Wednesday, August 21, 2019

 

            


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CLASS 2A BOYS’ STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Central Coosa 54, Sacred Heart Catholic 52

CLASS 2A BOYS’ STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Central Coosa 54, Sacred Heart Catholic 52
    BIRMINGHAM – Quintstavious Brookes’ rebound and put back with three seconds remaining in overtime lifted Central Coosa to a 54-52 win over Sacred Heart Catholic in the Class 2A boys’ state championship game at the BJCC Legacy Arena Friday. Championship games for Class 3A and 4A were also set for Friday as the 97th AHSAA State Basketball Championships moved into its fifth day of the 2019 state tourney.
    The state title was the fifth in school history for the Central program – and the first since 2004. It was also the first for Coach Jeremy Freeman as the Cougars’ head coach. Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame member Joe Belyeu won the first four before retiring after the 2013-14 season.
    The victory by Central Coosa (23-4) also thwarted Sacred Heart Catholic’s bid to become the first boys’ basketball program to win five state championships in a row. Coach Ralpheal Graves’ Cardinals (22-11) won the Class 1A state crown in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 before moving up to 2A this season.
    Brookes, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, finished the championship game with six points and nine rebounds.  “I never thought I would be making the shot that wins a state championship,” Brookes told the media gathered for the post-game press conference at the Legacy Arena.

    Senior point guard Jo’Von Richardson had 21 points, including and three important free throws with one second left in the first half to cut a nine-point Sacred Heart lead to six at 28-22. It also shifted the momentum to the Cougars. He followed up with several key buckets in  the third quarter to give Central a 42-39 lead heading into the final period.
    Richardson, named the Class 2A state tourney MVP, was 7-of-7 at the foul line, had two 3-pointers, three assists and three steals. More importantly, his ball control limited Central’s to just five and his quickness on defense helped force 20 Sacred Heart turnovers.
    Omar Gaddis added 12 points, Joshua McGhee had nine points, four rebounds and a game-high five steals for Freeman’s team.
    Jayden Stone led Sacred Heart with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Caleb Brown added 12 points and Khalil Watkins finished with nine points and six rebounds. Aaron Moore grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds and scored six points for the Cardinals.
    The Class 2A All-Tourney Team included: Jo’Von Richardson, Central Coosa (MVP); Omar Gaddis, Central Coosa; Joshua McGhee, Central Coosa; Jayden Stone, Sacred Heard; Caleb Brown, Sacred Heart; Aaron Moore, Sacred Heart.
    Class 3A and 4A girls’ and boys’ championship games are also being played Friday. Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will close out the state finals on Saturday.
    All championship games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based program and broadcast over the AHSAA Radio Network. The finals are also being shown over the Alabama Cable Network.
    

97th AHSAA State Basketball Championships
Legacy Arena, BJCC, Birmingham, Feb. 25-March 2



FRIDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SCHEDULE
Class 2A Girls Finals
Cold Springs (28-6) 57, Fyffe (30-6) 53 (OT)
Class 2A Boys Finals
Central-Coosa (23-4) 54,Sacred Heart Catholic (23-11) 52

Class 3A Girls Finals
Montgomery Academy (31-2) vs. Pisgah (33-1), 12:30 p.m.
Class 3A Boys Finals
Westminster Christian (27-4) vs. Plainview (32-4), 2:15 p.m.

Class 4A Girls Finals
Rogers (31-3) vs. Anniston (29-4), 4 p.m.
Class 4A Boys Finals
West Limestone (21-13) vs. Talladega (25-8), 5:45 p.m.

SATURDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SCHEDULE
Class 5A Girls Finals
Madison Academy (28-7) vs. Central-Tuscaloosa (27-3), 9 a.m.
Class 5A Boys Finals
Wenonah (30-5) vs. Center Point (18-14), 10:45 a.m.

Class 6A Girls Finals
Opelika (26-6) vs. Hazel Green (33-3), 12:30 p.m.
Class 6A Boys Finals
Carver-Montgomery (23-10) vs. Pinson Valley (23-9),  2:15 p.m.

Class 7A Girls Finals
Hewitt-Trussville (21-10) vs. Hoover (33-1), 4 p.m.
Class 7A Boys Finals
Mountain Brook (30-3) vs. Baker (21-13), 5:45 p.m.

THURSDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME RESULTS
Class 1A Girls Finals
Phillips (26-10) 71, Skyline (29-6) 63
Class 1A Boys Finals
Decatur Heritage (32-4) 63, St. Luke’s Episcopal (18-10) 42

CLASS 2A GIRLS’ STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Cold Springs 57, Fyffe 53 (OT)

CLASS 2A GIRLS’ STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Cold Springs 57, Fyffe 53 (OT)
    BIRMINGHAM – Cold Springs High School reached the Class 2A Girls State Basketball finals with the reputation of being the best 3-point shooting girls’ prep team in the state, maybe even the nation.
     The Lady Eagles of Coach Tammy West sank 8-of-26 in the finals – using the treys to jump out to a quick 15-point lead and then relying on the biggest of the season in  overtime to nip Fyffe 57-53 at the BJCC Legacy Arena Friday morning.
     Junior guard Neely Ellison took her only 3-point shot attempt following Cold Springs’ control of the jump ball to start the four-minute overtime period to give Cold Springs a 47-44 lead. More importantly, it gave the Eagles (28-6) the momentum they had lost from Fyffe’s valiant comeback in the third and fourth quarters to send the game into overtime. Ellison followed with a steal and layup to stretch the lead to five. Junior Elizabeth Hill and senior Camryn Crider took over from there sinking 8-of-9 free throws to seal Cold Springs’ fourth state championship.
     Hill finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, four blocked shots, five assists and four 3-pointers to earn Class 2A State Tournament MVP honors. She was 10-of-12 at the foul line.   Cryder, who finished her season with 157 treys – a new AHSAA single-season state record, added 16 points.  She hit two 3-pointers early to help the Eagles build a quick 23-8 lead. Aubrey Negron added 12 rebounds and point guard Toni West had an outstanding defensive effort and was key for Cold Springs’ effort in  breaking the Red Devils’ intense press.
     Fyffe (30-6) was led by Marie Woodall’s 17 points and two steals. She was 4-of-7 on 3-pointers. Alexia Barber contributed 12 points, 10 rebounds and two key 3-pointers as the Red Devils of Coach Steve King roared back to outscore Cold Springs 28-19 in the third and fourth quarters.  Madison Myers also had nine points and three assists.
    Cold Springs ended the season with 340 3-pointers made – a new single season state record. The old record (336) was set by the Lady Eagles’ state championship team in  2008. Cold Springs’ other state titles came in 1999 and 2009.  Fyffe has seven state championships to its credit – winning the 2A title in 1986, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2000.

    The Class 2A All-Tourney Team included: Elizabeth Hill, Cold Springs (MVP); Camryn Crider, Cold Springs; Marie Woodall, Fyffe; Alexia Barber, Fyffe; Mary Beth Long, G.W. Long; Alaysia Norfleet, R.C. Hatch.
Classes 2A, 3A and 4A girls’ and boys’ championship games are being played Friday. Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will close out the state finals on Saturday.
    All championship games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based program and broadcast over the AHSAA Radio Network. The finals are also being shown over the Alabama Cable Network.
    

97th AHSAA State Basketball Championships
Legacy Arena, BJCC, Birmingham, Feb. 25-March 2



FRIDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SCHEDULE
Class 2A Girls Finals
Cold Springs (28-6) 57, Fyffe (30-6) 53 (OT)
Class 2A Boys Finals
Central-Coosa (22-4) vs. Sacred Heart Catholic (23-10), 10:45 a.m.

Class 3A Girls Finals
Montgomery Academy (31-2) vs. Pisgah (33-1), 12:30 p.m.
Class 3A Boys Finals
Westminster Christian (27-4) vs. Plainview (32-4), 2:15 p.m.

Class 4A Girls Finals
Rogers (31-3) vs. Anniston (29-4), 4 p.m.
Class 4A Boys Finals
West Limestone (21-13) vs. Talladega (25-8), 5:45 p.m.

SATURDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SCHEDULE
Class 5A Girls Finals
Madison Academy (28-7) vs. Central-Tuscaloosa (27-3), 9 a.m.
Class 5A Boys Finals
Wenonah (30-5) vs. Center Point (18-14), 10:45 a.m.

Class 6A Girls Finals
Opelika (26-6) vs. Hazel Green (33-3), 12:30 p.m.
Class 6A Boys Finals
Carver-Montgomery (23-10) vs. Pinson Valley (23-9),  2:15 p.m.

Class 7A Girls Finals
Hewitt-Trussville (21-10) vs. Hoover (33-1), 4 p.m.
Class 7A Boys Finals
Mountain Brook (30-3) vs. Baker (21-13), 5:45 p.m.

THURSDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME RESULTS
Class 1A Girls Finals
Phillips (26-10) 71, Skyline (29-6) 63
Class 1A Boys Finals
Decatur Heritage (32-4) 63, St. Luke’s Episcopal (18-10) 42



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.


AHSAA 95th State Basketball Tourney Starts Monday at BJCC

   BIRMINGHAM -- Fifty-six high school basketball teams travel to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Legacy Arena this week as the 95th annual Alabama High School Athletic Association State Basketball Tournament tips off Monday, Feb. 27 and concludes Saturday, March 4.
   Classes 1A and 2A will play girls’ and boys’ semifinals Monday, Classes 3A and 4A on Tuesday, Classes 5A and 6A on Wednesday  and  Class 7A on Thursday morning. Championship games will begin Thursday afternoon (1A girls and boys)) with six finals (2A, 3A and 4A) on Friday and six (5A, 6A and 7A) on Saturday.
    The State Tournament is scheduled for Feb. 29-March 5 at the BJCC with Classes 1A and 2A playing semifinals on Monday, Classes 3A and 4A on Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A on Wednesday and Class 7A on Thursday. Girls’ and Boys’ finals for Class 1A will be Thursday afternoon. Classes 2A, 3A and 4A will play championship games on Friday while Classes 5A, 6A and 7A concluding the tournament Saturday.
     All semifinal games will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network and all finals will be televised by Raycom Media. The AHSAA Radio Network will broadcast all finals over its network and will provide the audio for the NFHS Network live-streams. More information can be found at www.ahsaa.com, www. http://statefinalsal.com/ and  www.nfhsnetwork.com.
     Three defending girls’ champions are in the field and four defending boys champions  -- five if you include Mae Jemison of Huntsville, which opened its doors last August. The school replaces J.O. Johnson, which won the 5A state title in 2016 and 2015. Johnson head coach Jack Doss is the head coach for Mae Jemison.  Doss (810-329), who recorded his 800th career win earlier this season, has guided the Jaguars (32-4) to national prominence in a hurry. His team had a big win over St. Anthony  (N.J.), ranked 13th nationally in the Hall of Fame Classic at Springfield, Mass., on Martin Luther King Day last month.
    Doss, inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2015, will be going for his 10th state title as a head coach with titles at Birmingham-Hayes in 1981 and 1982, Huntsville Butler in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, and 2011 and at J.O. Johnson the last two years. Senior John Petty, Alabama’s Mr. Basketball as a junior, is averaging 20.7 points a game this season as a senior.
    Other boys’ defending champions in the field are Sacred Heart Catholic (1A), Lanett (2A), McGill-Toolen Catholic (7A) and Madison Academy, last year’s 3A winner now playing the Class 4A semifinals.
     Spring Garden (1A), Deshler (4A) and Wenonah (5A) are girls’ defending champions returning this week. Deshler (33-0), coached by Jana Killen, comes in with a 67-game winning streak after claiming the Northwest Regional Class 4A title last Wednesday. Killen (697-177) is just three wins from her 700th career victory.  Wenonah is going for its 5A title in a row.
      Hillcrest-Evergreen (23-0) also comes into the tourney unbeaten in the Class 3A girls’ semifinals. Hazel Green  (36-1) is in the 6A girls’ semifinals, and Locust Fork (33-1) is in the 3A field after knocking off Lauderdale County in the Northwest finals. The Tigers had won the last five Class 3A girls’ state championships.
     On the boys’ side, Holly Pond rolls into the Class 3A semifinals at 33-1.
   The complete schedule is listed below.

AHSAA 95th State Basketball Championships
At BJCC Legacy Arena

MONDAY, FEB. 27

CLASS 1A

Girls

Westminster Oak Mountain (21-5) vs. R.A. Hubbard (20-8), 9 a.m.

J.F. Shields (19-3) vs. Spring Garden (25-7), noon

Boys

Cornerstone (15-9) vs. South Lamar (24-6), 10:30 a.m.

Georgiana (27-2) vs. Sacred Heart (26-8), 1:30 p.m.

CLASS 2A

Girls

R.C. Hatch (22-5) vs. Tanner (27-2), 3 p.m.

Geneva County (29-2) vs. Fyff e (23-7), 6 p.m.

Boys

R.C. Hatch (23-2) vs. Sheffi eld (23-10) 4:30 p.m.

Barbour County (18-11) vs. Lane􀆩 (22-7), 7:30 p.m.

TUESDAY, FEB. 28

CLASS 3A

Girls

Montgomery Academy (28-4) vs. Locust Fork (33-1), 9 a.m.

Hillcrest-Evergreen (23-0) vs. Pisgah (26-7), noon

Boys

Midfi eld (25-6) vs. Holly Pond (32-1), 10:30 a.m.

Hillcrest-Evergreen (22-5) vs. Plainview (30-4), 1:30 p.m.

CLASS 4A

Girls

Greensboro (22-4) vs. Deshler (33-0), 3 p.m.

B.T. Washington Magnet (15-7) vs. Madison Academy (33-1), 6 p.m.

Boys

Hale County (26-4) vs. Cordova (23-8), 4:30 p.m.

Monroe County (22-4) vs. Madison Academy (24-6), 7:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1

CLASS 5A

Girls

Sylacauga (25-5) vs. Wenonah (28-3), 3 p.m.

Charles Henderson (29-5) vs. Arab (21-13), 6 p.m.

Boys

Sylacauga (26-7) vs. Mae Jemison (32-4), 4:30 p.m.

Faith Academy (21-8) vs. Talladega (26-8), 7:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1

CLASS 6A

Girls

Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (31-2) vs. Hazel Green (36-1), 9 a.m.

Carver-Montgomery (11-16) vs. Homewood (32-2), noon

Boys

Paul Bryant (22-11) vs. Aus􀆟 n (29-5), 10:30 a.m.

Spanish Fort (25-8) vs. Parker (27-7), 1:30 p.m.

THURSDAY, MARCH 2

CLASS 7A

Girls

Central-Phenix City (26-4) vs. Hoover (27-7), 9 a.m.

McGill-Toolen Catholic (27-6) vs. Spain Park (21-11), noon

Boys

Auburn (22-9) vs. Vestavia Hills (19-14), 10:30 a.m.

McGill-Toolen (24-9) vs. Mountain Brook (29-5) 1:30 p.m.

CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLASS 1A GIRLS: Thursday, 4 p.m.

CLASS 1A BOYS: Thursday, 5:45 p.m.

CLASS 2A GIRLS: Friday, 9 a.m.

CLASS 2A BOYS: Friday, 10:45 a.m.

CLASS 3A GIRLS: Friday, 12:30 p.m.

CLASS 3A BOYS: Friday, 2:15 p.m.

CLASS 4A GIRLS: Friday, 4 p.m.

CLASS 4A BOYS: Friday, 5:45 p.m.

CLASS 5A GIRLS: Saturday, 9 a.m.

CLASS 5A BOYS: Saturday, 10:45 a.m.

CLASS 6A GIRLS: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

CLASS 6A BOYS: Saturday, 2:15 p.m.

CLASS 7A GIRLS: Saturday, 4 p.m.

CLASS 7A BOYS: Saturday, 5:45 p.m.


CLASS 1A BOYS SEMIFINALS Georgiana 86, Marion County 58

CLASS 1A BOYS SEMIFINALS
Georgiana 86, Marion County 58
   
Georgiana (30-1) advanced to the Class 1A boys’ state basketball finals Monday with an 86-58 win over Marion County (17-11) in the semifinals of the 94th annual AHSAA State Basketball Tournament at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
    The Panthers of Coach Kirk Norris out-rebounded the Red Raiders 44-26 and 6-foot senior point guard Jacquez Patton scored 30 points to pace the win. Patton was 12-of-15 from the field and 8-of-8 at the foul line.  Ja’Michael Stallworth added 20 points, Richard Boggan had 19 and Nizaiah Smith chipped in 10 points and 12 rebounds.
    Marion County, coached by Brad Frazier, also placed four players in double figures. Jacob Sanders led with 16 points, Aaron Madero had 12, Braden Pyron 11 and Colton Dennis 10.  Jack Gunter handed out six assists.
    The 1A boys’ championship game will be at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday.
    Class 1A opened the tournament Monday. Class 2A teams will play in the second session Monday. Classes 3A and 4A play Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A, Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday. All semifinal games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network. Details are at www.ahsaa.com.