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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.



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. 

SUPER 7 CLASS 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS Sweet Water 20, Pickens County 6

Sweet Water 20, Pickens County 6
 
    
TUSCALOOSA – Sweet Water High School senior Shamar Lewis scooped up  a fumble and raced 64 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter Thursday to seal the Bulldogs’ 20-6 victory over Pickens County in the AHSAA Super 7 Class 1A state football finals at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
    Lewis, had four tackles including one for a six-yard loss on defense, made an interception in the final minute and also rushed for a 95 yards on 16 carries to earn MVP honors for Coach Pat Thompson’s Bulldogs.
     Sweet Water (13-1) won its 10th state championship overall and its first since 2010. Thompson served as assistant coach on two state championship teams and now has his first as the head coach.
  Pickens County (12-3), coached by James Thompson, took the early lead 3-0 with 5:40 left in the second quarter when Jermaine Hill booted a 26-yard field goal to cap a 10-play, 66-yard march. Sweet Water drove 60 yards on 10 plays on the ensuing drive with Jacory Brown scoring on a 2-yard run at the two-minute mark of the period and Devonte Blanks kicked the extra point to give the Bulldogs a 7-3 lead at intermission.
     The Bulldogs took the opening drive of the third quarter and drove 68 yards in 11 plays to extend the lead to 14-3 when Jaylon Williamson scored on a 3-yard run. The Tornadoes cut the lead to 14-6 three minutes later when Hill kicked his second field goal, a 28-yarder. His two field goals set a new Super 7 Class 1A state record.  Lewis took over in the fourth quarter, however. Pickens County quarterback Aljaron Edwards was forced out of the pocket by Jacory Brown midway through the fourth quarter and lost control of the ball as he was thrown to the turf. Lewis was there to pick it up and raced to the end zone for the clinching score.
     Sweet Water totaled 283 yards rushing on 56 carries and completed one pass for 50 yards – a grab by Trenton Sams from quarterback Jonah Lewis that came on a third-and-27 play from the Bulldogs 25 that kept the third-quarter scoring drive alive. Pickens County passed for 233 yards but netted only 22 rushing.
    Brown had a game-high 103 yards rushing on 25 carries for the Bulldogs, and Williamson had 95 on 12 rush attempts.   
    Edwards was 17-of-26 passing for the Tornadoes for 174 yards and Clifford Morton was 3-of-5 for 59 yards.  Elliott Petty had nine catches for 109 yards and Malik Betts had six for 70 yards.
    Jah’Dairius McIntosh led the Sweet Water defense with 10 tackles and one sack. Smith had seven tackles plus and interception and Willie Lewis had six.   Jah-Marien Latham and Rikishi Cohen had 10 tackles each for Pickens County.
    The Super 7 State Championships continue tonight with the Class 5A championship game between St. Paul’s Episcopal (13-1) and Briarwood Christian (14-0) at 7 p.m. All games are being televised live by Raycom Media over its Raycom/AHSAA Network of affiliates and D-2 stations. The games are also being live video-streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based network and on You Tube. For more TV information, go to www.pathtotheplayoffs.com and click on “Where to Watch.”
   The Super 7 closes out Friday with three games: UMS-Wright (12-2) meeting Fayette County (12-2) at 11 a.m., in the 4A championship, Lanett (14-0) versus Leroy (12-2) in the 2A finals at 3 p.m., and Wetumpka (13-1) facing Pinson Valley (14-0) in the 6A finals at 7 p.m.
    The AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting all games across the state. The link is available at www.ahsaa.com.

CLASS 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Addison 3, Meek 1

    BIRMINGHAM – Addison High School rallied from a 1-0 deficit to beat arch-rival Meek 26-28, 25-19, 25-19, 25-19 Thursday Morning at Bill Harris Arena to capture the 2017 AHSAA Class 1A state volleyball championship.
   The finals pitted two schools from Winston County in the championship match for the first time in AHSAA history – a proud moment for both schools.  For Coach Kayla Woodard’s Bulldogs (51-8), the championship was fifth in a row dating back to 2013. Meek won the 1A state title in 2015 – the same year their county rivals won the 2A state crown.
   Senior Abbie Chambless led the Bulldogs with 20 kills and 12 digs to earn MVP honors for the second straight year. Savannah Manley added nine kills and two blocks, Kendra Tyree had 21 digs and setter Cecilee Gaither had 21 assists.
   Pacing Coach Dana Waldrep’s Tigers (46-18) was Savanna Banks with 22 kills and 24 digs. Amanda Cunningham also had 15 kills and setter Jayden Waldrep had 34 assists.
   The two teams met seven times this season including playing in the Winston County tournament finals. Addison won all seven, but all were very competitive, said both coaches.
    The six remaining state finals will be played today with all being live-streamed by the NFHS Network.
CLASS 1A ALL-STATE TOURNAMENT TEAM
Abbie Chambless, Addison (MVP); Cecilee Gaither, Addison; Kendra Tyree, Addison; Sevanna Banks, Meek; Amanda Cunningham, Meek; Jayden Waldrep, Meek.

THURSDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
At Bill Harris Arena
(All matches lived-streamed by the NFHS Network)
CLASS 1A
Addison (51-8) 3, Meek 1 (46-18) (26-28, 25-19, 25-19, 25-19)
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 (44-9), 1:15 p.m.
CLASS 6A
Jasper (57-4) vs. Spanish Fort Pelham (40-9), 9:45 a.m.
CLASS 7A
Bob Jones (42-10) vs. McGill-Toolen Catholic (46-7), 11:30 a.m.

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 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Sweet Water Wins Title with 8-7 Win in Game 3

    MONTGOMERY – Sweet Water High School junior Jonah Smith’s two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday lifted the Bulldogs (32-8) to a come-from-behind 8-7 win over defending state champion Decatur Heritage in game three to claim the 2017 AHSAA Class 1A state baseball championship at Riverwalk Stadium.
    Smith, named MVP of the series, pitched the game one victory Monday. He had a double and single in the final game and four in the series, none bigger than his one-out single to deliver the victory.
     Decatur Heritage (23-13) forced game three with a 2-1 win in the 10 a.m., game Tuesday. Grayson Wakefield (7-1) tossed a two-hitter with six strikeouts to keep the Eagles’ repeat hopes alive. Jackson Parker had two hits in the win for Coach Steve Meek’s team. Smith had a single and scored Sweet Water’s only run. Sasha Smith (4-3) hurled five strong innings, allowing three hits but got the loss.
    Coach John Gluschick’s Bulldogs took control of the third game early to build a 6-1 lead heading into the the top of the sixth. Things begin to unravel for starter Braiden Broussard, however, as the Eagles clawed back to tie the game with five runs. Garrett Buckner’s double plated two runs for the big hit of the inning.
    The game stayed tied until the top of the eighth when the Eagles played one run – and had an insurance run nullified when the runner on third was called out for leaving the base too soon on a fly out to left for the third out.
    Sweet Water loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning. Jonah Smith then drilled a single to left that plated pinch runner Trenton Sams and Shamar Lewis to end the game.
    Designated hitter Hunter Mendenhall was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI to pace the Bulldogs’ 12-hit attack in the final game. Chance Broussard also had three hits, including one to start the eighth-inning rally. Catcher Luke Davis also had an RBI double.
    Chase Joiner (3-0) got the final two out of the eighth inning to get the win for Sweet Water. Jeff Hunter (4-2) got the loss in relief. Dalton Davis also pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief allowing three hits, one run and striking out four for Decatur Heritage.

Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series Decatur Heritage 9-3, J.U. Blacksher 8-2

     MONTGOMERY – Decatur Heritage clawed back from an 8-0 deficit in game 2 of the AHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Thursday to beat J.U. Blacksher 9-8 and then captured the school’s first state title winning game 3 of the series 3-2 in the best-of-three finals.
     Grayson Wakefield (11-3), who started game two for Coach Steve Meek’s Eagles (28-13) and didn’t get out of the first inning, regrouped in game three pitching six strong innings to get the championship game win.  He scattered four hits and struck out six while throwing just 72 pitches in his final appearance. 
     Class 1A State Championship Series MVP Parker Sparkman, who had an outstanding series defensively at third base and went 5-for-8 with three RBIs over the three games, relieved in the seventh but gave way to reliever Jeff Hunter after yielding a run and loading the bases with no outs. Hunter faced the minimum three batters to pitch out of the jam closing out the game to get the save.
     Sparkman had one hit and an RBI in game three.   Hunter, who manned shortstop when not pitching, had a double and single and scored two runs. Dakota Hunter also had a single and RBI for the Eagles.
     Tanner Weaver (3-2) pitched a complete game going six innings in the finale for J.U. Blacksher (26-13). He allowed six hits and struck out three. Lead-off hitter Cooper Dean, who was 5-for-9 in the series, and DH Seth Metheny each had a single and RBI for the Bulldogs.

GAME TWO: Decatur Heritage 9, J.U. Blacksher 8
     Coach Justin Mixon’s Bulldogs (26-12) posted eight runs in the top of the first inning but ran into trouble in the bottom of the third when the Eagles (27-13) loaded the bases with no outs. Before the inning was over, Coach Steve Meek’s team had posted seven runs.  Decatur Heritage took the lead with two runs in the fifth to force the final game.
      Wyatt Farrior had a double and single and two RBIs for the Eagles. Third baseman Parker Sparkman also hit a triple and single and made two outstanding defensive plays for Decatur Heritage. Starting pitcher Grayson Wakefield also had a double and two RBIs, and catcher Trace Lentz had a two-RBI single.
     J.U. Blacksher was led by Hunter Tuberville’s triple, single and three RBIs, Cooper Dean’s two hits and two RBIs, and Tanner Brooks’ single and two RBIs.
     Decatur Heritage’s Clay Shaw (7-5) hurled 6 2/3 innings in relief allowing no runs, four hits and striking out four to get the win. Dillan Baldwin (3-1) pitched the final 3 2/3 innings and got the loss. He allowed one earned run, three hits and struck out two.
     Madison Academy (33-15) and American Christian (31-5), which played the first game of the 3A Championship Series Wednesday night at Paterson Field, will play game 2 of that series at 4 p.m. Thursday at Riverwalk Stadium.

     The Class 4A and 5A series are set to play game 1 of each series at Paterson Field Thursday night. Class 4A Oneonta (30-10) meets UMS-Wright (31-9) at 4 p.m., followed by defending 5A state champ Russellville (46-6) and Faith Academy (35-5) at 7.
    All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.

Class 1A: Game 2 Decatur Heritage 9, J.U. Blacksher 8

     MONTGOMERY – Decatur Heritage clawed back from an 8-0 deficit in game 2 of the AHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Thursday morning to beat J.U. Blacksher 9-8 and forced a third and final game in the best-of-three finals.
      Game 3 got under way at 12:15 p.m. Thursday at Riverwalk.
      Coach Justin Mixon’s Bulldogs (26-12) posted eight runs in the top of the first inning but ran into trouble in the bottom of the third when the Eagles (27-13) loaded the bases with no outs. Before the inning was over, Coach Steve Meek’s team had posted seven runs.  Decatur Heritage took the lead with two runs in the fifth to force the final game.
      Wyatt Farrior had a double and single and two RBIs for the Eagles. Third baseman Parker Sparkman also hit a triple and single and made two outstanding defensive plays for Decatur Heritage. Starting pitcher Grayson Wakefield also had a double and two RBIs, and catcher Trace Lentz had a two-RBI single.
     J.U. Blacksher was led by Hunter Tuberville’s triple, single and three RBIs, Cooper Dean’s two hits and two RBIs, and Tanner Brooks’ single and two RBIs.
     Decatur Heritage’s Clay Shaw (7-5) hurled 6 2/3 innings in relief allowing no runs, four hits and striking out four to get the win. Dillan Baldwin (3-1) pitched the final 3 2/3 innings and got the loss. He allowed one earned run, three hits and struck out two.
     Madison Academy (33-15) and American Christian (31-5), which played the first game of the 3A Championship Series Wednesday night at Paterson Field, will play game 2 of that series at 4 p.m. Thursday at Riverwalk Stadium.

     The Class 4A and 5A series are set to play game 1 of each series at Paterson Field Thursday night. Class 4A Oneonta (30-10) meets UMS-Wright (31-9) at 4 p.m., followed by defending 5A state champ Russellville (46-6) and Faith Academy (35-5) at 7.
    All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.

Class 1A: Game 1 J.U. Blacksher 6, Decatur Heritage 3

     MONTGOMERY –  J.U. Blacksher bunched six of its 11 hits together in the bottom of the fifth inning overcome a 3-1 deficit and posted a 6-3 victory over Decatur Heritage in the first game of the best-of-three AHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series at Montgomery’s Paterson Field Wednesday afternoon.
    The two teams meet again Thursday morning at 10 a.m. at Riverwalk Stadium in game two of the best-of-three series with game three scheduled for approximately 1 p.m., if needed.
     Madison Academy (33-15) and American Christian (31-5), which played the first game of the 3A Championship Series Wednesday night at Paterson Field, will play game 2 of that series at 4 p.m. Thursday at Riverwalk Stadium.

     The Class 4A and 5A series are set to play game 1 of each series at Paterson Field Thursday night. Class 4A Oneonta (30-10) meets UMS-Wright (31-9) at 4 p.m., followed by defending 5A state champ Russellville (46-6) and Faith Academy (35-5) at 7.
    All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
    Trailing by two going into the bottom of the fifth, Coach Justin Mixon’s Bulldogs (26-11) rallied to score four runs and take a 5-3 lead thanks to hits by Tanner Brooks, Charlie Scruggs, Sage Baggett, Dillan Baldwin, Hunter Tuberville and  Tanner Weaver.
      Brooks, who went 3-for-3 with three runs scored, also doubled to start the sixth inning and scored an insurance run on a single by Cooper Dean to close the scoring.
      Starting pitcher Sage Baggett (8-2) struck out the first two batters he faced and hurled six solid innings to get the win for J.U. Blacksher. He allowed five hits and struck out four.  Dean relieved Baggett in the top of the seventh inning and needed just eight pitches to seal the win. He got the Eagles to ground into a double-play and then got the last out of a pop fly in foul territory behind third base for the save. Dean finished with two hits and an RBI and Scruggs drove in two runs for Blacksher.
     Wyatt Farrior (8-6) got the loss for Decatur Heritage (26-13).  Parker Sparkman had two hits and an RBI to lead the Eagles.