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AHSAA State Basketball Semifinals: Sparkman beats Foley 51-33

The Sparkman Lady Senators (26-8), coached by Jarvis Wilson, allowed only two points in the fourth quarter en route to a 51-33 victory over Foley

Sparkman High School delivered defensively when it counted most.

The Lady Senators (26-8), coached by Jarvis Wilson, allowed only two points in the fourth quarter and went on a 12-0 run while holding Foley scoreless for more than seven minutes. The result was 51-33 victory in Thursday’s AHSA Class 7A State Basketball Championship tourney  semifinals at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena.

Sparkman advances to Saturday’s championship game against two-time defending Class 7A champ Hoover. “The motto this year is ‘The Assignment,’” Wilson said. “The Assignment was to be one of the last two teams playing with a chance to win a Class 7A championship.”

What was the key to Sparkman’s fourth-quarter defense? “We wanted to win,” Sparkman senior Kennedy Langham said. “We wanted to get to the state championship. If you want it, you’re going to go get it, and that’s what we did.”

Wilson has now led three schools into the state semifinals – Blount, located near Mobile; Carver-Birmingham; and Sparkman, near Huntsville. He led Carver to a state title in 2021.

Foley (23-6), coached by Emily Flanigan, advanced to the state semifinals for the first time in school history, despite a roster of only eight players that forced 4-on-4 scrimmages throughout the season. “It feels good to be the first to do it (reach the state tourney),” senior Jestiny Dixon said.

Langham led Sparkman with 25 points, including five 3-pointers, and Laryn Scott added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Jalei O’Neal had eight points and nine rebounds.

Dixon had 14 points and 15 rebounds for Foley, while Keiyonla Knight added seven points, five rebounds and three blocked shots before fouling out.

“We did our best,” Flanigan said. “We just came up short.”

Semifinals in Class 7A continue today at the BJCC. The championship rounds also begin this afternoon with the 1A girls’ and boys’ finals at 4 and 5:45 p.m., respectively.

The Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be held Friday, and the Class 5A, 6A and 7A championship games close out the 2023 state tourney Saturday at Legacy Arena. For the first time in the state tournament’s long history, all championship games will be televised live over the Alabama Public Television (APT) Network March 2-4. 

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