MONTGOMERY – Thompson High School wrestlers Sam Latona and Gabe Hixenbaugh reached the finals in their respective weight divisions at the Cheesehead Invitational Wrestling Championships at Kaukauna, Wisconsin, to lead the Warriors to an 11th-place finish in the nationally acclaimed tournament. The impressive showing by the two juniors thrust them into the AHSAA Wrestling Spotlight this week.
The Warriors of Sean Weltzin totaled 312 points in the 32-team field, which was comprised of teams primarily from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. Thompson was the only Southern team in the field.
Latona (35-2) went 6-1 to finish second in the 120-pound weight division. The junior finished 71-1 last season to win the AHSAA Class 7A 106-pound title. He lost to senior Joey Melendez (25-1) of meet champion Montini Catholic (IL) in the finals 5-0. Hixenbaugh (35-3), a junior who was 75-4 as a sophomore en route to the Class 7A 126-pound state crown, reached the 132-pound finals at the Cheesehead Invitational with six straight wins. Real Woods (21-1), also of Montini Catholic, won with a technical fall at 4:29 in the finals.
Thompson had five additional wrestlers finish in the Top 10 of their respective weight divisions. Dylan Leseuer (34-7) finished seventh at 106 pounds, Emmanuel Oliver (24-4) ninth at 113 pounds, Chandler Akins (20-9) 10th at 120 pounds, Isaac McAdams (27-14) 10th at 195 pounds and Seth Whitlock (12-9) eighth at 285 pounds.
Other top wrestling performances reported included:
Jefferson County Championships
MACON EDWARDS, FULTONDALE: Edwards (42-0), a senior who saw his 163-match win streak come to an end in the 113-pound Class 1A-5A finals in 2017, beat Luke Jasper of Mortimer Jordan with a pin at 3:44 in the 122-pound finals of the Jefferson County Tournament held at Oak Grove. Clay-Chalkville won the Jeffco title with 206 points over Mortimer Jordan (197.5. Gardendale was third with 193. Fultondale, the smallest school in the 12-team field, was sixth with 152 points.
CARIAL TARTER, MORTIMER JORDAN: Tarter (32-0), who finished unbeaten last season as a junior at 47-0 to win the Class 1A-5A 145-pound state crown, extended his current winning streak to 79 with a technical fall 15-0 decision over Christian Hopkins of Pinson Valley in the 162-pound Jeffco finals. Tarter was 47-0 as a junior winning the 1A-5A state title at 152 pounds.
Calhoun County Championships
CLAY WEBB, OXFORD: Won the 285-pound title with a pin at 4:19 over Pleasant Valley’s Wesley Harrell to help the defending Class 6A state champs win the tournament championship. Host Oxford totaled 243.5 points and runner-up Alexandria had 173.5. Weaver was third with 113 points.
CODY SOUDER, WEAVER: The freshman improved to 25-0 with a pin in just 34 seconds to win the 108-pound title.
FLETCHER SWINDALL, ALEXANDRIA: Improved to 20-0 with a 9-7 decision over Wesley Slick of Oxford (27-5) in the 134-pound Calhoun County tourney finals.
CHRISTIAN KNOP, ALEXANDRIA: Knop (23-0), The Class 1A/5A defending state champion, won the 184-pound title at the Calhoun County tourney with a pin in finals in just 51 seconds. The junior was 58-0 last season and was 56-0 in 2016 at 170 pounds. His current winning streak is 137 and counting.
Barry Mask Invitational, Wetumpka
STEVEN BELL, McADORY: Improved to 36-0 with a 10-4 decision over Jackson Howard (17-2) of Saint James in the 128-pound finals held at Wetumpka. Southside-Gadsden won the tourney title with 342.5 points, followed by runner-up Benjamin Russell (328.5) and third-place Wetumpka (307).
JUSTIN INGRAM, SPANISH FORT: Ingram (38-0) downed Michael Jackson (20-6) of Thompson with a pin at 3:30 in the 147-pound division.
BRADY RICHARDSON, HOLTVILLE: Captured the 152-pound title going 4-0. Richardson (21-0) pinned three opponents, won another with a major decision and then handed Lee-Montgomery grappler Princeton Perryman (13-2) his second loss of the season with a 7-3 decision in the finals.
MASON BLACKWELL, WETUMPKA: Went 4-0, including a 6-5 decision over Jack Burt (12-2) of Montgomery Catholic, to claim the 160-pound weight division championship last weekend. The freshman improved 20-0 on the season after finishing fourth in the Class 6A State Meet as an eighth grader.
LADONTAY GARRISON, SIDNEY LANIER: The senior (7-0) pinned Connor Burk (24-10) in the 184-pound finals at 1:47.
LEFREDRICK WALKER, LEE-MONTGOMERY: Walker (22-0), a senior, downed Benjamin Russell’s Damien Lawry 4-2 in the 222-pound finals.
Hoover/Scott Rohrer Invitational
MAX KAUFFMAN, CENTRAL-PHENIX CITY: Kauffman (34-0) beat Matthew Blalock of Pensacola-Tate with a technical fall (19-4) in the 134-pound finals to help Central finish second overall in the field of 32 teams. Vestavia Hills won the annual meet at Hoover High School with 854.5 points. The Red Devils had 813.5 and the host Bucs had 757.5 to finish third. Bob Jones was fourth with 712.5.
HECTOR CANDELARIA, CENTRAL-PHENIX CITY: Remained unbeaten at 25-0 with a 3-1 decision over Hewitt-Trussville’s Stone Barden (11-2) in the 140-pound finals.
KRISTIAN SCOTT, CENTRAL-PHENIX CITY: The Red Devils senior improved to 34-0 on the season with s pin at 1:39 in the finals over Vestavia Hills junior Peter Dazzio (31-5).
BARRETT BLAKELY, OAK MOUNTAIN: The Eagles senior downed Scottsboro’s Kolton Clark (29-2) 8-3 in the 172-pound finals to remain undefeated at 35-0.
NATHAN DUNAWAY, HELENA: Dunaway (39-0), a sophomore, pinned previously unbeaten Hoover senior D’Angelo Dewitt (36-1) in the 184-pound finals at 1:31. He had seven consecutive wins, including five by pins, in the tournament.
Rumble in the Jungle Invitational, Heflin
MASON SHELL, PELL CITY: The sophomore downed Alexandria’s Aden Whittaker (15-9) in the 113-pound finals to remain undefeated at 28-0. Host Cleburne County won the tourney with 328.5 points. Pell City was second with 278.5, Alexandria (244.5) was third and Oxford (28.5) was fourth in the 13-team field.
FLETCHER SWINDALL, ALEXANDRIA: Won five matches to improve to 25-0 and won the 132-pound title over Jackson Hurst of Oxford with a 14-4 major decision.
JASON HIGGINS, CLEBURNE COUNTY: Higgins (12-0), a senior, pinned Matthew Lindsey (18-6) of Walter Wellborn at 1:58 to win the 160-pound weight division.
CHRISTIAN KNOP, ALEXANDIA: Knop (27-0) won four matches at 182 pounds to improve his current winning streak to 141 in a row. He handed Cleburne County junior Cade Smith (16-1) his first loss of the season in the finals winning 15-0 with a technical fall at 2:25.
JORDAN BROOKS, SAKS: The senior, now 9-0, won the 285-pound division with a pin over Matthew Thornton (14-3) of Piedmont in the finals at 1:00.
Julian McPhillips Invitational, Montgomery
JACK TINDALL, ARAB: The senior (34-3) handed Lee-Montgomery senior LeFredrick Walker (30-1) his first defeat of the season in the semifinals, and he followed by handing Tallassee junior Andy Baker (29-1) his first loss of the season in the 222-pound finals. Arab scored 238 points to win the McPhillips Invitational hosted by Saint James. Smiths Station was second in the 22-team field with 181 points followed by Wetumpka (263.5) and host Saint James (152.0).
JACKSON ELDER, AMERICAN CHRISTIAN: The ACA junior (4-0), who finished fourth in the AHSAA 1A-5A State Championships last year, beat Arab’s Jacob Holland (44-3) in the 108-pound finals by a 5-1 decision.
CLAY JONES, ARAB: Won the 147-pound championship with a pin at 3:18 in the finals over Trey Gaines (24-8) of Saint James. Jones (47-0) finished third in the state meet last season at 138 pounds.
MASON BLACKWELL, WETUMPKA: Won three matches to win the 162-pound division and raised his season record to 23-0. He beat Mason Grissett of Prattville Christian with a pin at 1:56 in the finals.
LADONTAY GARRISON, SIDNEY LANIER: Garrison (11-0, a Poets senior, won four matches en route to the 184-pound title. He pinned senior Justin Lewis of Carver-Montgomery (12-4) at 3:53 in the finals.
MONTGOMERY – Wenonah High School’s Lady Dragons (15-6) beat Pleasant Grove 67-50 on the road Tuesday night to present head coach Emanuel Bell the 500th win of his storied girls’ basketball coaching career. The milestone victory for one of girls’ basketball’s biggest ambassadors captured the AHSAA Basketball Spotlight for this week.
Markesha Body, who scored 21 points in the win, summed up what her teammates were feeling about their beloved coach following the victory. “He’s an encourager. When he’s around, we go harder,” she told Josh Bean of Al.com. “He’s legendary. He’s an amazing coach.”
Senior guard Faith Reynolds added, "He's been through a lot. We dedicate everything to him."
Bell’s overall coaching record improved to 500-184 with the win. Now in his 24th season, Bell has guided the Lady Dragons to five state championships including the last four Class 5A state titles in a row.
Bell, who was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2016, said he has nothing but love in his heart for the many players who have played in his program for the last quarter century. He said their encouragement has helped sustain him during his battle with the disease.
“The girls and my assistant coaches have been amazing,” he said. “They work just as hard and do what I need them to do even when I am not there. But more important, I can really feel their love and concern. They really have kept me going when things got tough.”
The Wenonah coach missed more than two months of work earlier this school year and is still undergoing chemotherapy. He said the good news is that the cancer is not growing and has gotten smaller. “God has been so good to me,” he said. “When I was growing up my dad was involved with kids by coaching youth teams and working with Cub Scouts. I told myself I wasn’t going to do that. I didn’t really understand back then.
“However, my life was in a downward spiral when God introduced me to coaching girls’ basketball. It turned my life around. Coaching girls all these years has made a lot of difference in the lives of so many. Some call me their second daddy. But what they don’t realize is that they have made an even bigger difference in my life.”
The school plans to celebrate the milestone win at Friday night’s home game with a ceremony between the girls’ and boys’ games versus Woodlawn. The ceremony will get underway at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Other highlights reported include:
INDIA BROWN, COOSA CHRISTIAN: In a game played in late December, Brown pulled down a school-record 31 rebounds to help the Lady Conquerors beat Cleveland 62-46. She had 17 offensive and 14 defensive rebounds to write her name in the AHSAA Record Book. The 31 boards ties for third best in a single game. Maida Harris of Childersburg set the record with 38 in a game versus B.B. Comer in 2000. Toyonda Peoples of Satsuma and Shamika Culpepper of Sylacauga cleared 32 in 2004 and 1995, respectively. Miracle Mayo of Lanett, Marqu’es Webb of Brewbaker Tech and Kristy Moore of Leeds also had 31 rebounds in a game in 20014, 2011 and 1996, respectively.
OLIVIA JONES, BRANTLEY: Nailed a game-winning shot from mid-court at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 37-34 win over Luverne. She finished with 12 points, all coming on 3-point goals. Kassidy Wilcox led Brantley with 14 points, sparked by four 3-pointers.
DALLAS HOWELL, ENTERPRISE: Scored a career-high 34 points, including a putback in the final 10 seconds, to power the Wildcats (13-5) past Headland 56-53. Howell, who also had seven rebounds in the game, scored 14 of Enterprise’s 16 points in the final quarter. He also had 21 points and 13 rebounds in a 60-45 win over Prattville.
CAM’RON GINN-McKINNEY, REHOBETH: Fired a 3-pointer from the corner with five seconds left in overtime to lift Rehobeth (12-7) over Headland 82-81. He finished with 18 points.
HENRY MITCHELL, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Sank two free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining in the second overtime to lift the Raiders (16-1) to a 63-61 win over Daleville. Teammate Ben Nelson made a steal at midcourt and passed the ball ahead to Mitchell, who was fouled driving to the basket to set up the winning free throws. Houston Academy led 36-27 at halftime. The score was tied 56-56 at the end of regulation and 61-61 after the first overtime.
TOMMY MURR, LINDSAY LANE: Sank two free throws with one second remaining to lead the Lions (19-1) past Waterloo 59-57. He finished with 41 points and four steals. Murr also had 34 points and six steals in Lindsay Lane’s 67-38 victory over Whitesburg Christian and 30 points in a 72-59 loss to Decatur Heritage.
JACOREY JACOBS, ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL: Sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Class 2A Wildcats (11-5) downed Class 5A Vigor 56-53. He finished with 11 points.
JABRE BARBER, NORTHVIEW: Sank two free throws with 5.1 seconds remaining to lift the Cougars (7-8) past arch-rival Dothan (7-9). He finished with a game-high 21 points including 13 free throws.
DELO FOSTER, PIEDMONT: Had 16 blocked shots, including 10 in the first quarter, to lead the Bulldogs to a 60-57 win over Weaver. He scored only three points, but his defensive effort tied for third in the AHSAA Record Book for most blocked shots in a game. He now has 70 blocked shots on the season.
TRAVARUS CARROLL, HUFFMAN: Scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to lead the Vikings (19-1) to a come-from-behind 68-67 win over Mountain Brook (19-5) – and kept his team unbeaten versus AHSAA schools this season in the process. He finished with 12 points. Teammate Eddie Smith had 24 and Trendon Watford had 24 for the Spartans.
J.P. ROBINSON, DESHLER: Had a career-high 46 points as Deshler held off Central-Florence 84-80 in a Class 4A, Area 16 game. Robinson scored 20 of Deshler’s 21 points in the fourth quarter to cap the Tigers’ comeback from an early 11-point deficit.
MARK SEARS, MUSCLE SHOALS: Sears averaged 34 points in two games as the Trojans beat Loretto (TN) and Athens. He had 37 points in a 74-59 win over Loretto.
SJRDAN PETROVIC, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Had 29 points, nine rebounds and nine assists to pace the Class 3A Raiders (15-1) to a 75-41 win over Wicksburg.
DEMETRIUS HUFF, GADSDEN CITY: Had 17 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, as the Titans beat Talladega 66-65. Huff’s bucket in the waning moments put Gadsden City ahead for good. The Titans trailed by as many as eight points in the final quarter. Talladega made 11 3-point goals in the loss. Chaztin Tanner had four of the Tigers’ treys to finish with 14 points.
NOAH BOLER, DECATUR HERITAGE: Had 26 points, 16 rebounds, five blocked shots and four assists as the Eagles (15-3) beat Lindsay Lane (19-2) in a key Class 1A battle 72-59.
ANDREW WHEELER, ARITON: Scored 22 points and cleared 14 rebounds as Ariton (8-6) downed Rehobeth 79-53.
VINCENT DOUGLAS, BAKER: Was 13-of-16 at the foul line to finish with 23 points to push the Hornets (12-9) past Theodore 46-32.
MATTHEW McNEECE, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Jackets (14-5) to a 68-63 win over Ocean Springs (MS). Teammate Eric Toth also had a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds.
BRAXTON & BROOKS BARNHIZER, ALMA BRYANT: The brothers combined for 45 points as the Hurricanes (16-3) beat Davidson 72-41. Braxton, a sophomore, had 24 points, and Brooks, a freshman, had 21. Braxton and Brooks also had 28 and 24 points, respectively, in a 74-59 win over B.C. Rain.
JEFFREY GRIFFIN, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Had 24 points, including a game-winning free throw with 19 seconds remaining, in the Leopards’ 47-46 win over Clarke County.
MARTAVIUS PAYTON, GEORGIANA: Had 15 points and 12 rebounds as the Class 1A Panthers (16-1) beat Red Level 88-39.
DARRON HOWARD, SPARKMAN: Led the Senators (20-3) to a 66-65 win over James Clemens with 22 points.
GRAHAM COPELAND, RANDOLPH: Had 28 points as the Raiders beat Madison County 70-66.
TREY BONHAM, UMS-WRIGHT: Totaled 18 points, 10 assists and six rebounds to lead the Bulldogs (15-5) past Williamson 74-58.
DIAMOND ACREES, COTTONWOOD: Scored 16 points and had six rebounds as the Lady Bears (8-7), two years removed from a 103-game losing streak, knocked off defending Class 2A state champion Geneva County 44-42.
LATASCYA DUFF, SAMSON: Scored 31 points and her sister LaTora Duff had 16 as Samson (18-2) had 25 steals and forced 34 turnovers to beat defending arch-rival Geneva County (11-6) 62-33. LaTascya also had 17 rebounds. Michelle Duff, the youngest sister, also had 11 points. Karoline Striplin led the Bulldogs with 14 points.
ALLI TEMPLE, HALEYVILLE: Temple scored a career-high 45 points as Haleyville beat Fayette County 82-31. Temple was 21-of-26 from the field in the win.
LEXIE GANN, COVENANT CHRISTIAN: Gann scored 35 points in a win over Waterloo.
RIVER BALDWIN, PLEASANT HOME: The 6-foot-5 center had 37 points, 11 rebounds, three blocked shots and five steals to lead the Eagles (16-4) to a 49-29 win over Houston County. She also had 33 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots in a 60-13 win over Kinston.
KAITLIN PETERSON, EUFAULA: Scored 33 points, had five steals, five assists and four rebounds in leading the Tigers (14-4) to a 77-48 win over Russell County.
BREE GRIFFIN, GOSHEN: Had 33 points to lead the Eagles past Bullock County 57-44.
DESTINY RAMOS, FAITH ACADEMY: Led the Lady Rams (12-6) to a 54-51 win over Murphy with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Teammate Ashanti Lipscomb nailed 6-of-8 free throws in the final quarter to finish with 12 points. Ramos also had 20 points in a 76-31 win over St. Paul’s Episcopal (15-4).
IVY TURNER, DOTHAN: Tallied 33 points as the Tigers (13-5) nipped Northview (10-5) in a key Class 6A, Area 3 game. She sank two key free throws with 25 seconds remaining to tie the game and teammate Kyra McGlon, who had 17 points, sealed the win with two more charity shots.
ALYSE MADDEN, LANETT: Scored 11 of her team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter as the Lady Panthers (5-3) outscored LaFayette 25-9 in the final eight minutes to win 58-53. Lanett trailed by as many as 11 points in the final period. Madden sank two crucial 3-pointers down the stretch to ignite the comeback effort. She also had 11 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in a 62-52 win over Russell County.
DESTINEE McGHEE, JAMES CLEMENS: Had 29 points in a 58-54 overtime loss to Sparkman. T.J. Webster had 15 to pace the Senators.
ALEXIS LEGGETT, ARITON: Totaled 23 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocked shots as the Purple Cats (7-1) downed Rehobeth 54-40. Teammate Zakyria Johnson also contributed 18 points and 13 rebounds.
KATHLEEN WHEELER, PRICEVILLE: Had 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in a 56-41 win over Danville and another double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) in a 59-30 win over West Limestone.
WHITNEY NOVAK, ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL: Scored 17 points and had 10 steals as the Wildcats forced 48 turnovers in a 56-16 win over J.U. Blacksher.
MONTGOMERY – Smiths Station’s Alonie Sutton set two meet records to win the long jump and triple jump competition in the Class 6A/7A division of the Icebreaker Invitational Indoor Track Meet at the Birmingham Crossplex last weekend. Her performance claimed the AHSAA Indoor Track Spotlight for last week.
Sutton won the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 10 inches and then set a CrossPlex record with her winning leap of 41-05.75 to win that event as well. Panthers head coach Cassidy Stecenko’s senior standout became the first high school girls’ participant to go over 41 feet in the CrossPlex’s eight-year history, breaking her own previous record of 40-09.75 in 2017. Senior teammate Kennedy Nelson was second in both events.
Okheme Moore of Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa also moved into the AHSAA Spotlight with a record-setting performance to beat the field of 139 sprinters in the boys’ Class 6A/7A 60-meter dash competition at the Icebreaker Invitational. The senior sprinter clocked a winning time of 6.86 seconds to erase the previous mark set by Auburn’s Deonte Tolbert (6.87) in 2016.
Moore was also one six participants in the final heat to break the Icebreaker Meet’s 400-meter dash record, finishing second (48.10) to Clinton (MS) runner Kristopher Moore, who set the new record in that event with winning time of 47.82. Stanhope Elmore’s Xavier Rogers, Hewitt-Trussville’s Jake Diggs, James Clemens’ Nolan Smith and Hoover’s Dorian Austin each surpassed the old mark (49.95) set by Rogers in 2016.
Coach Devon Hind’s Hoover High School boys’ and girls’ teams swept the 6A/7A division championships with 95.50 and 74 points, respectively. McGill-Toolen Catholic was second in the girls’ competition with 67.50 points, and Homewood finished third with 53. Vestavia Hills was second in the boys’ division with 48 points.
American Christian won the Icebreaker Meet’s 1A/5A girls’ title with 79 points. St. Paul’s Episcopal finished second with 76 and Montgomery Catholic was third with 44. Hattiesburg (MS) won the 1A/5A boys’ division with 53 points, edging runner-up Guntersville by one point. Winfield was third with 46 points. The next major high school meet at the CrossPlex will be Monday, Jan. 15, the Martin L. King Classic.
Other top indoor track performances reported from the Icebreaker Invitational included:
C.J. JORDAN, OPELIKA: He and teammate Jaylen Stinson had Icebreaker Meet long jumps of 21-08.50 each to establish a new 6A/7A division record. Jordan also won the triple jump with a 47-10.50 distance.
CHARLIE SLAUGHTER, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Won the Class 6A/7A 1,600 meters with a meet record 4:25.47, erasing the old record (4:25.90) set by Hoover’s Tommy McDonough in 2016.
WILL STONE, HOMEWOOD: Won the 3,200 meters with a 6A/7A meet record time of 9:32.49. Vestavia Hills’ James Sweeney, who set the Icebreaker Invitational record with a 9:41.60 time in 2016, broke his own mark and finished second clocking 9:35.66.
CARL NESBITT, VESTAVIA HILLS: Cleared 6-06 in the high jump to tie the Icebreaker Meet 6A/7A record shared by Mountain Brook’s Drew Williams (2015). Nesbitt holds the overall CrossPlex all-time record with a 6-08 leap in the Class 7A state meet in 2016.
JAMES COURSON, HOOVER: Cleared 15-06 to win the 6A/7A Icebreaker Meet pole vault competition to set a new meet record by six inches.
CALEB JACKSON, PLEASANT GR0VE: Won the 60-meter dash with a 6.96 time in the Icebreaker Invitational to set a new 1A/5A record. Columbia’s Alize Ford set the mark in 2016 with a time of 6.98 seconds. Winfield’s Trey Cunningham, now a freshman at Florida State, set the CrossPlex record with a time of 6.78 seconds last season.
MICHAEL PRINCE, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Tossed the shot 53-04.75 to set a new 1A/5A Icebreaker Meet record – edging Leopards teammate Josiah Henry, who also broke the previous mark with a 53-03 toss. Daniel Herrod of Northridge had a throw of 51 feet in 2015 to set the record originally.
WALKER JUNKIN, WINFIELD: Cleared 14 feet, 7 inches to beat the 1A/5A Icebreaker Meet record set in 2014 by Jesse Austin of Montgomery Academy by seven inches.
TANNER KING, NORTHSIDE: Narrowly missed setting a 1A/5A Icebreaker Invitational 400-meter dash record with his winning time of 2:01.04. He also won the 1,600 meters (4:37.89) and finished second to Scottsboro’s Crawford Hope in the 3,200 meters. Hope set a new 1A/5A Icebreaker Meet record with a time of 9:50.24. King’s 9:54.11 time also broke the previous mark of 10:02.38 set by Micah Sheldon Britton of Alabama Christian in 2016. Hayden Judge of Scottsboro and Nate Collins of Westminster also broke the previous record finishing 3-4 with times of 9:54.33 and 9:56.82, respectively.
SMITH STATION 4X400 RELAY: The Panthers clocked 3:27.61 to edge Thompson (3:27.84) as both teams surpassed the Icebreaker Meet’s previous event record (3:27.95) set by Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in 2016.
VESTAVIA HILLS 4X800 RELAY: The Rebels, anchored by James Sweeney, ran the distance in 8:16.43 to win the event and set a new 6A/7A division boys’ record.
JASMINE GRIFFIN, HOMEWOOD: Won the Icebreaker Invitational Meet Class 6A/7A division 60-meter dash with a meet record time of 7.66 seconds. Sparkman’s Lauryn Hall, who set the standard in 2016 with a 7.73 time, finished second with a personal best 7.71. Also beating the previous mark were Caroline Huff of McGill-Toolen, Hoover’s Chakiya Plummer, Auburn’s Reagan McCall and James Clemens’ Vada Samuels. The CrossPlex record was set last year at the Last Chance Meet by Jayla Kirkland of Woodlawn, now running as a freshman at Florida State.
MICHELLE ROCO, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Was one of six girls who surpassed the existing 400-meter dash record for the Icebreaker Meet’s 6A/7A division with a runner-up time of 58.33 seconds. Clinton (MS) sprinter Jayda Eckford won with a winning time of 57.60. She set the record in 2016 with a time of 59.24.
ZURI FALKNER, JAMES CLEMENS: Had a winning throw of 37-05 to set a new 6A/7A record in the Icebreaker Meet shot put competition.
GRACE JENSEN, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Had near record times in the 800 (2:18.26) and 1,600 (5:06.90) to win both events in the Icebreaker Meet’s 6A/7A division.
MORGAN O’NEAL, SYLACAUGA: Set the Class 1A/5A girls’ Icebreaker Meet record with a winning time of 58.82 seconds in the 400-meter dash.
AMARIS TYYNISMAA, MONTGOMERY-CATHOLIC: Won three events in the 1A/5A division of the Icebreaker Invitational. She clocked 2:20.06 in the 800-meter run, 5:03.51 in the 1,600 meters and 11:23.26 in the 3,200 meters. She finished with 30 points, helping her team finish third overall. Her own total would have placed her fifth in the team competition. Her times in all three events place her among the Elite performances, according to Milesplit.com, in the nation this season.
ASHLEIGH IVORY, DEMOPOLIS: Set a new 1A/5A Icebreaker Meet record in the 60-meter hurdles with time of 9.19 seconds to finish just ahead of American Christian’s Kayleigh Atkins (9:21). Both times beat the previous record of 9.23 set by Karri Green of Piedmont in 2015.
EMILY BURROWS, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Won the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 4 inches to set a 1A/5A Icebreaker Meet record. She also set a new meet triple jump record for her division with a 37-07.50 leap. Ashleigh Ivory of Demopolis finished second in the long jump with a 17-0.50 leap, also breaking the previous record (16-11.50) set by Callie Jones of Cottage Hill Christian in 2016.
CENTRAL-TUSCALOOSA RELAY: The Falcons’ 4x100-meter relay team captured the 1A/5A event with a time of 1:48.08 – beating the old record set by St. Paul’s Episcopal in 2015 by three seconds.
Former T.R. Miller principal Frank Cotten passed away Thursday, Jan. 4.
Mr. Cotten was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 after serving 14 years on the AHSAA District 1 Board and six years on the AHSAA Central Board of Control. He served one term as president.
“We are very thankful for Mr. Cotten and his life of service,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “All of us in his AHSAA family mourn his passing and offer our condolences to his family.”
Mr. Cotten contributed to T. R. Miller High School athletics for more than 30 years, first as a coach and later as an administrator for the last half of his career in education. He coached basketball for seven years with a 128-42 record and led seven football teams to a 65-19 record and three playoff appearances.
A graduate of Coffeeville High School and Livingston University, Cotten spent five seasons, from 1960-64, as the head coach at Coffeeville, his alma mater in rural Clarke County. He coached one year at Macon Academy before leading T.R. Miller's football program from 1973-80. He stepped down in 2016 after serving on the Brewton City Council for more almost two decades.
Funeral services will be Saturday at First Baptist Church in Brewton, with visitation from noon to 3 p.m., followed by the service. He was preceded in death by his wife Shirley.
MONTGOMERY – Abbeville High School finished strong, outscoring defending tournament champion Eufaula 12-2 in the final 2:30, en route to a 65-55 victory in the finals of Downtown Dothan Hoops Classic boys’ basketball tournament – and grabbed the AHSAA Basketball Spotlight in the process.
The Class 2A Yellow Jackets (13-3) of Coach Emanuel Brown won the prestigious tournament played at Dothan’s Civic Center for the first time since 2006. For Brown, however, it was the seventh Hoops Classic tourney title he has coached in 12 seasons – winning in 2006 and 2008 while at Houston County High School and taking four straight from 2012-15 while serving as head coach at Class 6A Dothan. He is in his second season as head coach at Abbeville.
“I tell anybody this – it is not me,” Brown told the Dothan Eagle. “God has blessed me with some great groups of young men, starting at Houston County. I love all of them like they are my sons. We still stay in touch.
“I moved on to Dothan High and it was same thing. Those guys did all the work there. And now here, it is just a carryover. The guys at Houston County and Dothan come and talk to the guys at Abbeville and tell them how important it is to relish the moment they have now. The three groups are close.”
For Jermaine Glover, Abbeville’s title run was especially important. He had three strong games to lead the Jackets – earning the Moses Knight Most Outstanding Player award for the tournament. He scored seven of his nine points in the final stretch to seal the win. The award is named in the memory of Knight, the Wiregrass Hall of Famer who was Abbeville’s head coach for 37 years coach. He died in 2017 after a battle with cancer.
“It is an honor (receiving this award named for Coach Knight),” Glover said. Daquon Kincey led Abbeville’s balanced scoring with 17 points. Jaylan Coxson had 14 and Jaquon Kincey added 13. Eufaula (12-8), coached by Michael Smith, was led by Terrell Jones’ 19 points.
Most teams played in tournaments during the Christmas break.
Other highlights reported:
STAPLER NOTCHES 750TH WIN: Westminster Christian of Huntsville beat Madison Academy 49-42 on Tuesday as veteran coach Ronnie Stapler recorded the 750th win over his long prep boys’ basketball coaching career.
HESTER NOTCHES 1,000TH ASSIST: Vina point guard Abby Hester recorded 11 assists to go over 1,000 for her career and scored 15 points for the Red Devils (17-5) in a 59-23 win over Waterloo.
TRUITT HAS MILESTONE GAME: Just a week after earning MVP honors for Lanett in the Class 2A state football finals at the Super 7 Championships at Tuscaloosa, the Lanett point guard handed out 11 assists in a 72-70 win over Fairland (OH) in the Beach City Classic at Myrtle Beach (S.C.). The 11 assists was the sixth best assist effort in the 37-year history of the Beach Ball Classic. Lanett (5-4), the AHSAA’s two-time defending Class 2A state basketball champs, closed the road trip with a 71-70 win over Milton at the Big South Shootout at Duluth (GA). Anquaevious Pollard had 24 points and 19 rebounds and Truitt had 17 points in that win.
KIRA LEWIS, HAZEL GREEN: In one of the top clutch performances reported during the Christmas break, Lewis sank a 3-point shot with 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter to help the Trojans overcome a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit and send the game into overtime as Hazel Green beat defending Class 7A state champion Mountain Brook 94-91 in the semifinals of the AL.COM Classic tourney at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center. Lewis finished with 35 points and eight rebounds. Trendon Watford had 43 points and 11 rebounds for the Spartans. Lewis had 23 points and eight assists in a 71-67 win over Sparkman (18-3) in the finals to give Hazel Green the tourney championship for the first time in school history.
TRAVARUS CARROLL, HUFFMAN: Had 23 points, sinking 9-of-12 free throws, to earn MVP honors as the Vikings beat Birmingham city rival Parker 72-69 in the finals of the Steel City Classic played at Samford University.
TY RAPER, HACKLEBURG: Scored 20 of his 38 points in overtime as the Panthers (7-3) beat Marion County 77-70. The game was sent into the extra period when Hackleburg’s Collier Cantrell sank a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left in regulation. Brayden Pyron had 32 points for the Red Raiders.
JUSTIN ALLISON, PELHAM: Sank nine 3-point goals and finished with 44 points in a 63-61 loss to Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in the Metro Tourney at Homewood last week. The Panthers dressed only eight players for the game. Allison sank his final trey with 2 seconds left, but Pelham could not get a timeout called before time expired.
DEANTONI GORDON, LEFLORE: Turned in a stellar defensive effort and scored nine points in a low-scoring Gulf Coast Holiday Classic tournament final at Bishop State Community College to earn MVP honors as the Rattlers (17-4) beat Murphy 38-25 to win the tournament for the third year in a row.
JA’MICHAEL STALLWORTH, GEORGIANA: Scored 28 points as the Panthers (14-1) beat Pleasant Home 72-52 to claim the Red Level Christmas tournament MVP award. He also had 26 points in a tourney win over Samson.
KURAN GARNER, BUCKHORN: Helped the Bucks (18-2) win its 10th consecutive game with two clutch free throws with 10 seconds remaining to seal a 50-49 regular-season win over Huntsville on Tuesday. Buckhorn won two tournaments over the Christmas break capturing the King of the Smokies Christmas Classic at Pigeon Forge (TN) and the Bayside tourney at Daphne.
MARK SEARS, MUSCLE SHOALS: Tallied 37 points as the Trojans (10-3) beat Loretto (TN) 74-59.
J.P. ROBINSON, DESHLER: The junior guard had 36 points as Deshler beat Rogers 61-41.
JAMARCUS GREEN, MONTEVALLO: Sank eight 3-pont goals and finished with 30 points to lead Montevallo to a 63-36 win over Fultondale in the Jefferson-Shelby Hoops Classic Tuesday. Teammate Jabrian Sullens also had 15 rebounds.
JACOREY TURNIPSEED, SUMTER CENTRAL: Had 15 points as all five starters scored in double figures in a 79-70 loss to Choctaw (FL) in the championship game of the Northwest Florida Shootout. Sumter Central is now 20-3 on the season.
GARRETT HICKS, JAMES CLEMENS: Had 29 points in an 84-62 win over Fairview.
VIRGIL CRAWFORD, DALE COUNTY: Cleared 10 rebounds, blocked seven shots and scored eight points as Dale County beat Cottonwood 47-34 in a regular-season win.
BROOKE HAMPEL, HAZEL GREEN: Had 34 points in a 79-52 win over Muscle Shoals in the AL.com Girls’ basketball tournament at Madison and followed with 18 points in the finals as the Trojans won the title with a 41-26 win over Charles Henderson.
ZIPPORAH BROUGHTON, LEE-MONTGOMERY: Sank five 3-point goals and finished with 37 points and 10 steals as the Lady Generals (11-7) beat Enterprise 74-30.
TENASIA GORDON, GEORGIANA: Poured in 33 points in Georgiana’s 64-44 win over Andalusia in the Red Level Christmas tourney consolation game.
LATASCYA DUGG, SAMSON: Had 24 points in a 52-31 win over Poplar Springs (FL) in the Red Level Tourney for the Lady Tigers (17-2). She added 32 points in a 68-34 win over Andalusia on Tuesday.
CIERRIA CUNNINGHAH, HILLCREST-TUSCALOOSA: Scored 26 points and Anya Banks added 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Lady Patriots (14-2) beat Carver-Birmingham 59-45 to go 3-0 in the Marine Corps/Ball’N Prep round-robin basketball tournament at Thompson High School.
ALLIE CRAIG CRUCE, LAUDERDALE COUNTY: Had 25 points as the Lady Tigers (16-2) beat East Limestone 48-43 in a regular-season game on Tuesday.
KARLEIGH SLEDGE, DESHLER: Scored a season-high 29 points as defending 4A state champion Deshler (17-2) beat Rogers 55-28 in a Class 4A, Area 16 game.
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