Class 6A Girls Semifinals Blount 56, Shades Valley 48

     Blount (18-8) outscored defending Class 6A state champion Shades Valley 17-2 over the last six minutes to post a 56-48 win in the AHSAA girls state tournament semifinals at the BJCC Legacy Arena Thursday.
     Cierra Johnson led the comeback effort for Coach Janel Williams’ Leopards scoring 19 points. She also had six assists, four steals, 10 rebounds and sank eight important free throws.   Daja Woodard also had 17 points and Jermecya Harris scored 13 for Blount.
    Camryn London led Shades Valley (21-8), coached by Gary Ferguson, with 15 points. Katelyn Thomas added 10 points and six rebounds.
    Blount faces Homewood in the 6A state finals Saturday at 1 p.m. at the BJCC.

Class 6A Boys Semifinals Lee-Huntsville 48, Homewood 45

    Lee-Huntsville (27-6) outscored Homewood 12-5 down the stretch to pull out a 48-45 semifinal victory in the Class 6A Boys state basketball tournament at the BJCC Legacy Arena Thursday.
     Geron Scissom sealed the win with two free throws with seven seconds remaining for Coach Greg Brown’s Generals. Scissom had a team-high 13 points and finished a perfect 4-of-4 at the foul line. He also had three steals, three blocked shots and three assists.
    Tracy Burnett added 10 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks and Malik Burnett had 11 points.
    Homewood (28-8), coached by Tim Shepler, was led by Malik Cook-Stroupe’s 15 points and four assists. Ronald Claiborne had 10 points and Austin Patterson had eight plus a team-high seven rebounds.
    Lee will play in the 6A finals Saturday at 3 p.m.

Class 6A Girls Semifinals Homewood 66, Austin 40

     The Lady Patriots clinched their first-ever berth in the Class 6A girls state basketball finals with a strong second-half finish to beat Austin 66-40.
     Homewood (29-4), coached by JoVanka Ward, outscored Austin 43-19 in the second half. Ajah Wayne led with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Hannah Barber added 15 points and five assists, and Tori Webb chipped in 10 points.   Wayne also had four steals.
     The Black Bears (27-5), coached by Bruce Hamilton, was led by Aaliyah Rice’s 13 points. Katie Speegle also had eight rebounds.
     Homewood will play the 6A championship game Saturday at 1 p.m.

AHSAA To Delay Thursday’s Session Of State Basketball Tourney Until 10 a.m.

   The Alabama High School Athletic Association State Basketball Tournament games scheduled for Thursday will be delayed by one hour starting at 10 a.m., AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese announced Wednesday night.
     He said the decision was made to adjust the schedule due to possible weather travel conditions expected Thursday morning.
      All games that had been reset set for Thursday at the BJCC will have the following schedule:  Class 6A semifinals will tip off at 10 a.m. at the BJCC Legacy Arena and Class 7A semifinals will tip off at 4 p.m.  Class 5A games moved to Bill Harris Arena at the CrossPlex will keep its 3 p.m. start for the first 5A girls semifinal.
     Friday’s revised championship schedule will remain the same as announced Tuesday with Class 1A girls and boys championship games scheduled for 8:45 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., respectively.    Class 2A girls will follow at 12:15 p.m., Class 2A boys at 2 p.m., Class 3A girls at 3:45, Class 3A boys at 5:30, Class 4A girls at 7:15 and Class 4A boys at 9 p.m.
    Saturday’s finals for 5A, 6A and 7A will remain as scheduled.
    “We made this decision to delay one hour Thursday morning based on the current weather conditions,” Savarese said. “While our teams are already here, this should help those traveling to attend the games.”
    The AHSAA will continue to monitor the weather conditions. Any changes in the schedules will be posted at www.ahsaa.com and should updates become necessary, that information will also be posted.
    The new schedule is provided.

AHSAA State Finals Adjusted Schedule With Revised Times


Thursday Schedule – BJCC Legacy Arena

10:00 a.m.      Homewood vs. Austin (6A Girls Semi-Finals)

11:30 a.m.      Homewood vs. Lee-Huntsville (6A Boys Semi-Finals)

1 p.m.             Shades Valley vs. Blount (6A Girls Semi-Finals)

2:30 p.m.        Woodlawn vs. Carver-Montgomery (6A Boys Semi-Finals)

4:00 p.m.        Hazel Green vs. Jeff Davis (7A Girls Semi-Finals)

5:30 p.m.        Hoover vs. Lee-Montgomery (7A Boys Semi-Finals)

7:00 p.m.        Huntsville vs. McGill-Toolen (7A Girls Semi-Finals)

8:30 p.m.        Mountain Brook vs. Theodore (7A Boys Semi-Finals)


Thursday Schedule – Bill Harris Arena at the CrossPlex

3:00 p.m.        Wenonah vs. Talladega (5A Girls Semi-Finals)

4:30 p.m.        Ramsay vs. Dallas County (5A Boys Semi-Finals)

6:00 p.m.        Anniston vs. Brewbaker Tech (5A Girls Semi-Finals)

7:30 p.m.        J.O. Johnson vs. Faith Academy (5A Boys Semi-Finals)


Friday Schedule – BJCC Legacy Arena

8:45 a.m.        Keith vs. Spring Garden (1A Girls Finals)

10:30 a.m.      Sunshine vs. Sacred Heart (1A Boys Finals)

12:15 p.m.     Red Bay vs. Geneva County (2A Girls Finals)

2:00 p.m.        LaFayette vs. Elba (2A Boys Finals)

3:45 p.m.        Lauderdale County vs. Pisgah (3A Girls Finals)

5:30 p.m.        Madison Academy vs. Piedmont (3A Boys Finals)

7:15 p.m.        Deshler vs. Jacksonville (4A Girls Finals)

9:00 p.m.        West Limestone vs. Westminster Christian (4A Boys Finals)


Saturday Schedule – BJCC Legacy Arena (No changes to original schedule)

9:00 a.m.        5A Girls Finals

11:00 a.m.      5A Boys Finals

1:00 p.m.        6A Girls Finals

3:00 p.m.        6A Boys Finals

5:00 p.m.        7A Girls Finals

7:00 p.m.        7A Boys Finals

AHSAA Mourns Death of Elmore County AD Grady Rowe

    The AHSAA was saddened to learn of the death of longtime Elmore County High School athletic director Grady Rowe, 57.  The AHSAA extends condolences to Coach Rowe’s family and his extended Elmore County High School family.
    He is survived by wife, Gloria and children William Grady Rowe III and Thomas Luke Rowe.
    Rowe served his entire teaching career at Elmore County High School where he was a math teacher, athletic director and coach in various sports over the course of more than 20 years. He played football at ECHS and was selected a prep All American in 1975. He went on to play college football at Marion Military Institute and Jacksonville State University.  Rowe served in the 20th Special Forces Group of the Alabama National Guard and retired as Lieutenant Colonel.
   Visitation will be tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. at Good Hope Baptist Church located at 1767 South Fleahop Road in Eclectic. The memorial service will also be at Good Hope Church at 2 p.m. Thursday.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Coach Grady Rowe Scholarship Fund at any branch of First Community Bank.

AHSAA Mourns Death of Coach Eugene Mason

    The AHSAA was saddened to learn of the death of former R.C. Hatch High School basketball coach Eugene Mason.  Mason, who coached Keith High School girls’ coach Cecil Williams in high school, collapsed at a Keith practice Tuesday and was transported to a Selma hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
     Our prayers go out to Coach Mason’s family and his extended R.C. Hatch High School family.
     Mason was helping his former student prepare the Keith girls for their upcoming Class 1A state championship game versus Spring Garden scheduled for Friday morning at 8:45 a.m.
     Mason was inducted into the Alabama High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2006. He retired as the AHSAA’s all-time coaching wins leader with a 919-306 career record. He guided R.C. Hatch to seven state championships, tied for the most of any coach in state history. He also coached in the Alabama-Mississippi and North-South all-star games.
     He continued to work with kids after his retirement from R.C. Hatch through the Uniontown recreation program.
     Funeral arrangements are not available at this time.

Class 4A Boys Semifinals Westminster Christian 41, Straughn 37

     Westminster Christian (21-11) handed veteran coach Ronnie Stapler the 699th win of his high school coaching career Tuesday night with a 41-37 victory over Straughn in the semifinals of the AHSAA Class 4A boys state tournament.
     Playing the semifinals for the first time in school history, the Wildcats relied on tough defense to seal the win.  Trey Petty scored 14 points and Tysean Whitehead added eight points and seven rebounds.
    Straughn (21-9), coached by Lomax Andrews, shot 51.7 percent from the field but was limited to only 29 field-goal tries. Steve Lawless had nine points for the Tigers and Brice Scott added eight. He also had seven rebounds. Rollin Kinsaul chipped in seven points and four steals in a strong defensive effort as well.
    Westminster will play in the Class 4A boys’ state finals Friday night at the BJCC Legacy Arena. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m.

Class 4A Girls Semifinals Jacksonville 49, UMS-Wright 38

     The Eagles advanced to the Class 4A girls finals with the 49-38 victory over UMS-Wright.
      Jacksonville (28-4), coached by Ryan Chambless, was sparked by Angel Kidd’s 25 points. She sank three treys and was 10-of-14 at the foul line.  Virginia Poe also had 12 points and Sierra Stone cleared 13 rebounds and had six blocked shots.
     McKenzie Courtney had 15 points and Emani Moore added 12 to pace UMS-Wright (25-9), coached by Terry Canova. Ashley added seven points and 20 rebounds.
     Jacksonville will meet Deshler Friday night at the BJCC Legacy Arena in the Class 4A girls championship game at 7:15 p.m.

Class 4A Boys Semifinals West Limestone 31, Bibb County 29

   West Limestone edged Bibb County 31-29 in the Class 4A boys state basketball tournament semifinals Tuesday to advance to the state finals Friday night at 9 p.m. at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
   Hunter Morgan scored 10 points to pace the Wildcats (32-3) of Coach Justin Taylor. West Limestone overcame a 9-of-21 free-throw shooting effort thanks to its tenacious defensive effort.  Hunter also had seven rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots. Grant Baugher and Matt Bozeman had eight points each for the Wildcats.
   Bibb County (26-10), coached by Russ Wallace, out-rebounded West Limestone 40-21 but made only 12-of-28 free throws and shot only 22.9 percent (8 of 35) from the floor. Maleake Kersh had seven points and nine rebounds for the Choctaws. Ralph Westbrook had six points and seven rebounds, and Brandon Rutledge also had seven boards.

Class 4A Girls Semifinals Deshler 63, Sipsey Valley 40

   Deshler outscored Sipsey Valley 26-9 in the fourth quarter to break open a close game en route to a 63-40 victory over the Bears in the AHSAA Class 4A girls state tournament semifinals at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
   Coach Jana Killen’s Lady Tigers (33-2) were led by Lauren Cantrell’s 16 points. Nicole Shirley added 13 and Julia Burton 10.  Burton also had 10 rebounds and Karleigh Sledged had 12.
   Coach Jerome Elliott’s Sipsey Valley team, making its first appearance in the state tournament, had a big effort from Denetria Williams. She had 21 points and 13 rebounds. Charity Brown also had12 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
   Deshler will play in the 4A state finals Friday at the BJCC at 7:15 p.m.