Ragland (13-4), Spring Garden (13-6) and Pleasant Home (5-1) to set up the championship with three-time defending champion Brantley.
    Taylor Whisonant sparked the 9-3 victory with three hits and five RBIs. She had a homer, double and single and winning pitcher Kamree Lay also had three hits. Lay scattered eight hits and struck out one to get the win. Losing pitcher Leanna Johnson had two hits for Coach Cindy Hawthorne’s Bulldogs (51-5).
    Sumiton Christian trailed 8-6 after  Brantley rallied to post six runs in the top of the fifth. Olivia Jones delivered the big hit, her second triple of the game. The Eagles ralled for three runs in the sixth to seal the win.
     Whisonant drove two runs with one hit in the final game. Teammate Abbey Bice socked a solo homer, Anna Kate Tyree collected a double and three RBIs, Angel Whitlow doubled in two runs and Savanah Langston had two hits. Lay got the win again allowing eight hits and striking out six over seven innings.
    Losing pitcher Kassidy Wilcox had a double, single and two RBIs for Coach Cindy Hawthorne’s Bulldogs. She gave up seven hits, eight walks and struck out four in the loss. Jones finished with two triples and three RBIs. Brantley outscored Waterloo, Spring Garden and Pleasant Home 39-0 in three winner’s bracket victories before losing to Sumiton twice to close out the tournament.
   The state tourney continues Saturday for Classes 4A and 5A at Lagoon Park with all championship games set to be live-streamed over the NFHS Network. In one schedule change, the finals for both classes are scheduled to start at 1 p.m., with the “if” game to follow if needed at approximately 2:30.
Class 1A All-State Tournament Team
Taylor Whisonant, Sumiton Christian (MOP); Jenna Ergle, Sumiton Christian; Kendall Sides, Sumiton Christian; Savannah Langston, Sumiton Christian; Anna Calloway, Sumiton Christian; Leanna  Johnson, Brantley;  Kassidy Wilcox, Brantley; Olivia Jones, Brantley; Anna Katherine Kimbro, Brantley.

CLASS 7A STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP Finals: Buckhorn 5, Sparkman 0

     MONTGOMERY – Buckhorn High School (43-11) rolled to four straight wins at Lagoon Park to capture the 2017 Class 7A state softball championship Friday. Coach Alvin Rauls’ Lady Bucks beat their Madison County arch-rivals and defending state champion Sparkman 5-0 in the championship game.
     Zoie Emrick pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief to get the win. She allowed no hits or runs and struck out two. Starter Lauren Harbin started and allowed two hits over 2 2/3 innings.
    Emrick, was named the Most Outstanding Player in the Class 7A state tourney.
    Buckhorn took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning and then scored four in the fifth frame with Jordan Evans’ three-run double the big hit. Courtney Marlow also had two hits and one RBI and scored twice. The Bucks also beat Fairhope 12-1, Tuscaloosa County 10-2 and Spain Park 7-1 to outscore all four opponents 34-4 in the state tourney.
     Cassidy Duskin got the loss for Sparkman (54-11). Taylor Davis and Amanda Shikoh each had a hit for the Senators, who lost in the first round to Baker 7-5 and then won four straight games in the loser’s bracket to reach the finals.
   The state tourney continues Friday and Saturday at Lagoon Park with all championship games set to be live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
Class 7A All-State Tournament Team
Zoie Emrick, Buckhorn (MOP); Sidney Edwards, Buckhorn; Kaylee Combs, Buckhorn; Laura Harbin, Buckhorn; Taylor Davis, Sparkman; Cassidy Duskin, Sparkman; Lily Calvert, Sparkman; MacKenzie Nutt, Buckhorn.


AHSAA CLASS 7A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Game 1: Auburn 9, Hoover 6

     MONTGOMERY – Auburn High School plated five runs in the bottom of the first inning and then held on to beat Hoover 9-6 in the first game of the AHSAA Class 7A State Baseball Championship Series at Paterson Field Friday night.
     The Tigers (28-10) and Bucs (39-11) move to Riverwalk Stadium Saturday morning for game two at 10 a.m. If a third game is needed in the best 2-of-3 series, it will start 30 minutes after game two concludes. All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
    Both teams combined for 24 hits with Coach Adam Moseley’s Bucs out-hitting Coach Matt Cimo’s Tigers 14-10. Hoover stranded 11 runners, however, and Auburn just five. The Tigers bunched four hits in the first inning to take a quick 5-0 lead. Teddy Benda got the first of his two hits to plate one run and catcher Rawlins Cleveland added a two-run homer that hit the screen on the left-field foul pole..
     Hoover got three back in the top of the second with five hits. Drew Guffey’s double down the left-field line plated two of the runs. Auburn added another run in the bottom of the inning on Brooks Fuller’s double to center field to lead 6-3. Max Garvey homered over the left-field wall in the top of the fourth as Hoover closed the cap to 6-5. 
     Auburn answered quickly again with Benda driving in more runs with a single to left. The Tigers got another run in the fifth and Hoover managed a single run in the sixth to close out the scoring.
      Starting pitcher Drew Jennings (6-2) allowed 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings to get the win for Auburn. Ryan Lambert pitched the final inning to get the save.  Hoover starter Scott Elgin (8-4) gave up nine hits and nine runs to get the loss. He struck out four.
    Benda finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs for Cimo’s Tigers. Cleveland also had two hits and two RBIs, and Fuller finished with two hits and two RBIs. Lead-off hitter Rowdey Jordan had one hit and scored three runs.
    Garrett Farquhar, Brandon Agsalud, C.J. Gilliland, Ty Robinson, Guffey and Garvey each had two hits. Guffey finished with two RBIs.