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Central-Phenix City Lady Red Devils Notch 500th Career Win for Coach Carolyn Wright

   MONTGOMERY – Central-Phenix City High School girls’ basketball coach Carolyn Wright reached a special milestone on December 8. Her Lady Red Devils’ basketball team beat Russell County 80-24 to notch the 500th win over her high school coaching career.
   That puts her in special company – with her husband Bobby Wright, who has won more than 600 games in his fabled coaching career as the Central-Phenix City boys’ basketball coach. They now are officially the only husband-wife coaching tandem to reach the 500-win mark as head coaches in the same sport. Combined, they have more wins in the sport of basketball than any other husband-wife tandem in AHSAA history.
   The milestone victory landed Coach Wright and squad squarely in the week’s AHSAA Girls’ Basketball Spotlight.
    Central is currently 6-4 this season. Coach Wright opened the year with a 498-281 record. Since she became the head coach at Central in 1991, she has taken many other duties including assistant athletic director and department chair of the school’s health and PE department.  Her 2016-17 team finished 26-4 and won the Central Regional title earning Central a trip to the AHSAA Class 7A State Tourney at the BJCC.
     Win No. 500 didn’t come easily. The young team opened the year with three straight losses before beating Spencer (GA) and Russell County. Morgan Ficklin had 14 points and Eryn Johnson added 11 in the 500th win.
   “It has been a long road to get to this point in my career,” she told Citizen of East Alabama sportswriter Mark Clark. “To win 500 games is special. I could not have won that many games without the help of a lot of good coaches and a lot of good players. They are the reason I have made it to 500 wins.”
    Coach Wright learned in November that she has been selected for induction into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019. The banquet will be next March. That will add another feather in the caps of this amazing coaching couple. Her husband was inducted in 2015. They will became just the second husband-wife tandem to be enshrined into that esteemed hall. The first were legendary football coach Tom Calvin and his wife and longtime cheer/gymnastics coach Lynette Calvin.

CLAY-CHALKVILLE: Beat Gadsden City in s thrilling five overtime 71-66 win over Gadsden City at home last week. Gadsden City finished the game with only five players remaining. All others had fouled out.

EMMA JAMES, COLBERT HEIGHTS: Scored 33 points in wins over Red Bay and Hamilton, 28 in a victory over Cherokee, added 22 points and 10 rebounds in leading Colbert Heights to a victory over Lindsey Lane. She converted a three-point play in the final minute to give the Wildcats the 44-43 victory over Red Bay.
KAROLINE STRIPLIN, GENEVA COUNTY: Scored 35 points in a 66-52 loss to Walton (FL) in the Cats against Cancer tourney at Paxton (FL). She also scored 18 in a 52-41 win over Straughn.
RIVER BALDWIN, PLEASANT HOME: Recorded 34 points and 16 rebounds in a 47-38 win over South Walton (FL) at the Cats for Cancer Tourney. She also had 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a 56-47 loss to Walton.
ASHLEE GANN, COVENANT CHRISTIAN: The eighth grader had 24 points and six assists in s 43-31 win over Colbert County and followed with 10 points and 10 assists in a 57-30 win over Cherokee.

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