Friday, April 19, 2019






Class 5A Boys Finals J.O. Johnson 59, Ramsay 52

   J.O. Johnson High School (32-4) beat Ramsay 59-52 Saturday at the BJCC Legacy Arena to capture the Class 5A boys state basketball title.
     The win also gave Jaguars Coach Jack Doss the eighth state title of his prep coaching career. He is the first boys basketball coach in AHSAA history to win eight titles -- snapping a tie with R.C. Hatch legendary coach Eugene Mason.
    Class 5A state tournament MVP John Petty had 15 points, four assists, three steals and five rebounds and exited the game with the other Jaguars starters with 1:42 remaining and Johnson leading 52-39. Ramsay went on a 13-7 run to end the game to close to seven.  Terrion Bone added 14 points for Johnson and Justin Hopkins had 13.
    Jordan Millsap and Jonathan Etheridge each had 15 for Ramsay (30-6), coached by Kelly Cheatham. Baniko Harley added 12. The Rams were Class 5A runner-up to Parker in 2014 and J.O. Johnson lost in overtime to Dallas County in the 2014 Class 4A finals.  
    Mason, who won all seven of his state titles at R.C. Hatch of Uniontown, collapsed earlier this week while helping his former student and player Cecil Williams prepare Keith High School’s girls team for the Class 1A state championship game Williams’ team won Friday.  Mason was later pronounced dead at a Selma hospital.
     Doss offered condolences to Mason’s game during his post-game press conference. “I have always respected Coach Mason the R.C. Hatch program.  I was shocked to learn of his death. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Mason’s family.”

Class 5A Boys All-Tournament Team
John Petty, J.O. Johnson (MVP); Terrion Bone, J.O. Johnson; Justin Hokpins, J.O. Johnson; Jordan Millsap, Ramsay;  Albert Luke, Ramsay; Jerrod Moorer, Dallas County; Josh Hill, Faith Academy.

Class 5A Girls Finals Wenonah 49, Brewbaker Tech 29

   Wenonah’s Lady Dragons (32-3) beat Brewbaker Tech 49-29 Saturday morning at the BJCC Legacy Arena for the school’s second straight AHSAA Class 5A state girls basketball championship.
   Wenonah has now won six state girls’ titles in school history including the Dragons’ third since 2004 under Coach Emanuel Bell’s direction.
   Class 5A state tournament MVP Kaitlyn Rodgers, a 6-foot-2 junior center, had just four points in the win over Brewbaker. However, she ruled inside with eight rebounds five blocked shots, seven assists and four steals.   Alexus Dye led Wenonah with 16 points. Point guard Jayla Morrow added eight points and four steals.
    Brewbaker Tech (23-8), coached by Cynthia Thompson, was led by sophomore guard Bianca Jackson’s 11 points and two steals.  Michaia Fluellen added eight points and was perfect on all four free throws attempted.
    Wenonah’s previous state titles were won in 1986, 1990, 1993, 2004 and 2014.
Class 5A Girls All-Tournament Team
Kaitlyn Rodgers, Wenonah (MVP); Alexus Dye, Wenonah; Jayla Morrow, Wenonah; Michaia Fluellen, Brewbaker Tech; Bianca Jackson, Brewbaker Tech; Kiyana Bullock, Anniston. 

Class 4A Boys Finals West Limestone 53, Westminster Christian 42

   West Limestone won its first boys state championship since 1956 Friday night with a 53-42 win over Westminster Christian in the Class 4A finals of the 93rd annual AHSAA State Basketball Tournament at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
    The Wildcats (33-3) of Coach Justin Taylor sank 19-of-26 free throws -- 17 in the second half -- to hold off a tenacious comeback effort by the Wildcats (21-12).
    Senior Zane Griffin had 17 points including 7-of-8 from the foul line and sophomore point guard Matt  Bozeman added 1, also sinking 7-of-8 free throws.  Class 4A state tournament MVP Hunter Morgan had 12 points and five rebounds.
    West Limestone limited Coach Ronnie Stapler’s Westminster team to just nine points in the first half but led only 19-9. The game got tense in the fourth period.  Westminster closed to within seven at 46-39 with 2:04 to play.  With four starters fouled out for West Limestone, reserve Evan Hill sank two free throws with 27 seconds left and Zane Griffin’s two free throws seven seconds later sealed the win.
     Trey Petty’s 11 points and six rebounds paced Westminster.
Class 4A Boys All-Tournament Team
Hunter Morgan, West Limestone (MVP); Matt Bozeman, West Limestone; Zane Griffin, West Limestone; Jarrett Murphy, Westminster Christiahn; Trey Petty, Westminster Christian; Brice Scott, Straughn; Maleake Kersh, Bibb County.

Class 4A Girls Finals Deshler 70, Jacksonville 57

   Deshler raced to a 43-18 halftime lead, then weathered two strong Jacksonville rallies in the second  half to capture the Class 4A girls state basketball championship with a 70-57 win Friday night at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
    Lauren Cantrell scored 20 points, had five rebounds and five steals to lead the Tigers (34-2). It was clutch free-throw shooting, 12-of-13 for the game, that helped Coach Jana Killen’s team survive the Golden Eagles.
    Jacksonville (29-5), coached by Ryan Chambless, cut the Deshler lead to 10 in the third quarter outscoring the Tigers 16-3 in the first five minutes after intermission. Deshler stretched back to a 15-ppoint lead and to 16 by the end of the period. The Eagles clawed back 12 with 3:02 remaining but four straight free throws, two by Cantrell and two by Nicole Shirley, opened the game again.
    Shirley scored 17 for the Tigers hitting 7-of-12 free throws, and Karleigh Sledge had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Deshler was 28-of-39 at the foul line for the game.
    Jacksonville’s comeback effort was sparked by Virginia Poe. The senior guard had a game-high 26 points sinking five treys. Angel Kidd added 10 points with one 3-pointer and 7-of-8 free throws. Dasia Kirksey also had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
    The state championship was the sixth for Killen’s Tigers but the first since Deshler won three in a row in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Killen (628-126) also recorded the 600th win over her coaching career earlier in the 2014-15 season.
Class 4A Girls All-Tournament Team
Lauren Cantrell, Deshler (MVP); Karleigh Sledge, Deshler; Nicole Shirley, Deshler; Virginia Poe, Jacksonville; Angel Kidd, Jacksonville; Queen Ford, Sipsey Valley; McKenzie Courtney, UMS-Wright. 

Class 3A Boys Finals Madison Academy 75, Piedmont 51

   Madison Academy (19-12) placed four players in double figures as the Mustangs captured the AHSAA Class 3A boys state basketball championship with a 75-51 win over Piedmont in at the BJCC Legacy Arena Friday night.
   Junior Josh Langford, a 6-foot-6 forward, had 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists to earn Class 3A state tournament MVP honors for Coach Andy Blackston’s team.  He was 6-of-7 from the foul line and also blocked two shots. Teammate Myles Parker added 12 points, Will Acuff and Cole Tomlinson chipped in 11 points each.
   Piedmont (22-12), coached by Tommy Lewis, was led by Darnell Jackson’s 17 points. Taylor Hayes had 12.
     The state titles was Madison Academy’s fifth since 2006 and the fourth with Blackston as head coach. The Mustangs won titles in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2013.
Class 3A Boys All-Tournament Team
Josh Langford, Madison Academy (MVP); Will Acuff, Madison Academy; Darnell Jackson, Piedmont; Taylor Hayes, Piedmont; Josh Thomas, Montgomery Academy; Christian Gross, Excel.

Class 3A Girls Finals Lauderdale County 70, Pisgah 39

  Lauderdale County High School girls’ basketball team continued to re-write the AHSAA record book Friday with the Lady Tigers’ 70-39 victory over Pisgah in the Class 3A state finals at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
     Tournament MVP Ivy Wallen scored 22 points and had nine assists to pace the Tigers’ fourth straight Class 3A state title since 2012. The victory extended Coach Brant Llewellyn’s team winning streak to 84 in a row, also a state record, and the 39-0 season slate topped last year’s state record of 38 set by the same Lauderdale County team.
    Allison Cruce added 16 points and 12 rebounds, Ashley Comer and Emma Wallen had seven points each.
     Pisgah’s Presley Johnson had 15 points and nine rebounds for Coach Carey Ellison’s Eagles (28-7).
Class 3A Girls All-Tournament Team
Ivy Wallen, Lauderdale County (MVP); Emma Wallen, Lauderdale County; Allison Cruce, Lauderdale County; Presley Johnson, Pisgah; Lily Womack, Pisgah; Jasonie Guice, Barbour County.

Class 2A Boys Finals LaFayette 69, Elba 39

   Six-foot-nine senior center Trevond Barnes scored 28 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked seven shots to lead LaFayette (25-5) to a 59-39 win over defending champion Elba in the Class 2A boys finals of the 93rd annual AHSAA State Basketball Tournament at the BJCC Legacy Arena Friday.
    Barnes, named MVP of 2A state tourney, was 8-of-10 from the foul line and 9-of-14 from the field with  two treys in his effort.
   The Bulldogs, coached by Obadiah Threadgill IV, out-rebounded Elba (21-7) 53-35. Jatarvious Whitlow added 21 points for LaFayette.
   The Tigers, coached by Karl Bledsoe, were led by Raheem Newson’s 12 points and Denzell Thomas’ 10. Brosnan Cooks also had nine points and seven rebounds.
   Threadgill and his father Obadiah Threadgilll III are one of the few father-son tandems in AHSAA basketball history each win a state championship.  Dad won the 1A boys state championship in 1992 as head coach at Notasulga.
Class 2A Boys All-Tournament Team
Trevond Barnes, LaFayette (MVP); Jatarvious Whitlow, LaFayette; Quenten Ray, LaFayette; Brosnan Cooks, Elba; Raheem Newson, Elba; Jacorey Roper, Vincent.

Class 2A Girls Finals Red Bay 34, Geneva County 29

    Red Bay High School won its state championship Friday with a hard-fought 34-29 victory over Geneva County in the AHSAA Class 2A girls state tournament finals at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
    Coach Donnie Roberts’ Tigers (25-9) turned up the defense in the first half to hold the Bulldogs (24-9) of Coach Chris Ward to only two second-quarter points on the way to an 18-11 halftime lead.  Geneva County turned up its defense as well limiting Red Bay to four points in the third quarter to take a 24-22 lead into the fourth period.
    The lead stretched to four in the fourth quarter when forward Morgan Pierce sank a 3-point goal that cut the Bulldogs’ lead to one and shifted the momentum to Red Bay. Before Geneva County could recover, Red Bay had built a 31-26 lead and never trailed again.
    Pierce finished with 11 points and eight rebounds for the Tigers. Hope Cook added 10 points and Class 2A state tournament MVP Darby Madden had seven points, six rebounds, three assists and four steals.
    Lacy Stafford had 20 points and eight rebounds for Geneva County.  She also had three steals.
    The win was the 834th of Red Bay Coach Roberts’ career. He is now 834-347 in 42 seasons.
 Class 2A Girls All-Tournament Team
Darby Madden, Red Bay (MVP); Allie Kennedy, Red Bay; Morgan Pierce, Red Bay; Lacy Stafford, Geneva County; TaMyya Hilllard, Geneva County; Kenetta Morris, Section.

Class 1A Boys Finals Sacred Heart 70, Sunshine 65 (OT)

    Sacred Heart sophomore guard Kavarri Ross sank two key free throws with three seconds remaining in regulation to tie the Class 1A championship game at 54-54 and the Cardinals outscored Sunshine 16-11 in overtime to win the state title 70-65 Friday.
    Ross, who finished with 28 points to earn MVP honors, scored nine of his team’s points in overtime as Coach Ralpheal Graves’ Anniston squad eeked out the victory.  Kiante Wood added 15 points -- all in the second half -- and Kevion Nolan had 10 for Sacret Heart (26-8). Wood had 15 rebounds and Ross had 11 plus four steals for the Anniston parochial school.
    Coach Walter Jones’ Tigers (28-5), playing in its last basketball game as a high school, also turned in a tremendous effort with Herbert Jones scoring 21, Lucky Travis 14, Keonta Edwards 14 and Walter Jones, Jr., 13. Walter Jones also had 11 rebounds and four steals. Herbert Jones also had four assists.
    The Hale County School System announced earlier this year plans to close Sunshine and Akron high schools and merge the students with Greensboro and Hale County high schools.
 Class 1A Boys All-Tournament Team
    Kavarri Ross, Sacred Heart (mvp); Diante Wood, Sacred Heart; Kevion Nolan, Sacred Heart; Herbert Jones, Sunshine; Walter Jones, Jr., Sunshine; Keonta Edwards, Sunshine.

Class 1A Girls Semifinals Keith 38, Spring Garden 25

   Keith High School of Orrville limited Spring Garden to just four points in the first and cruised to the 2015 Class 1A Girls State Tournament championship at the BJCC Legacy Arena Friday morning.
    The Lady Bears (27-5) turned in a spirited and very emotional performance as Coach Cecil Williams captured registered the first state championship of his coaching career.
    Keith came into the finals still stunned from the death of Williams’ high school coach, Eugene Mason of R.C. Hatch. The AHSAA Hall of Famer and the state’s all-time wins leader with 919 coaching victories, had been helping Williams’ team prepare for the championship game earlier this week when he collapsed on the court.
    He was transferred to a Selma hospital where he was pronounced dead.
    “It was really am emotional time for us,” Williams said. “The girls dedicated themselves to his memory. It is still hard for me and my girls to deal with.”
     Harriet Winchester earned 1A state-tournament MVP honors scoring 18 points. She also had four assists and eight rebounds. Zykia Pettway chipped in 12 points and had a game-high 10 rebounds for Keith.
     Spring Garden’s Tykea Rogers had 16 points and seven rebounds to pace Coach Ricky Austin’s Lady Panthers (33-3).
    Keith last won a state girls’ championship in 1990.
Class 1A Girls All-Tournament Team
    Harriet Winchester, Keith (MVP); Zykia Pettway, Keith; Tykeah Rogers, Spring Garden; Darian Gaines, Spring Garden; Bekah Voss, Decatur Heritage; Payton Burnett, Brantley.