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CLASS 3A GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP Lauderdale County 55, Montgomery Academy 44

        Lauderdale County closed out the most successful chapter in girls’ basketball history Friday afternoon as the Lady Tigers downed Montgomery Academy 55-44 to capture the school’s fifth straight Class 3A state basketball championship.
      The seniors for the Lady Tigers (30-7) of Coach Brant Llewellyn won state crowns every year since the eighth grade – a new AHSAA state record. The win Friday at the AHSAA State Basketball Finals capped the prep careers of Alabama’s  most recognizable basketball-playing triplets, Emma, Ella and Ivy Wallen.
      Emma Wallen sank six 3-point goals and finished with 22 points to pace the Tigers’ effort. Ivy had 14, five steals and seven assists and Ella had three points and four rebounds. Sophomore Allie Craig Cruce had 12 points, two blocked shots and three steals.
     Montgomery Academy (27-5) pushed Lauderdale County to the limit. Coach Barry Fencher’s Eagles trailed 37-23 at intermission but turned up a defense that shut out the Tigers over a nine-minute (9:04)  stretch in the second half to cut the lead to nine, 45-36 with 3:06 to play.  Ivy Wallen got the next three points and Lauderdale County was able to seal the win.
       Jade Brooks scored 25 points for MA to lead all scorers. Elizabeth Robertson added 10 points, and Kayla White had eight rebounds.
      Lauderdale County finished the 2015 season 39-0 riding an 84-game winning streak. That streak finally ended earlier this season at 86 games. Five other schools have won four consecutive girls’ state titles: Mars Hill Bible (1988-91), Fyffe (1994-97), Deshler (2003-06), Ramsay (2004-07) and Midfield (2007-10).
   AHSAA State Championship action continues Friday at the BJCC Legacy Arena with championship games for Class 4A later Friday afternoon. Saturday’s championship slate (5A, 6A and 7A) closes out the 94th AHSAA State Basketball Finals.
      All championship games are being televised live by Raycom Media’s network of stations over their digital 2 stations and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network. Details can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
Class 3A State Finals All-Tourney Team
Emma Wallen, Lauderdale County (MVP); Ivy Wallen, Allie Craig Cruce, Lauderdale County;  Jade Brooks, Montgomery Academy; Kayla White, Montgomery Academy; Courtney Yarbrough, Brindlee Mountain.

CLASS 2A BOYS CHAMPIONSHIP Lanett 73, St. Luke’s Episcopal 48

        Lanett High School outscored St. Luke’s Episcopal 25-3 in the third period and eased to a 73-48 triumph in the AHSAA State Basketball Finals Class 2A boys’ championship game at the BJCC Legacy Arena Friday.
       The state title was the first for Lanett and the first for Coach Richard Carter in his 45-year coaching career.
       Senior Tavaris Geiger tallied 22 points, had five assists and six steals to pace the Panthers (29-6). Freshman Terrion Truitt added 21 points and Anquaevious Pollard had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Emanuel Littles also had 12 rebounds and eight points and Jalen Madden had six assists for Lanett.
       St. Luke’s (23-12), coached by Kantonio Davis, was led by Mark Wilcox’s 25 points and 12 rebounds.  Mike Winston added eight points and Hunter Preston cleared 12 rebounds. The AHSAA championship game was the first in school history for St. Luke’s basketball program.
      Championship action continues Friday at the BJCC Legacy Arena with championship games for Class 3A and 4A. Saturday’s championship slate (5A, 6A and 7A) closes out the 2016 championships.
      All championship games are being televised live by Raycom Media’s network of stations over their digital 2 stations and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network. Details can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
Class 2A State Finals All-Tourney Team
Tavaris Geiger, Lanett (MVP); Anquaevious Pollard, Lanett; Terrion Truitt, Lanett; Preston Hunter, St. Luke’s Episcopal; Mark Wilcox, St. Luke’s Episcopal; Caleb Haynes, Section.

CLASS 2A GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP Samson 58, R.C. Hatch 53

        Samson’s 58-53 victory over R.C. Hatch in the AHSAA State Basketball Finals Class 2A girls’ championship game at the BJCC Legacy Arena was a tale of two halves Friday morning
       Coach Chad McKnight’s Lady Tigers (32-2) outscored the Lady Bobcats (23-6) 24-6 in the second quarter to build a 31-10 lead.  Things changed, however in the second half as Coach Willie Morgan’s team fought back to pull within four points with a 21-point run to cut the margin to 51-47.R.C. Hatch cut it to two, 53-51, with 1:50 to play, but senior point guard Janesha Green made three free throws and Isis McGhee nailed a short  jumper to held the Tigers turn back the tremendous comeback effort. Hatch outscored Samson 41-28 in the second half.
      Green, the Class 2A state tournament MVP, finished with eight points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals for Samson.  LaTascya Duff had 14 points and eight rebounds, LaTora Duff had 13 points and Summer Stacy added 12 points for the Tigers. The Duff sisters joined Green on the all-tourney team.
      Ka’Lasha Patterson led R.C. Hatch with 21 points and 14 rebounds. She had 15 points in the second half.  Miranda Jones chipped in 12 points.
     Samson, which won the state title in 2006 and 2007, forced 29 turnovers, but only nine in the last two quarters.
      Championship action continues Friday at the BJCC Legacy Arena with championship games for Class 3A and 4A. Saturday’s championship slate (5A, 6A and 7A) closes out the 2016 championships.
      All championship games are being televised live by Raycom Media’s network of stations over their digital 2 stations and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network. Details can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
Class 2A State Finals All-Tourney Team
Janesha Green, Samson (MVP); Latascya Duff, Samson; LaTora Duff, Samson; Ka’Lasha Patterson, R.C. Hatch; Clea Young, R.C. Hatch; Dani Townsend, Ider; Kirstin Brown, Tanner.

CLASS 1A BOYS CHAMPIONSHIP Sacred Heart Catholic 95, Georgiana 75

        Sacred Heart Catholic got 59 points combined from junior D.J. Heath and sophomore Diante Wood as the Cardinals downed Georgiana 95-75 to claim the Anniston school’s second straight Class 1A state boys’ basketball championship.
       Wood had 30 points and Heath 29 for the Cardinals (29-8) as the Class 1A title game closed Thursday’s action at the 94th AHSAA State Basketball Finals. Heath was 15-of-22 at the free-throw line and Wood 8-of-9 as Sacred Heart finished 25-of-33 at the charity stripe.
       Championship action continues Friday at the BJCC Legacy Arena with championship games for girls and boys in Class 2A, 3A and 4A. Saturday’s championship slate (5A, 6A and 7A) closes out the 2016 championships. Both championship days begin at 9 a.m.
      Wood, who also had 13 rebounds and five blocked shots, earned MVP honors for Coach Ralpheal Graves’ Cardinals. Heath and Nolan joined him on the Class 1A State Finals All-Tourney team.
      Georgiana (30-2), coached by Kirk Norris, was led by Richard Boggan’s 25 points, 15 rebounds and four steals. Ja’Michael Stallworth added 18 points and three 3-pointers, and Jaquez Patton had 16 points. The Panthers’ 30-win season was the most in school history.
     All championship games are being televised live by Raycom Media’s network of stations over their digital 2 stations and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network. Details can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
Class 1A State Finals All-Tourney Team
Diante Wood, Sacred Heart (MVP); Kevion Nolan, Sacred Heart; D.J. Heath, Sacred Heart; Jacquez Patton, Georgiana; Richard Boggan, Georgiana; John Pettway, Keith.

CLASS 1A GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP Spring Garden 64, Linden 38

        Spring Garden High School beat Linden 64-38 Thursday afternoon to claim the Class 1A girls’ state championship at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The championship was the first of 14 to be played in the 94th annual AHSAA State Finals.
      Coach Ricky Austin’s Panthers (31-4) dominated from start to finish to claim the school’s fifth girls’ state basketball title overall. It was the fourth in Austin’s tenure.
     Class 1A state tournament MVP Tykeah Rogers scored 25 points and cleared 14 rebounds to lead Spring Garden. She also had three blocked shots and two steals.  Savannah Dempsey, who also made the all-tourney team, had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Madison Sides, the third member of the all-tourney team from the Panthers, added nine points. Dempsey also had four 3-pointers.
   Linden (18-7), coached by Teressa Bolden, were led by all-tourney selection Amber Richardson’s 15 points and nine rebounds. She also had a game-high six steals.
    Spring Garden’s other state titles came in 1987, 2004, 2007 and 2008. Austin’s team finished as runner-up last season.
     The Class 2A, 3A and 4A girls’ and boys’ state championship games will be played Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will crown their champions on Saturday. All championship games are being played at Birmingham’s BJCC Legacy Arena and are being televised live by Raycom Media and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network.. Details are at www.ahsaa.com.
Class 1A State Finals All-Tourney Team
Tykeah Rogers, Spring Garden (MVP); Savannah Dempsey, Spring Garden; Madison Sides, Spring Garden; Amber Richardson, Linden; Harriett Winchester, Keith; Kaitlyn Cheatham, Decatur Heritage.

CLASS 7A BOYS SEMIFINALS Central-Phenix City 63, Spain Park 61 (OT)

    Central-Phenix City nipped Spain Park 63-61 in overtime in the Class 7A boys’ semifinal game Thursday to advance to the championship game of 2016 AHSAA State Finals at the BJCC Legacy Arena Saturday.
    Coach Bobby Knight’s Red Devils (31-1) will face McGill-Toolen (28-6) Saturday afternoon at 5:45 p.m.   
    Central 6-foot-8 senior center Tionne Williams blocked two Spain Park shots underneath the basket in the final seconds of the overtime period to seal the win.  The two teams battled to a 54-54 tie after four quarters to send the semifinal game into overtime. McGill-Toolen won its semifinal game over Hoover earlier in the day going two extra periods.
    Williams had five blocked shots for the game, nine points and nine rebounds. Keondre’ Jakes made a lay-up and free throw in the final minute to give Central its final lead.  He finished with 11 points, Tre’ Todd and Demarcus Lampley had 14 points each and Jermond Williams scored 10 for the Red Devils.
     Austin Wiley, Coach Donnie Quinn’s 6-11 junior center, had 19 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots despite turning his ankle in the final quarter. Junior guard Jamal Johnson had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Jaguars and Justin Brown had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
    The 1A girls’ and boys’ finals are tonight at 4 and 5:45 p.m. respectively.  Classes 2A, 3A and 4A play girls’ and boys’ championships Friday while the State Finals conclude Saturday with Classes 5A, 6A and 7A championship games.
    All semifinal games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network. All championship games will be televised live by Raycom Media. Details are at www.ahsaa.com.



CLASS 7A GIRLS SEMIFINALS Jeff Davis 55, Buckhorn 45

    Defending Class 7A state champion Jeff Davis downed Buckhorn 55-45 Thursday in the semifinal game of the 2016 AHSAA State Finals at the BJCC Legacy Arena to set up a rematch in Saturday’s championship with McGill-Toolen.
    Coach LaKenya Knight’s Vols (24-6) beat McGill-Toolen by one point in the 2015 state finals. The two will square off Saturday at 4 p.m. at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
     Senior Jasmine Walker had 21 of Jeff Davis’ 30 first-half points and finished with 27. She also had 14 rebounds. Ahyiona Vason added 11 points and six assists and Tia Manora had eight points and four assists.
    Coach Steve Clemons’ Lady Bucks (27-9) pulled ahead by one point early in the fourth quarter but Walker sank two free throws with 5:52 remaining to give the Vols a 44-43 lead. Buckhorn managed just two points against Jeff Davis’ tenacious defense the rest of the way. Teresa Ward had 14 points and Kaitlyn Hardy 12 for Buckhorn. Sarah Suttle added eight points and three assists.
    The 1A girls’ and boys’ finals are tonight at 4 and 5:45 p.m. respectively.  Classes 2A, 3A and 4A play girls’ and boys’ championships Friday while the State Finals conclude Saturday with Classes 5A, 6A and 7A championship games.
    All semifinal games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network. All championship games will be televised live by Raycom Media. Details are at www.ahsaa.com.



CLASS 7A BOYS SEMIFINALS McGill-Toolen 77, Hazel Green 74 (2 OT)

    McGill-Toolen nipped defending Class 7A state champion Hoover 77-74 in two overtimes Thursday to advance to the championship game of 2016 AHSAA State Finals at the BJCC Legacy Arena. Coach Phillip Murphy’s Yellow Jackets (28-6) and McGill’s Lady Jackets have earned berths in the 7A finals Saturday.
        Hoover (16-19), coached by Charles Burkett, and McGill-Toolen were tied at the end of regulation 60-60 and at 67 all after one OT.
     Rene Scott’s two free throws with six seconds left in the second overtime sealed the win.
Scott finished with 21 points and six assists. He was 8-of-10 at the foul line and McGill was 22-of-30 for the game.  T.J. Howard had 23 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out and Paris Chambers scored 12 points.
    Leading Hoover was Jamari Blackmon, who scored 29 points and was perfect on all seven free throws attempted.  Johnathan Postell also had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Marion Humphrey had eight points and two steals.
    McGill-Toolen will play in the Class 7A boys’ championship game Saturday at 5:45 p.m. at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The girls will play at 4 p.m.
    The 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be tonight at 4 and 5:45 p.m. respectively.  Classes 2A, 3A and 4A play girls’ and boys’ championships Friday while the State Finals conclude Saturday with Classes 5A, 6A and 7A championship games.
    All semifinal games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network. All championship games will be televised live by Raycom Media. Details are at www.ahsaa.com
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CLASS 7A GIRLS SEMIFINALS McGill-Toolen 54, Hazel Green 53

    McGill-Toolen overcame a nine-point first-half deficit Thursday morning to beat Hazel Green 54-53 in the Class 7A girls’ semifinal game at the 2016 AHSAA State Finals at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The victory sends Coach Carla Berry’s Yellow Jackets (31-3) into the 7A state championship game for the second year in a row.
   McGill-Toolen, trailing 30-21 at halftime, took its first lead 38-36 on a rebound and put-back by junior Shauntai Battle just before the buzzer as the third quarter ended. Ryann Sylvester’s 3-point goal with 2:28 remaining staked the Jackets to a 50-46 lead. Shelby Hall’s free throw with 17 seconds remaining stretched the lead to 54-49 and set up a dramatic Hazel Green rally at the finish.
    Katelyn Howard came up with a key steal for Coach Tim Miller’s Trojans (33-4) and sank a lay-up with six seconds left to cut the margin to three. Caitlin Hose got another steal with three seconds left and Hazel Green drew a foul on a 3-point shot attempt with 0.5 seconds remaining.  The Trojans made the first two free throws but the second rolled off the rim.
     Hall led McGill-Toolen with 18 points and three blocked shots. She was 4-of-5 at the foul line. Battle added 12 points and eight rebounds.  Hose led Hazel Green with 12 points and Brooke Hampel had 10 plus five rebounds before fouling out late. Hose had two 3-pointers and teammate Lara Tanner nailed three.
    McGill-Toolen will play in the Class 7A championship game Saturday at 4 p.m. at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
    The 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be tonight at 4 and 5:45 p.m. respectively.  Classes 2A, 3A and 4A play girls’ and boys’ championships Friday while the State Finals conclude Saturday with Classes 5A, 6A and 7A championship games.
    All semifinal games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network. All championship games will be televised live by Raycom Media. Details are at www.ahsaa.com.

CLASS 5A BOYS SEMIFINALS J.O. Johnson 87, Sumter Central 43

     Defending Class 5A state champion J.O. Johnson raced past Sumter Central in the boys’ final semifinal game of Wednesday’s AHSAA State Finals slate at the BJCC Legacy Arena and advanced to the state championship game to take on Faith Academy Saturday.
     Coach Jack Doss, who coached the eighth state championship of his long career last season, saw his Jaguars (28-5) clicking on all cylinders to beat Sumter Central (31-3). This is the final season for J.O. Johnson as a school. The Huntsville City School System plans to close J.O. Johnson as a high school – opening a new school, Mae Jemison High School, next season to serve the students in that zone.
     Jarius Grayson scored 20 points and had five steals to lead J.O. Johnson, which out-rebounded Sumter Central 39 to 15 on the night and shot 76.9 percent from the field (31-of-48) for the game. John Petty and Justin Hopkins added 19 points each and Brandon Crosby added 10. Hopkins and Petty had nine rebounds each, and Petty had six assists.
     Sumter Central, coached by Jazmin Mitchell, was led by Desmond Ward’s 11 points. David Law added eight.
    J.O. Johnson and Faith Academy will play Saturday morning at 10:45 a.m. in the 5A championship game at the BJCC Legacy Arena. Play resumes in the 94th annual state tourney Thursday with Class 7A semifinal games for girls and boys beginning at 9 a.m.
    The 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be Thursday at 4 and 5:45 p.m. respectively.  Classes 2A, 3A and 4A play girls’ and boys’ championships Friday while the State Finals conclude Saturday with Classes 5A, 6A and 7A championship games.
    All semifinal games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network. All championship games will be televised live by Raycom Media. Details are at www.ahsaa.com.