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CLASS 7A BOYS’ SEMIFINALS Mountain Brook 70, Central-Phenix City 42

     BIRMINGHAM – Mountain Brook defeated Central-Phenix City 70-42 Thursday afternoon at the BJCC Legacy Arena to clinch the Spartans’ fifth time in the last six years in the AHSAA State Basketball Championships state finals.
    The Spartans (33-4) will face McGill-Toolen Catholic in the Class 7A championship game of the 96th AHSAA State Championships Saturday at 5:45 p.m. Coach Bucky McMillan’s team won state titles in Class 6A in 2013 and 14, captured the 7A state title last season and reached the 7A state finals in 2015.
    Mountain Brook shot 54.2 percent from the field and limited the Coach Bobby Wright’s Red Devils (21-5) to just 40 percent for the game. The Spartans defense limited Central to just two points in a 16-2 fourth quarter.
    Senior Trendon Watford had 22 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots to pace Mountain Brook. Lior Berman had 13 points and six rebounds and Sean Elmore scored 11 points and grabbed six boards.
    Central placed three players in double figures with Donald Jackson and De’Anthony Miles netting 11 each and Tremaine Porter 10. Miles’ six rebounds was tops for the Red Devils.
    The Class 1A girls’ and boys’ finals close out Thursday’s six-game slate at 4 and 5:30 p.m., respectively. 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. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all finals over it state-wide radio network and website.

CLASS 7A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Spain Park 60, Lee-Montgomery 51

     BIRMINGHAM – Spain Park overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to beat Lee-Montgomery 60-51 Thursday in the Class 7A girls ‘ semifinals of the 96th State Basketball tournament at the BJCC Legacy Arena Thursday. With the win Spain Park (30-6) advances to play McGill-Toolen Catholic in the state finals Saturday at 4 p.m.
    Coach Mike Chase’s Jaguars trailed 36-26 early in the third period and steadily chipped away at the Generals’ lead, thanks in part to the play of sophomore Sarah Ashlee Barker. She sank a 3-pointer with 3:30 left in the third period to cut the lead to five, followed with a lay-up for two points and then blocked a shot at the other end that resulted in a bucket by Claire Holt. A minute later, Holt gave Spain Park the lead.
     The Jaguars then took control in the final period to seal the win.
    Holt finished with 22 points and four rebounds, Barker added 13 points, nine rebounds, four blocked shots, four steals and four assists.
     Lee (23-10), coached by Freeah Smith, built the early lead and remained thanks in part to senior Zipporah Broughton’s 27 points. She was 5-of-7 from the 3-point line in the first half and finished with six treys. Zaniya Crawford also had 10 points and eight rebounds, Dalayiah Crawford had eight points and nine rebounds.
    The Class 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be Thursday afternoon. Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney 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 over its TV network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all finals over it state-wide radio network and website.

CLASS 7A BOYS’ SEMIFINALS McGill-Toolen Catholic 64, Sparkman 61 (OT)

     BIRMINGHAM – Senior forward Peter McDonald nailed the first two buckets in overtime and junior forward Matthew McNeece followed with a lay-up and free throw as McGill-Toolen Catholic nipped Sparkman 64-61 in the Class 7A semifinals of the 96th State Basketball tournament at the BJCC Legacy Arena Thursday. The victory sends the Yellow Jackets (25-6) into Saturday’s 7A boys’ championship game at 5:45 p.m. The McGill-Toolen girls also reached the finals with a win in the 7A girls’ semifinals.
    Coach Phillip Murphy’s Jackets trailed by 10 after one quarter and by 16 late in the second period. Sparkman (30-5), coached by Jamie Coggins, took a 46-40 lead into the fourth quarter and held the lead until 1:34 remaining. Trailing 52-49, McGill-Toolen’s Eric Toth got a defensive rebound and then sped to the other end where he sank and short jumper and was fouled. He converted the free throw to tie the game.
     The Jackets finally took their first lead with 49 seconds left in regulation on McDonald’s lay-up. Malik Tyson’s jumper 15 seconds later gave back the lead to the Senators, 55-54. With 16 seconds left, Toth tied the game with a free throw.
     McGill-Toolen took control in overtime and Sparkman’s last-second shot to tie at the buzzer hit the back of the rim.
     McDonald fished with 10 points on a 5-of-6 shooting performance. Toth had 10 points and 10 rebounds, Matthew Russ and Manny Patrick added 12 points apiece. Patrick also canned three 3-pointers. McNeece finished with nine points, two blocked shots and six rebounds.
    Tyson led Sparkman with 14 points and six rebounds. Ellis Lee had 13 points and Darron Howard had 11.
    The Class 7A semifinals continued in Thursday with two games in the semifinals. The Class 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be Thursday afternoon. Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney 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 over its TV network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all finals over it state-wide radio network and website.


CLASS 7A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS McGill-Toolen Catholic 50, Sparkman 49

     BIRMINGHAM – Freshman point guard Nya Valentine made the first three shots she attempted from 3-point arc Thursday morning en route to a 25-point performance as McGill-Toolen Catholic (24-8) downed Sparkman 50-49 as the AHSAA Class 7A Girls’ State Basketball tournament got underway at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The win sends the Yellow Jackets into Saturday’s 7A girls’ championship game at 4 p.m.
     Valentine, who finished with six treys in nine tries, three steals and three assists, made a short jumper with 1:28 left to put the Jackets ahead 50-48. Coach Carla Berry’s McGill-Toolen defense did the rest down the stretch. Shanice Battle added nine points and Brooke Morgan had eight. Alex Pierre cleared nine rebounds, blocked one shot and scored six points.
    Coach Patrick Delay’s Senators (29-6) got 10 points and five rebounds from Sierra McCullough, nine points from Deserea Walker and six points each from Deyanna Dodd and J.J. Webster. Dodd also had three assists and Webster, three steals.
    The Class 7A semifinals continued in the morning session Thursday. Class 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be Thursday afternoon. Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney 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 over its TV network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all finals over it state-wide radio network and website.

CLASS 5A BOYS’ SEMIFINALS Sylacauga 59, Talladega 55

BIRMINGHAM – Sylacauga High School senior Malik Crawford scored 27 points and cleared seven rebounds Wednesday night to spark the Aggies (30-5) to a 59-55 win over arch-rival Talladega  in the Class 5A boys’ semifinals Wednesday night at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
     Coach Will Copeland’s team now moves into the Class 5A boys’ finals Saturday at 10:45 a.m. to play Eufaula (29-9) at 9 a.m. The championship game will be one of six on the final day of the 96th AHSAA State Basketball Finals Championships.
    Crawford was 12-of-15 from the field and 3-of-4 at the foul line. He canned two free throws with six seconds remaining to seal the win. Erron Bryant scored 12 points and also had seven rebounds, and Darian Garrett scored 11.
    Talladega (21-11), coached by Chucky Miller, was led by Kobe Simmons’ 16 points and five rebounds. D’juante Dickerson, Chaztin Tanner and Ashton Duncan added eight points apiece. All three had two 3-point goals each.
     The two schools, located just 20 miles apart in Talladega County, had played three times previously this season and the Tigers winning all three.
      The Class 7A semifinals will tip off Thursday morning. Class 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be Thursday afternoon. Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney 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 over its TV network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all finals over it state-wide radio network and website.

CLASS 5A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Central-Tuscaloosa 56, Scottsboro 49

     BIRMINGHAM – Central-Tuscaloosa sophomore center Sakyia White scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Falcons past Scottsboro 56-49 in the Class 5A girls’ semifinals Wednesday night at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
     The win sends Central (27-7) into Saturday morning’s 9 a.m. championship game of the 96th AHSAA State Basketball Finals Championships to face Charles Henderson (31-4).
    White’s inside presence was especially big on the offensive boards. She had seven offensive rebounds and finished the game 11-of-17 shooting. Mackenzie Mahone also had eight rebounds and was also strong inside for Coach Michael Rivers’ Falcons. She had 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.
     Mahone and Jones added 10 points each and point guard Quintasia Leatherwood had nine points, five assists and five steals. She was 7-of-10 at the foul line.
     Scottsboro (29-4), making its first appearance in the state tournament since the AHSAA’s inaugural girls’ tourney in 1978, stayed close with strong board work too. Coach Derek Wynn’s Wildcats had 36 rebounds – same as Central – with Abby Jones  clearing 10, Keara Sexton nine and Jasmine Branford nine.  Sexton also had a team-high 13 points and three assists. Branford scored 11 points and Emily Garner had 10.
     Central’s last trip to the finals was 2016. The Falcons’ girls’ basketball tradition goes back to that first girls’ state tourney in ’78 as well. Known then as Tuscaloosa, the school lost to Jeff Davis in the 4A finals.  The Falcons have three state titles to their credit (1982, 1984 and 1996) and three runner-up finishes (1978, 1981 and 2016).
    The Class 7A semifinals will tip off Thursday morning. Class 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be Thursday afternoon. Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney 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 over its TV network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all finals over it state-wide radio network and website.


CLASS 5A BOYS’ SEMIFINALS Eufaula 79, Wenonah 73

     BIRMINGHAM – Eufaula High School edged Wenonah 79-73 Wednesday in the 96th annual AHSAA State Basketball Finals Championships at the BJCC Legacy Center. The Class 5A semifinal victory clinched the Tigers’ first berth in a state championship game since 1999.
     Eufaula (29-9) trailed the Dragons (29-7) by one 73-72 with 1:55 remaining. Coach Michael Smith’s Tigers outscored Wenonah 7-0 the rest of the way – going to the foul line eight times and making seven. Laquaveous Nelson, Tyler Mayo and Jadarious Blackshire each made two each. Eufaula finished the quarter 11-of-14 and was 16-of-25 for the game. Wenonah took the lead in the fourth period with some solid free-throw shooting as well and finished the game 15-of-21.
    Nelson scored 22 points to lead the Tigers. He also had nine rebounds, three steals and sank two 3-pointers. Mayo had 19 points with four treys, Eiszeric Thomas had 12 points and Blackshire finished with 10 points and three assists.
    Wenonah, coached by Audwin Howard, got big efforts from Cameron Tucker and Justin Minter. Tucker totaled 27 points nailing 4-of-7 3-point attempts and sinking 11-of-11 free throws. Minter had 24 points and was 3-for-3 at the foul line.
     Eufaula will play in the championship game Saturday at 10:45 a.m.
    The Class 7A semifinals will tip off Thursday morning. Class 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be Thursday afternoon. Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney 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 over its TV network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all finals over it state-wide radio network and website.

CLASS 5A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Charles Henderson 57, Wenonah 53

     BIRMINGHAM – Charles Henderson downed Wenonah 57-53 Wednesday to move into the Class 5A girls’ state championship game for the second year in a row. The victory also ended the Dragons’ streak of state titles at four.
     Coach Dyneshia Jones Trojans (31-4) advances to the Class 5A finals of the 96th annual AHSAA State Basketball Championships at 12:30 p.m., Saturday at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
     Wenonah (25-8), coached by Emanuel Bell, beat the Trojans (31-4) last season in a come-from-behind finish. This time, it was Charles Henderson that came from behind late to win.
        Charles Henderson led by as 12 points in the second half but saw that lead evaporate late when Wenonah scored eight straight points to take a 53-52 advantage with 1:01 remaining. Niaira Jones, the daughter of the Trojans’ head coach, intercepted a pass with 24 seconds left and was fouled. She sank both free throws to put Charles Henderson ahead 54-53. Maori Davenport, who finished with 25 points and 19 rebounds, pulled down a missed Wenonah shot and was fouled with 11 seconds left. She made them both and went to the line again in the final seconds and made another to seal the win.
     Davenport, a 6-foot-4 junior, also had three blocked shots and was 7-of-8 on the night at the foul line.  Jones finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals. Tatyana Siler added 12 points and six rebounds for the Trojans.
    Faith Reynolds had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Wenonah. Markesha Body had 15 points and Ke’Andra Childress had 14. Bell’s Dragons also saw their streak of five straight championship game appearances end. Wenonah won state titles in 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 and was runner-up in 2013. The victory over the Dragons was Charles Henderson’s first.
     The Class 7A semifinals will tip off Thursday morning. Class 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be Thursday afternoon. Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney 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 over its TV network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all finals over it state-wide radio network and website.

CLASS 6A BOYS’ SEMIFINALS Paul Bryant 40, Parker 38

     BIRMINGHAM – Jared Sherfield’s lay-up with 56 seconds remaining and Kailex Stephens’ steal in front of the Parker bench with nine seconds left sealed defending state champion Paul Bryant’s 40-38 victory over Parker Wednesday in the Class 6A boys’ semifinals of the 96th annual AHSAA State Basketball Championships being held at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The tournament is also the 25th since the tournament found its home at the BJCC in 1994.
     Sherfield finished with 12 points to pace the Stampede (30-4), coached by Shon Peck-Love, Stephens, who made one of two free throws following his steal, totaled nine points with all coming on a 9-of-10 free-throw shooting performance.
     Parker (24-9), coached by Reginald McGary, got 11 points and 13 rebounds from Xavier Williams and 10 points from Jason King.  The Thundering Herd played Paul Bryant in the 6A finals in 2017 with the Stampede prevailing 49-41. The 6A championship game will tip off Saturday at 2:15 p.m.
       The Class 7A semifinals will tip off Thursday morning. Class 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be Thursday afternoon. Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney 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 over its TV network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all finals over it state-wide radio network and website.

CLASS 6A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Ramsay 60, Opelika 39

     BIRMINGHAM – Ramsay High School outscored Opelika 24-9 in the third quarter to break open a close game Wednesday.
      The win by Coach Ronnie Jackson’s Rams (24-4) closed out the semifinals for Wednesday’s 6A girls’ session at the 96th annual AHSAA State Basketball Championships 6A finals being held at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The tournament is also the 25th since the moving to the BJCC in 1994.
     Ramsay senior Ajah Wayne scored 16 points, had three assists and six rebounds. Teri Crawford had 13 points and eight rebounds and Jaylyn Sherrod had 13 points, four assists and three steals.
     Opelika (22-10), coached by Devin Booth, was led by Alexis Browning’s 13 points. Abrea Green had 10 points and six rebounds and Claire Worth had seven points and six rebounds.
      Ramsay will face Hazel Green in the finals Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
      The Class 7A semifinals will tip off Thursday morning. Class 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be Thursday afternoon. Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney 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 over its TV network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all finals over it state-wide radio network and website.