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CLASS 2A BOYS’ CHAMPIONSHIP Lanett 41, St. Luke’s Episcopal 38

BIRMINGHAM – Lanett High School won its third straight Class 2A boys’ state basketball championship Friday with a 41-38 win over St. Luke’s Episcopal of Mobile. The third one, however, was not in tow until the final second as the Wildcats pushed the Panthers to the limit in the 2A finals of the 96th AHSAA State Basketball Finals Championships at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The state tourney is in its 25th year at the BJCC.
     The lead changed 11 times in the contest including five times in the final quarter.  Senior Anquavious Pollard’s inside bucket with 4:29 remaining put Coach Richard Carter’s Panthers (26-5) ahead for good – but not ahead by much. The game see-sawed the rest of the way with any a separation of no more than one made shot.
    Lanett’s Emmanuel Littles, a 6-foot-7 senior, earned Class 2A state tourney MVP with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the finals. Pollard has 12 points and eight rebounds, and Kristian Story had five points – all on as 5-of-6 free-shooting performance.
    St. Luke’s Episcopal (22-9), coached by Kantonio Davis, out-rebounded the Panthers 34-32 and had five less turnovers. Mark Wilcox had 13 points, 14 rebounds and six steals in a superb defensive effort. Jermaine Brown had eight points and five rebounds.
    Lanett won the school’s first state basketball title in 2016, followed up in 2017 and became just the 11th school in the state tournament’s 96-year history to win three boys’ state titles in a row. Two schools (Francis Marion and Sacred Heart) have won four and nine have won three (Wenonah, Pickens County, R.C. Hatch, Madison Academy, Brantley, Austinville, Geraldine and Simpson).
    Lanett also became just the seventh school to win football and boys’ basketball championships in the same school year. Hoover was the last team to accomplish that feat (2016-17).  The first was Sidney Lanier in 1965-67.  Six more schools have won state titles in the same calendar year including the first, Colbert County, in 1972.
    Raycom Sports is broadcast all finals over its TV network consisting of Raycom affiliates’ Bounce and D-2 channels. WAFF TV 48 in Huntsville and WBRC TV 6 in Birmingham aired the 2A girls’ finals over their main channels, WTVM TV 9 in Columbus (GA) will air the Class 5A boys’ finals between Eufaula and Sylacauga, and WSFA TV 12 in Montgomery plans to air the Class 6A boys’ finals featuring Carver-Montgomery versus Paul Bryant Saturday over their main channels.
      The NFHS Network is also live-streaming all finals over its subscriber-based platform, and the AHSAA Radio Network is broadcasting the championship games over its state-wide radio network and website.
CLASS 2A BOYS ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
Emmanuel Littles, Lanett (MVP); Anquavious Pollard, Lanett; Mark Wilcox, St. Luke’s Episcopal; Jermaine Brown, St. Luke’s Episcopal; C.J. Yarbrough, Tanner; Jaquan Lee, Aliceville.

CLASS 2A GIRLS’ CHAMPIONSHIP Samson 69, Sand Rock 65

     BIRMINGHAM – Samson High School twin sisters La’Tascya and LaTora Duff combined for 56 points Friday morning to lead the Tigers past Sand Rock 69-65 in girls’ Class 2A finals of 96th AHSAA State Basketball Finals Championships at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
     The 5-foot-8 seniors each had 17 points in the first half as Samson (31-3) built a 39-33 lead. La’Tascya, who earned Class 2A state tourney MVP, finished with a game-high 32 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots for Coach Chad McKnight’s Tigers before fouling out with 1:11 remaining and her team holding 65-56 lead. LaTora, who had 24 points and six rebounds, made two crucial free throws with 31 seconds remaining to make it 68-60. Kinley Johnson’s free throw nine seconds later was even more critical giving Samson a 69-60 lead.
    Sand Rock (24-10), coached by Lisa Bates, battled back with Caley Garrett sinking a 3-pointer and Savannah Blackwell getting a bucket to cut it to 69-65. The Wildcats forced yet another turnover with six seconds remaining but a 3-point shot bounced off the rim long to run out the final seconds.
    La’Tascya Duff was 10-of-12 at the foul line and LaTora Duff was 4-of-6. Diamonique Williams also had five points and three assists for Samson.
   Sand Rock was led by Kirby DeBoard’s 17 points. Kynleigh Chesnutt had 16 plus eight rebounds, and Blackwell had 15 points and 15 rebounds.
    The state championship was Samson’s fourth, winning previously in 2006, 2007 and 2016. County rival Geneva County won the 2A state crown in 2017.
    Raycom Sports is broadcast all finals over its TV network consisting of Raycom affiliates’ Bounce and D-2 channels. WAFF TV 48 in Huntsville and WBRC TV 6 in Birmingham aired the 2A girls’ finals over their main channels, and WSFA TV 12 plans to air the Class 6A boys’ finals Saturday over its main channel in Montgomery. The NFHS Network is also live-streaming all finals over its subscriber-based platform, and the AHSAA Radio Network is broadcasting the championship games over its state-wide radio network and website.
CLASS 2A GIRLS ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
La’Tascya Duff, Samson (MVP); LaTora Duff, Samson; Savannah Blackwell, Sand Rock; Kirby DeBoard, Sand Rock; Shatavia Moore, Keith; Chloe Roberson, Phil Campbell.

CLASS 2A BOYS’ SEMIFINALS Lanett 75, Aliceville 64

     BIRMINGHAM – Two-time defending Class 2A state basketball champion Lanett edged a stubborn  Aliceville squad 75-64 Monday night in the semifinals of the 96th AHSAA State Basketball Championship tournament at the BJCC Legacy Arena to move into Friday’s state finals.
      Coach Richard Carter’s Panthers (25-5) will face St.Luke’s Episcopal of Mobile in the championship game at 10:45 Friday morning. Lanett, which won the Class 2A state football title last December, also won the 2017 and 2016 Class 2A state boys’ basketball titles.
     The Panthers needed all their weapons to dispose of Aliceville (20-3). Lanett’s tall inside presence of 6-foot-7 Emmanuel Littles and 6-7 Anquavious Pollard was complemented by the quickness of guard Terrion Truitt. Pollard finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, Truitt had 21 points and three 3-point goals and Littles scored 15 points with several strong dunks and also cleared a game-high 11 rebounds.
    Still, Aliceville, coached by Chris Walker, was down just five points at one point in the fourth quarter. Jaquan Lee and TyQuane Wright had 18 and 12 points, respectively, combining for seven 3-pointers – most of them coming in an exciting stretch run that closed the gap in the second half. Wright had four treys and Lee had three. Edward Weston added 16 points with two 3-pointers as the Bears finished with 11 on 32 tries. Walker’s team was also 13-of-14 at the foul line but lost the rebound battle 44-27 to the taller Panthers.
    The state tournament, now in its 25th year at Birmingham’s BJCC, resumes Tuesday with Class 3A and 4A girls and boys semifinals.  Classes 6A and 5A play Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning. Friday and Saturday will be championship games in all classes except Class 1A, which has its girls’ and boys’ finals Thursday night.
   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.

CLASS 2A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Sand Rock 62, Keith 45

     BIRMINGHAM – Junior guard Kirby DeBoard scored 20 points and senior forward Savannah Blackwell had 17 points. 12 rebounds and five steals to lead Sand Rock past Keith 62-45 in the Class 2A Girls’ State basketball Championships semifinals Monday at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena.
     The victory propels Coach Lisa Bates’ Wildcats (23-8) into the Class 2A state finals Friday at 9 a.m. against Samson (30-3) in the 96th AHSAA state tourney.
     DeBoard was 11-of-14 at the foul line and also had two assists and two steals. Kynleigh Chesnut chipped in 11 points.  
     Keith (19-9), coached by Cecil Williams, was led by Ambreya Snow and Shatavia Moore, with 16 and 13 points, respectively. Moore also had nine rebounds, five steals and three assists. Jakrya Simmons also chipped in eight points.
Classes 3A and 4A girls and boys open play with semifinals Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A play  Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning. Friday and Saturday will be championship games in all classes except Class 1A, which has its girls’ and boys’ finals Thursday night.
   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.
   


CLASS 2A BOYS’ SEMIFINALS St. Luke’s Episcopal 72, Tanner 65

     BIRMINGHAM – St. Luke’s Episcopal nipped Tanner 72-65 Monday afternoon in the Class 2A boys’ semifinals of  96th AHSAA State Basketball Championships tourney at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena.
     Coach Kantonio Davis’ Wildcats (22-8) jumped out to a quick 22-11 lead over the Rattlers (21-12) of Coach Chris Whitt, but had to clinch the win in the final period at the foul line. St. Luke’s was 18-of-26 in the fourth quarter and finished 27-of-44 for the game. Senior 6-foot-5 forward Mark Wilcox, who scored a game-high 27 points, was 10-of-15 on the night on free throws, 8-of-14 from the field and had five rebounds to pace St. Luke’s. Jermaine Brown and Kevin Parden each had 12 points. Brown had a team-high eight rebounds.
     Tanner was paced by senior C.J. Yarbrough’s 19 points and seven rebounds. Jireh Jackson added 12 points, Malik Atkins and J.J. Jones, 11 each. The Rattlers were 18-of-28 at the foul line.
     St. Luke’s will play in the Class 2A finals Friday at 10:45 a.m. The Class 2A boys’ and girls’ semifinals continued Monday night with Classes 3A and 4A scheduled to play semifinals Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A, Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning.
   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.

CLASS 2A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Samson 64, Phil Campbell 43

     BIRMINGHAM – Samson High School downed Phil Campbell 64-43 Monday afternoon a the BJCC Legacy Arena to clinch a berth in the AHSAA Class 2A Girls’ State Tournament championship game for the second time in three seasons.
     The Tigers (30-3) of Coach Chad McKnight outscored the Bobcats 21-11 in the second quarter to take a 36-25 lead at halftime. Coach Craig Thomas’ girls clawed back in the third quarter to close the game to six points before Samson closed strong outscoring Phil Campbell 17-4 in the final period.
        Senior LaTascya Duff scored 23 points and her twin sister LaTora Duff added 14 to lead the Tigers. Kaitlyn McKnight added 10 points. Diamonique Williams had seven points and 11 rebounds and LaTascya Duff also had 11 boards, five steals and made three 3-point goals. Samson finished 9-of-17 (52.9%) on threes and was 7-of-8 at the foul line.
      Chloe Roberson led Phil Campbell (27-6) with 18 points and eight rebounds. Abby Davis and Darby Elliott added six points each.
       Samson won the state titles in 2006, 2007 and 2016.
     The Class 2A boys’ and girls’ semifinals continued Monday with Classes 3A and 4A scheduled to play semifinals Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A, Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning.
   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.

SUPER 7 CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS Lanett 33, Leroy 15

Lanett 33, Leroy 15
 
    
TUSCALOOSA – Lanett High School overcame a 15-0 first-quarter deficit with 33 unanswered points Friday afternoon to beat Leroy 33-15 in the 2017 Super 7 Class 2A State football championship game  at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The championship was the first football title in school history and concluded a 15-0 season for Coach Christopher Story’s team – best in school history. The Panthers’ boys’ basketball team won the Class 2A state title the last two seasons.
      Leroy (12-3), coach by Jason Massey,  jumped out to a quick 15-0 lead  with two rushing touchdowns freshman running back Kelston Fikes by  in the first quarter covering 3 and 7 yards. The Bears marched 56 yards on 11 time-consuming plays on the first TD march and 52 yards on seven plays on the next one.  Leroy ‘s Daniel Waddill caught a pass from Jeb Rice for a two-point conversion after Fikes’ first TD and Trey Sullivan kicked the extra point after the second one.
    Lanett (15-0) cut the lead to 15-7 with four seconds left in the period when Terrion Truitt scooted 10 yards for the Panthers’ first touchdown. Rovilan Castro added the extra point.  Lanett tied the game with 2:34 left in the half when Ja’Won Howell scored on a dazzling 34-yard run. Truitt then scored on the two-point conversion to tie the game at 15-15 at intermission.
    The Panthers took the lead for good 21-15 with 3:27 remaining in the third period when quarterback Kristian Story, who was shaken up in the second quarter, returned to the game to direct an eight-play, 67-yard march that finished with his 10-yard pass to Braylon Harrington. Lanett pulled away in the fourth quarter with Truitt scoring on a 23 run with 4:21 left and 6-foot-7 senior receiver Anquaevious Pollard hauling in a 19-yard pass from Story for the final TD 85 seconds later.
    Story’s Panthers finished with 17 first downs, 187 yards rushing and 129 passing for 316 total yards. Lanett had 93 yards rushing and 44 passing for 137 total yards.
    Truitt finished with 90 yards rushing on 13 carries and caught one pass for 16 yards to earn MVP honors. Story rushed for 70 yards on 13 carries and was 11-of-19 passing for 129 yards and two TDs. Pollard had five catches for 66 yards.
    Freshman running back Kelston Fikes had a game-high 107 yards rushing on 27 carries and both Bears touchdowns. Leroy quarterback Nathan Taylor was 9-of-16 passing for 44 yards. Prinis Snow had two receptions for 16 yards and Daniel Waddill had one for 25 yards.
    Lanett’s Zion Lynch led the Panthers’ defense with 10 tackles.  Ja’Won Howell and Dterron Glaze also had eight each. Tifton Dobbs also had an interception. Leroy’s Dristin Weaver had 10 tackles and Brady Smith had nine to lead the Bears.
    The 2017 Super 7 State Championships conclude tonight with Wetumpka (13-1) facing Pinson Valley (14-0) in the 6A finals at 7 p.m. The game is being televised live by Raycom Media over its Raycom/AHSAA Network of affiliates and D-2 stations with WSFA TV 12 in Montgomery showing the contest on its main channel. The game is 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 AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting the final across the state. The link is available at www.ahsaa.com.

CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP St. Luke’s Episcopal 3, Goshen 0

    BIRMINGHAM – St. Luke’s Episcopal rolled to its second straight Class 2A state volleyball championship Thursday afternoon beating Goshen 25-11, 25-12, 25-15in the finals at the 46th annual AHSAA State Volleyball Championships being held at Bill Harris Arena.
    Coach Meredith Donald Harvison’s Wildcats (34-15) took control quickly thanks to the strong play inside by senior outside hitter Jada Carney. Carney finished with 14 kills and three service aces to earn MVP for the 2A state tourney. Junior setter Lauren Bailey had 20 assists, senior libero Kellan Hensley had 16 digs and eighth grade outside hitter Gracie Sims had 13.
      Goshen (28-14), making its first appearance in the state finals, was led by senior Kelsey Gibson’s 11 kills, five digs and two aces. Setter Kate Warrick, a junior, had 17 assists for Coach Amy Warrick’s Eagles. Junior Hannah Calhoun also had a game-high 19 digs.
    The Class 3A state finals between Montgomery Academy and Bayside Academy is the last championship match of the day at Harris Arena and is being live-streamed by the NFHS Network.
CLASS 2A ALL-STATE TOURNAMENT TEAM
Jada Carney, St. Luke’s Episcopal (MVP); Gracie Sims, St. Luke’s Episcopal; Lauren Bailey, St. Luke’s Episcopal; Kellan Hensley, St. Luke’s Episcopal; Hannah Calhoun, Goshen; Kelsey Gibson, Goshen.

 


THURSDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE/RESULTS
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

St. Luke’s Episcopal (34-15) 3, Goshen (28-14) 0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-15)
CLASS 4A
Saint James (37-9) 3, Deshler (43-15) 1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-19)
CLASS 5A
Alexandria (44-9)  3, Lawrence County (59-5) 0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-13)
CLASS 6A
Pelham (41-9) 3, Jasper (57-5) 2 (25-20, 26-24, 22-25, 25-27, 17-15)
CLASS 7A
McGill-Toolen Catholic ( Bob Jones (41-11) 0 (25-16, 25-23, 27-25)
Bottom of Form

CLASS 3A
Bayside Academy (41-10) vs. Montgomery Academy (44-12), 6:30 p.m.  


CLASS 2A STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP Finals: Hatton 11, GW Long 1

     MONTGOMERY – Winning pitcher Ashley Berryman hurled a four-hitter and struck out three in the AHSAA Class 2A state tourney championship game to lead Hatton to a five-inning 11-1 win and the state title at Lagoon Park Thursday.
    Berryman, who earned Class 2A state tourney Most Outstanding Player honors, also collected two doubles at the plate for the Hornets.  Bailey Dawson supplied the big power, however, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored and five RBIs. She had a home run and double.  Emma Latham also had three hits with double, RBI and three runs scored, and Laney Jeffreys  had a double, single and two RBIs.
    G.W. Long’s Abbykate Chancey got the pitching  loss. She socked s triple to lead the Lady Rebels offensively.
     Hatton beat New Brockton 6-1, G.W. Lonh 5-1 and Horseshoe Bend 8-2 to reach the final game unbeaten.
Class 2A All-State Tourney Team
Ashley Berryman, Hatton (MOP); Katelyn Williams, Hatton; Emma Latham, Hatton; Mallory Lane, Hatton; Olivia Baker, G.W. Long; Morgan Long, G.W. Lon; Jordan Childers, G.W. Long.

AHSAA Class 2A State Baseball Championships G.W. Long Sweeps Class 2A Championships Behind Pitcher Collin Searcy’s No-hitter

     MONTGOMERY – Defending Class 5A state champion Russellville slugged 11 hits in the AHSAA Class 5A State Baseball Championship Series game at Paterson Field to beat Faith Academy 9-1 Wednesday night.
     The Golden Tigers (37-9) take the 1-0 lead into game two Thursday at Riverwalk Stadium. Faith Academy and Russellville will play game two of the best 2-of-3 series at 10 a.m., with game three set to start 30 minutes later if needed. The series is a rematch from last year’s Class 5A finals.
     Senior first baseman Skylar Holland had three hits and an RBI, junior shortstop Landon Ezzell had a double, single and two RBIs and senior Cody Greenhill  had a double and two RBIs for Coach Chris Heaps’ Tigers. Colin Garrison also scored two runs, had two RBIs and one hit as the lead-off hitter for Russellville.
      Greenhill (12-2) did the rest, pitching a complete-game two-hitter and striking out 11 to get the win.
      Faith Academy (29-7), coached by Matt Seymour,  got its only run in the sixth inning when  Jackson Bell scored on Brooks Carlson’s sacrifice fly. Bell and Christian Waltman had one hit each for the Rams. Starting pitcher Reece Ewing (5-4) hurled 5 1/3 innings, allowed nine hits eight runs and struck out two to get the loss.
    The Class 6A Championship Series gets underway Thursday night at Paterson Field with game one between Cullman and Helena set for 6 p.m. The 6A series will move to Riverwalk Stadium Friday morning at 10 a.m. Class 7A begins its championship series at Paterson Field Friday night at  6 p.m. Hoover and Auburn will then close out the 7A series Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. with game two of the best 2-of-3 series.
    All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.