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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.


McAdory Boys’ Basketball Team Exceeds Maximum Contests Allowed

     MONTGOMERY – McAdory High School has been fined and placed on probation for one year for the boys’ basketball exceeding the maximum number of contests allowed in the regular season. The school self-reported the violation.
     Furthermore, all regular-season contests t
he boys’ varsity basketball program played and won after exceeding the maximum number allowed must be forfeited. Accordingly, the AHSAA Restitution rule requires the basketball team to sit out the same number of contests in which they played ineligibly. On page 27 of the AHSAA 2017-18 Sports Book, it states in item 2: Schools are permitted to play (a maximum) 20 regular-season games and (unlimited contests) in three tournaments prior to area, sub-regional, regional and State Finals play.
      Restitution begins immediately. As a result of this violation being reported to the AHSAA early Friday morning, February 9, the next scheduled contest for McAdory is the finals of the Class 6A, Area 9 basketball tournament against Hueytown High School (HHS).  As restitution for game one over the allowable contests, MHS must forfeit this contest to HHS.  Thus, Hueytown will be the tournament champion and advance to Game 14 of the Class 6A Northwest Sub-Regional round. Furthermore, McAdory’s restitution for game two over the allowable contests will be a forfeit in Game 15 of the Class 6A Northwest Sub-Regional. Thus, the Class 6A Area 16 winner will advance to the Northwest Regional Tournament. Because the 2018 season has ended and McAdory is unable to fulfill the last restitution requirement, an additional fine is being assessed. 
      Hueytown, as Area 9 champion, will host the Area 16 runner-up in the sub-regional round.
      The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.


Selma Girls’ Basketball Coach Anthony Harris Leads Saints to 20 Wins for 15th Season

MONTGOMERY – Selma High School girls’ coach Anthony Harris saw his Class 6A Lady Saints beat Central-Tuscaloosa 58-56 at the buzzer when Kynadra Lewis nailed a lay-up in overtime.
   The shot sealed Harris’ 399th career coaching win at Selma and landed the coach and his team in the AHSAA Basketball Spotlight this week. The Lady Saints captured win 400 the next night with a victory over rival Southside.
    The victory also improved Selma to 22-4 on the year – clinching a 20-win season for the 15th time in Harris’ 20-year coaching tenure. With an overall record of 400-96 heading into the area tournament this week, he has seen his share of buzzer beaters during that span.
      He’s been on both sides of such dramatic finishes – and still finds them exciting.
     As the seconds ticked away, he said was concerned that his clock was going to run out.  “Lewis picked it up and laid it up,” Harris told the Selma Times-Journal. “I turned my head away because I thought the time was going to run out.”
     The victory avenged an earlier 53-35 setback to the Falcons.
    “We knew it was going to be a test, and I wanted it to be a test,” Harris said. “It got a little tough for us, but we told them to never quit.”
     The milestone Selma victory edged out an amazing shooting performance by defending Class 3A state girls’ champion Locust Fork. Opening play in the Class 3A, Area 11 tournament Monday night, Coach Barbara Roy’s Lady Hornets sank an AHSAA single-game state girls’ basketball record 20 3-point goals in a 95-36 win over Blount County rival J.B. Pennington.
    Eight different girls sank at least one 3-pointer with Rachael Baker and Carissa Horton making four each, Jayleigh Tawbush and Hannah Armstrong sinking three apiece. Locust Fork shot 64.5% from the 3-point arc for the game, another AHSAA single-game record, nailing 20 on just 31 attempts.
    The previous record was 19 3-point goals made by North Sand Mountain (2011), Clay-Chalkville (2009) and Cold Springs (1999).

    In other outstanding performances reported:

BOYS
QUA’DARIUS PETERSON, HOUSTON COUNTY: Scored 21 points and had 12 rebounds as the Lions (15-8) beat Rehobeth 108-104 in overtime in the final game of the regular season. Seven players scored in double figures for Coach Brandon Brown with Savion Jones scoring 18, Zydarien Brown 17.  Rehobeth (14-13), which placed five players in double figures, was led by Jordan West, who had 31 points, and Samuel Mounce with 20. The combined 12 players who scored in double figures is believed to be a record for a single game.
   Rehobeth’s 104 points in a loss ties for fourth all-time in the AHSAA Record Book. Pisgah set the record in a 127-126 five-overtime loss to Sylvania in 1998. Springville also scored 123 in a 124-124 two-overtime setback to Pinson Valley, Lamar County had 119 in a 151-119 loss to South Lamar in 1992, and Huntsville-Butler had 104 in a 107-104 six-overtime loss to Grissom in 1996. Ironically, Houston County followed with an 18-13 win over Pleasant Home in the Class 1A, Area 2 tournament.
RALPH BARRETT, CENTRAL-FLORENCE: The 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior scored 27 points in  a 64-55 win over Brooks to hand the Lions their first loss of the season – snapping a game winning streak. He also has 23 points in a win over Lauderdale County.
BRANDON GREEN, PHILLIPS: Scored 34 points in a 76-61 victory over Hackleburg and added 19 points, including a shot at the buzzer, to give the Bears a last-second 50-49 win over Phil Campbell.
LUKE TIDMORE, WHITESBURG CHRISTIAN: Sank five 3-pointers and finished with 29 points in a 64-54 win over New Hope.
QUAIMAINE OLIVER, BARBOUR COUNTY: Had 24 points and 10 rebounds and the Class 2A Jaguars beat Class 6A Northview 66-58.
CALVIN DAVIS, BLOUNT: His 3-point play with 1.2 seconds left gave the Leopards a 59-56 win over Baker. He had 15 points in the game – helping Blount battle back from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
DEMONTREZ BROWN, BOB JONES: Sank a shot at the buzzer to give the Patriots a 43-41 win over Columbia.
B.J. ANDERSON, ANDALUSIA: Scored 25 points as the Bulldogs closed the regular season with a 77-44 win over Opp.
ROBERT SCOTT, PLEASANT HOME: Had 21 points and Austin Kelley added 15 as the Eagles beat T.R. Miller 60-50 in the final regular-season game of the season.


GIRLS
KYLA BELL-BARTON, T.R. MILLER: Led the unbeaten Tigers (24-0) to a 66-61 win over Samson (24-3) with 19 points in the come-from-behind win. LaTascya Duff scored 35 for Samson.
SADIE THOMPSON, LAWRENCE COUNTY: Scored 32 points as the Class 5A Red Devils beat defending Class 1A state champion R.A. Hubbard.
KAYA JOYNER, CHEROKEE: Had games of 31 and 24 points in two wins over Vina and Athens Bible.
TYONNA ROGERS, SPRING GARDEN: Had 25 points, including 8-of-10 at the foul line, in Spring Garden’s regular-season closing 71-33 win over Weaver.
TAYLOR AIKERSON, DESHLER:
Had back-to-back 23-point performances as the Tigers beat Mars Hill Bible and Russellville.
KATHLEEN WHEELER, PRICEVILLE: Scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Bulldogs beat West Morgan 52-38.
KAITLYN RIDLEY, PIEDMONT: Sank two free throws with four seconds left to give Piedmont a 38-35 win over Pleasant Valley.
RIVER BALDWIN, PLEASANT HOME: Had 27 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots as the Class 1A Eagles fell to Class 3A T.R. Miller 46-36.

T.R. Miller 66, Samson 61: In a battle of state ranked teams, Class 3A sixth-ranked unbeaten T.R. Miller edged Class 2A top-ranked Samson in Samson, 66-61.


AHSAA Basketball Spotlight Georgiana’s Ja’Michael Stallworth Scores 55 In 88-81 OT Win over J.F. Shields

MONTGOMERY – Georgiana senior guard Ja’Michael Stallworth scored a school-record 55 points in last week’s 88-81 overtime win J.F. Shields to land in the AHSA Basketball Spotlight this week.
    Stallworth had 27 in the first half, 18 in the third and fourth quarters and closed out going 10-for-10 at the foul line in overtime as Coach Kirk Norris’ Panthers improved to 22-2 on the season. Stallworth missed his first free throw of the night and then made with 18 in a row to finish 18-of-19. He made two free throws in the final seconds of the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime.
   Stallworth has been a part of 108 Georgiana wins in his high school career. The Panthers have lost just 11 times during that stretch. The 55 points surpassed the previous high of 41 by Jacquez Payton in 2014. Stallworth now has 1,559 points 119 career games and is averaging 22.9 points per game this season. He also has 397 career assists, 381 career rebounds and 251 career steals.
    Pisgah senior Annie Hughes also went over 50 points in the Eagles’ 99-75 win over North Sand Mountain. She finished with 54 points.

MILESTONES
LAUREN WATSON, ARAB: Broke the Lady Knight’s single-game school record scoring 42 points in 62-60 loss to Fort Payne last week, breaking the previous record of 41 scored by Ali Smalley in the AHSAA Class 5A State Basketball Tournament in 2006. Watson, who went over 1,000 points for her career earlier this season, was 17-of-28 from the field and 10-of-11 at the foul line versus Fort Payne. She also had 25 in a 54-49 win over Albertville in what was likely the last varsity game played in Arab’s current gymnasium.
DONOVAN O’MALLEY, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: The senior manager for Coach Phillip Murphy’s Yellow Jackets, who was born with Down Syndrome, saw his dream come true when he started in the school’s final regular-season game versus Baker, a 55-49 win. He hit a bucket to tie the game at 2-2 before taking a seat on the team bench. He also got back into the game late.  Donovan, who served four years as the team manager, discussed the chance to play last spring with Murphy. He was honored prior to the game along with the six other seniors on the team. Baker coach David Armstrong graciously worked with Murphy to provide this special memorial for Donovan, who accompanied McGill-Toolen to three straight Class 7A state football games and two straight basketball state tournament appearances. In December, he was introduced with the football seniors at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa prior to the title game against Hoover.
KOLBY TINKER, PLAINVIEW: Was 5-of-12 from the 3-point line and finished with 19 points to lead Plainview (25-2) to an 88-77 win over Houlka (MS). The Bears made 17 of 39 to give them 364 made 3-pointers on the season, a new AHSAA single-season record. Cullman held the mark previously with 353 made treys in the 2014-15 school year.

BUZZER BEATER
DEJONTE THOMAS, FAITH ACADEMY: Sank two free throws with eight seconds remaining to lift the Rams (18-9) to a 53-49 win. He finished with 12 points. He also had 21 points in a 63-45 win over Williamson.

In other highlights reported:

BOYS 
BROOKS BARNHIZER, ALMA BRYANT: scored 27 points and cleared 10 rebounds in a 62-47 win over Mary Montgomery.
TRINITY BELL, ALBERTVILLE: His 23 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks helped the Aggies beat Boaz 56-47.
NOAH BOLER, DECATUR HERITAGE: Scored nine point in a 57-26 win Whitesburg Christian to go over 1,000 points for his career for Decatur Heritage.
RYAN McILWAIN, UMS-WRIGHT: Scored 19 points to lead the Bulldogs past Thomasville 61-39. UMS-Wright (20-5) had 30 points in the second quarter hitting 8-of-11 3-pointers in the period to take a 40-19 lead into intermission.

GIRLS
DESTINE RAMOS, FAITH ACADEMY:
Poured in 33 points and added 12 rebounds in a 56-38 win by the Rams (17-7) over St. Paul’s Episcopal.
ADIYA MATTHEWS, ALMA BRYANT: Led the Hurricanes (19-6) to a 65-34 win over Cottage Hill Christian scoring 30 points in the win.
KAITLIN PETERSON, EUFAULA: Scored 25 points and teammate Rachel Johnson added 16 points, seven rebounds and six steals as the Tigers (23-4) beat Dothan 60-37.
GABBY PERKINS, BRANTLEY: Had 21 points and 10 rebounds in an 82-27 win over McKenzie.

Pickens County Sanctioned for Violation of Academic Rule

     Pickens County High School has been fined and placed on probation for one year for violating the Academic Rule. The school self-reported the violation.
     PCHS allowed a student to participate on the boys’ basketball team before he had met all eligibility requirements. Therefore, Pickens County’s boys’ basketball team must forfeit any games won in which the student participated while ineligible. In accordance with the AHSAA Restitution Rule, once the student becomes eligible, the student must sit out the same number of contests in which he participated ineligibly. The area tournament bracket will reflect any forfeits that affect final area standings.
     The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.


Sumter Central Sanctioned for Exceeding Maximum Contests Allowed

     Sumter Central High School has been fined and placed on probation for one year for the boys’ basketball exceeding the maximum number of contests allowed in the regular season. The school self-reported the violation.
     Furthermore, all contests t
he boys’ basketball team played and won after exceeding the maximum number allowed must be forfeited. Accordingly, the AHSAA Restitution rule requires the boys’ basketball team to sit out the same number of contests in which they played ineligibly. Due to the restitution, Sumter Central will not participate in the Class 5A, Area 7 tournament and their season has ended. The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.


Huffman Sanctioned for Violation of Coaching Outside the Sports Season

     Huffman High School has been fined and placed on probation for one year for violation of Coaching Outside the School Year and for coaching a transfer student from another school prior to enrollment. The school self-reported the violation.
     Furthermore, any coach that coaches a student from another school renders that student ineligible at the coach’s school for the next school year. Huffman’s boys’ basketball must forfeit all games won in which the student participated. Moreover, in accordance with the AHSAA Restitution Rule, once the student becomes eligible, the student must sit out the same number of contests in which he participated ineligibly. The area tournament bracket will reflect any forfeits that affect final area standings.
   The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.


AHSAA Basketball Spotlight Shooting Wizards Daveon Taylor, LaTascya Duff Put on Dazzling Display in Wins

MONTGOMERY – Headland High School senior guard Daveon Taylor stands just 5-foot-4. However, in last Friday’s 91-77 victory over Rehobeth, Taylor stood taller than all the rest with 37 points, including 11 3-point goals, for the Rams.
    Meanwhile, just west of Headland in near-by Samson, senior LaTascya Duff was busy scoring 50 points as the Tigers downed defending Class 2A state girls’ champion Geneva County 81-37. The victory was the 400th career win for Duff’s coach Chad McKnight. Both performances captured this week’s AHSAA Basketball Spotlight.
     “Dameon was on fire,” said Headland Coach Mike Henry of his floor leader. “It was just a gigantic effort from a great kid.”
     Taylor finished 11-of-26 from the 3-point arc (42.3%) and the Rams (13-9) finished the game 14 of 44 with teammate Jailan Simpson sinking the other three. Rehobeth (12-10) also made 10 of 36 with both teams combining to attempt 80 3-pointers to tie the AHSAA single-game state record set earlier this month by Plainview and North Sand Mountain.
     The 11 treys by Taylor were the most in a game in the AHSAA since Plainview’s Koby Tinker sank 11-of-20 attempted in a 93-42 win over DAR last season. He was 17-of-22 in that effort. James Raines of Berry and Chance McCarver of Section also sank 11 treys in a game in 2016 and 2010, respectively, which ranks sixth best in the AHSAA. The record (17), was set by Fred Turner of Wilcox Central in a 96-54 win over Francis Marion in 2011.
     Huff scored 42 of her 50 points in the first half as Samson (21-2) beat the Lady Bulldogs (13-9) to improve to 19-0 this season against in-state opponents. The Tigers are 2-2 versus out-of-state competition. Duff, who is averaging over 30 points per game this season, finished with six 3-pointers and was 8-of-8 at the foul line. The 50-point effort was the first in the AHSAA since Brewbaker Tech’s Biancha Jackson scored 58 last season in a win over Greenville. Jackson is now a freshman at NCAA Division I defending national champion South Carolina.
    The AHSAA girls’ single-game record (63) was set in 1991 by Houston Academy’s Carlee Bevis in a win over Bayside Academy. Sunshine’s Raven Mitchell had 61 in a win over Akron in 1997 and Taurus Pyles of Birmingham-Phillips scored 61 that same season.
    Other top performances reported include:

MILESTONES
ANNISTON GIRLS’ TOURNEY DOMINANCE CONTINUES:
The Lady Bulldogs won the Calhoun County Tournament for the 18th time with a 59-55 win over Oxford at Jacksonville State’s Pete Mathews Coliseum. The win in the finals was Anniston’s fourth in the last five years for Coach Eddie Bullock. Center Toniah Foster earned MVP honors with 20 points and five rebounds in the finals. Allasha Dudley was named best offensive player in the tournament. She finished with 10 points in the championship game.
DIANTE WOOD LEADS SACRED HEART TO TITLE: Scored 22 points to lead the Cardinals past Oxford 66-61 in the finals of the Calhoun County tournament at Jacksonville State. He and became just the second player in the tourney’s long history to earn Best Defensive Player, Best Offensive Player and MVP. Len Stafford was the first, winning all three individual awards for Oxford at the 1983 tournament.
STRAUGHN POST KINSAUL’S 400TH WIN: Teammates Allie Kelley and Colby Adams had 18 and 10 points, respectively as the Bulldogs beat Slocomb 47-41 – giving head coach Scott Kinsaul a milestone victory, No. 400 of his prep coaching career.

BUZZER BEATERS
LIOR BERMAN, MOUNTAIN BROOK:
Nailed two free throws with six seconds remaining to lead the defending Class 7A state champs to a 58-56 win over Huffman (21-3). Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook’s 6-foot-8 junior, had 24 points and 12 rebounds, including eight points in the fourth period. His bucket with 1:14 to play tied the game at 56-56. Jeremiah Williams had 22 for the Vikings. The Spartans (22-5) and Huffman are now tied at 3-1 in 7A, Area 6.
CURTIS SOWELS, BLOUNT: Sank two free throws with 5.8 seconds remaining to lift the Leopards past LeFlore 49-47. He scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth period.

GIRLS
KAITLIN PETERSON, EUFAULA:
Had 28 points, five steals and eight assists as the Tigers (18-4) beat Carroll 87-46.
KARLEIGH SLEDGE, DESHLER: The senior had 28 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks Class 4A Deshler’s 80-57 win over Class 6A Opelika.
AALIYAH AUSTIN, FAITH ACADEMY: Turned in a double-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and added five blocked shots as the Lady Rams (14-7) beat Daphne 55-22
SHYAN FLACK, BREWER: Scored 23 points and had 11 rebounds in Brewer’s 57-53 win over Priceville in the semifinals of the Morgan County Tournament.
ALEXIS LEGGETT, ARITON: Led Ariton to a 52-37 win over G.W. Long with 21 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots.
KENZI DUNCAN, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Scored 22 points and earned MVP honors leading the Panthers to a 56-45 win over Glencoe in the Etowah County Tournament finals. It was Southside’s first Etowah County tourney title in school history.

BOYS
KRIS ABRAMS-DRAINE, SPANISH FORT:
Had 23 points in a jam-packed gym to pace the Toros (13-9) to a 66-61 win over Baldwin County rival Daphne (16-6). The game was part of statewide initiative Shooting to Change, started by Toros’ head coach Dru Powell and his wife four years ago to raise awareness for autism. A total of 55 fouls were called in the game with Daphne committing 33 and Spanish Fort 22.
ROBERT GAINES, WEAVER: Was 4-for-4 from the 3-point arc and finished with 26 points to lead the Bearcats past Jacksonville 76-49.
TYLER PECK, BREWER, Totaled 19 points, including five 3-point baskets, to lead Brewer to a win over Danville in the semifinals of the Morgan County Tournament.
TY RAPER, HACKLEBURG: Scored 28 points in a 72-54 win over Brilliant in the Marion County tournament.
KOBE BROWN, LEE-HUNTSVILLE: Had 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead Lee (9-11) past Bob Jones 63-49. He also had 27 in a win over Mae Jemison.
GARRETT HICKS, JAMES CLEMENS: Had 33 points in as the Jets (14-8) knocked off Buckhorn (20-4) 76-68. Hicks, who also had 33 points hitting 19-of-19 free throws in an earlier win over Huffman, continued his dead-eye aim going 43-of-45 (95.6%) over Jets’ last three games.
LOGAN PADGETT, HOMEWOOD: Had 21 points and 16 rebounds as the Patriots (12-12) beat Ramsay 54-52.
LANDON JOHNSON, HOKES BLUFF: Was named Etowah County Tournament MVP scoring 18 points for the Eagles (17-4) in a 52-45 win over Southside-Gadsden in the finals.
COLBY SULLINS, WEST POINT: Scored 30 points, 27 coming on a 9-of-14 3-point shooting flurry, in West Point’s 71-60 loss to Hayden.
JAYCE WILLINGHAM, CORDOVA: Had 24 points and seven rebounds a 63-40 win over Carbon Hill in the Walker County tournament finals. Teammate Isaac Chatman captured MVP honors with 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots in the win.


AHSAA Basketball Spotlight Fayette Multi-Sport Standout Darius Nails Scores 60 in Tigers’ 72-57 Win over Hamilton

MONTGOMERY – The assessment is official. Fayette County High School senior Darius Nails, a multi-sport standout, has made the adjustment from football to basketball.
  Nails, who led the Tigers to the Class 4A state football finals this past season catching 78 passes for 1,659 yards and 19 touchdowns, scored 60 points in Fayette County’s 72-57 victory over Hamilton January 12 to land himself in the AHSAA Basketball Spotlight for this week.
   His 60 points is the most ever by a Class 4A player (since the AHSAA went to more than four classes) and ranks tied for 14th all-time in the AHSAA. The last player to clip 60 points in a game in the AHSAA was Gardendale’s Dustin Duncan in 2001.

   The state record (97) was set in 1963 by Walter Garrett of Birmingham’s West End High School in a 97-63 win over Glenn High School. Garrett’s performance also set a national record as the most by a high school player when scoring all his team’s points. Nails scored all but 12 of Fayette’s points in last week’s win over the Aggies.
  The 6-foot-2 senior’s 60 points came on a 24-of-37 field-goal shooting effort. He was 3-of-6 on 3-point goals and a perfect 9-of-9 on free throws for Coach Ron Hamilton. He also had eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and fouled out with two minutes to play. Nails is averaging 27.2 points in 14 games this season with 30 or more points in five games and 20 or more in 12.
    Nails’ 1,659 receiving yards on the year ranks second all-time in the AHSAA Football Record Book – 76 yards shy of the record (1,735 yards) set by Westbrook Christian’s Brandon Greer in 1998. Nails’totals included 11 catches for 108 yards in the 21-7 loss to UMS-Wright in the Class 4A Super 7 “Snow Bowl” game at Bryant-Denny Stadium Dec. 8 and tied
 Oneonta’s Alvin Scott for most receptions in a Super 7 championship game for all classes. Scott’s 11 catches in the 2012 Super 6 Class 4A title game also came against UMS-Wright.
  
The 60-point effort edged out a clutch performance by Lafayette senior Corey Boston for this week’s Spotlight. Boston scored five points in the final 10 seconds, including a 40-foot desperation 3-pointer, to lift the Bulldogs (14-5) of Coach Obadiah Threadgill IV to a 49-46 win over Valley. He finished with 16 points.
    The Rams took a 46-44 lead with 15 seconds left when Keionte Dent nailed a short jumper. Boston was fouled with 10 seconds left while attempting a shot and tied the game at 46-46 with two free throws. Valley, after a timeout,
in-bounded the ball, brought it into the frontcourt and was working for a last-second shot when the ball was knocked free. Boston ran down the loose ball, turned and heaved the game-winning shot from well behind the 3-point arc toward the LaFayette goal. The final buzzer sounded while the ball was in the air.
     Other top performances reported last week included:
 

MILESTONES
GARRETT HICKS, JAMES CLEMENS: Scored 33 points, including a perfect 19-of-19 at the foul line, as Coach Danny Petty’s Jets (13-8) shocked the ASWA’s top-ranked Class 7A team Huffman (21-2) 78-67 at the Marvin Stone Classic at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. It was the first in-state loss for Coach Steve Ward’s Vikings. The 19-of-19 free-throw shooting performance tied a 57-year year old state record for most free throws made in a perfect free-throw game performance. Florala’s Kris Scarbrough originally set the record in 1961 with his 19-of-19 free-throw shooting performance in a 66-38 Florala win over Elba. Hicks made all 11 free throws attempted in the fourth quarter to seal the win over Huffman. James Clemens finished 21-of-23 at the foul line as a team.
PLAINVIEW ATTEMPTS 57 3-POINT SHOTS:
The Bears (19-2) of Coach Robi Coker broke their own AHSAA 3-point attempt record in last Friday’s 71-46 victory over North Sand Mountain with 57 attempts – at least one try by all 12 players on the team. Caden Millican made 3-of-8 to lead Plainview, which sank just 13 for only 22.8% that is well below the team’s season average. Seven players recorded at least one made trey. North Sand Mountain was also 6-of-23, giving the two teams 80 3-point attempts combined, another state record. The Bears were also 15-of-20 on 2-point tries and 2-of-5 on free throws.  The old 3-point attempts record (54) was set against the Bison last December in a 119-55 win. The Bears made 25 in that contest.
JOLEE COLE, DANVILLE: The sophomore guard had two big performances, scoring 22 points in a 55-34 win against West Limestone and 24 in a win against Falkville to go over 1,000 points for her prep career.

BUZZER BEATERS
MATTHEW McNEECE, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: The three-year starter for Coach Phillip Murphy had 20 points and 12 rebounds as the Yellow Jackets (15-5) beat Murphy (12-10) 52-50. His 2-point bucket with 32.5 seconds remaining put McGill ahead 51-50.  He followed with a free throw for the final point of the game.
WILLIE SCREWS, BARBOUR COUNTY:
Scored 35 points, including two free throws late in the second overtime, to lead the Jaguars (12-5) to an 81-79 double-overtime win over Pike County (7-9). Jahzarian Lampley scored 31 for the Bulldogs.
SHAMAR SPINKS, WEAVER: Nailed two free throws with 10 seconds remaining to lift the Bearcats past White Plains 65-63. He finished with 26 points.
DaKENYA FAIRLEY, MURPHY: Sank a layup with 18.5 seconds left to lift the Panthers to a 43-42 win over McGill-Toolen. She finished with 10 points.
JASHA FILS-AIME’, DALEVILLE: Sank two free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining to give Daleville a 47-46 victory over Elba. She finished with 16 points and teammate Kiarra Pouncy had 22.

Other highlights reported include:

BOYS
DEE HUGHES, CHEROKEE: Had
31 points in a 59-48 win over Athens Bible.
MARK SEARS, MUSCLE SHOALS: The sophomore scored 31 points in a 72-59 win over Athens and 28 in the Trojans’ 52-41 victory over Westminster Christian.
CADE DEESE, COTTONWOOD: Led the Beats to a 56-54 overtime win over Samson with 17 points and 10 steals.
JAY JORDAN. ELBA: Canned seven 3-pointers en route to 27 points as the Tigers beat Zion Chapel 74-13.
BRYCE PEAVY, ARITON: Had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Purple Cats past Dale County 59-55. He also handed out six assists.
DONTAVIOUS DAVIS, ANNISTON: The 6-5 senior forward had 18 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots in the Bulldogs’ 90-40 win over Faith Christian in the Calhoun County tourney at Oxford.

GIRLS
BROOKE HAMPEL, HAZEL GREEN:
Led the Lady Trojans (23-2) to a 56-47 win over Spain Park (20-4) at the Marvin Stone Classic at UAH. Hampel scored 19 points and cleared 11 rebounds. The game pitted Hazel Green, the ASWA’s top-ranked Class 6A team, against the second-ranked Class 7A Jaguars.
SIDNEY BEVIS, WILSON: Scored a career high 27 points to lead the Warriors past Mars Hill Bible 62-58.
LEXIE GANN, COVENANT CHRISTIAN: Had 35 points in a win over Waterloo, 24 in a win over Hackleburg and 23 points and seven assists in a Colbert County tournament win over Cherokee.
CALEIGH CORTEZ, WEAVER: Had 24 points, sinking 16-of-22 free throws, as the Bearcats won a Calhoun County tournament game over White Plains 45-35.
JAMIRACLE BASS, SAKS: Scored 28 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked seven shots in a 54-43 overtime win over Ohatchee in the Calhoun County tournament at Oxford.
MAORI DAVENPORT, CHARLES HENDERSON: Tallied 18 points and teammate Niaira Jones had 13 as the Lady Trojans (22-4) posted a 45-16 win over Dothan (14-6). Charles Henderson, ranked first in the ASWA Class 5A rankings, lost a 48-44 decision to four-time Georgia defending state champion McEachern on Monday at the BallN’ Prep Classic at Montgomery with Jones scoring 18 points and Davenport 16. Charles Henderson also downed Greenville 62-31 in an area game with Davenport scoring 32 points.
ARIANA FOSTER, PARK CROSSING: Scored 23 points to lead Park Crossing to a 62-61 triple-overtime victory over Northview at the BallN’ Prep Classic at Montgomery.
BEE GRIFFIN, GOSHEN: Scored 33 points in a 53-43 loss to 2A, Area 6 rival Luverne.