BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The 100th AHSAA State Basketball Championships continued Tuesday at the BJCC Convention Center Legacy Arena. With two more wins, any one of our teams from the Tennessee Valley could claim a blue map.
Class 3A Girls’ Semifinals: Prattville Christian 53, Plainview 36
Defending Class 3A girls’ state champion Prattville Christian jumped out to a 24-3 first-quarter lead Wednesday morning, then cruised to a 53-36 victory over Plainview as the AHSAA 100th State Basketball Championships opened day two of its 2022 state tourney at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The Panthers (35-1), coached by Jason Roberson, dominated inside with juniors Hannah Jones and CoCo Thomas controlling the boards to advance to Friday’s Class 3A state championship game at 12:30 p.m. Jones had 21 points and 17 rebounds – sinking 9-of-11 shots from the field, and Thomas had eight points and nine rebounds – nine on the offensive boards. Senior guard Ella Jane Connell added 12 points, seven rebounds and five assist, and sophomore guard Avery Rogers had 10 points. Plainview (27-9), coached by Luke Griggs, outscored Prattville Christian 33-29 over the last three quarters thanks to a defense that forced 26 Panther turnovers. Sophomore Ali Price had nine points, five assists and three steals for the Bears. Kami Sanders and Lauren Jimmerson each added seven points. Plainview met Prattville Christian in the AHSAA 2021 State Softball Championship last spring with the Bears winning the title.
Class 3A Boys Semifinal: Plainview 59, Houston Academy 44
Plainview High School has become a regular visitor to Birmingham’s BJCC Legacy Arena for the AHSAA state basketball tournament in recent years, and it Tuesday morning it showed. The Bears (30-6) of Coach Robi Coker won their fifth straight game at the big arena, defeating Houston Academy 59-44 in AHSAA 100th State Basketball Championships Class 3A boys’ semifinal game. “I thought our energy was great,” Coker said.
The Bears took advantage of the Raiders’ early anxiety and built a double-digit lead in the first quarter but could never pull away from the Raiders (22-10) of Coach Scott Whitaker.“If we could get the first quarter all over again, I feel like we’d have a chance,” Houston Academy’s Kadyn Mitchell said. Plainview played most of the first half without guard Cole Millican, who went to the bench with foul trouble. The Bears went six minutes without scoring. Houston Academy was unable to capitalize, however, scoring just two points during that stretch.
Luke Smith led Plainview with 20 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Millican, who has scored more than 2,200 points in his career, added 17 points, seven rebounds and two 44 Kadyn Mitchell led Houston Academy with 16 points and six rebounds, and Kameryn Mitchell added 11 points. Adam Kesserwani contributed nine points, six rebounds and two blocked shots. Plainview advances to Friday’s championship game, which is set for 2:15 p.m. The Bears won state titles in 2018 and 2019 after finishing as runner-up in 2017 – all at Legacy Arena.
Class 4A Girls’ Semifinals Saint James 47, New Hope 45
Saint James High School sophomore Ava Card sank a short jumper in the final seconds of the Trojans’ Class 4A semifinal battle with New Hope Tuesday afternoon to give her team the win 47-45. The clutch basket sealed a berth in Friday’s Class 4A girls’ state championship game as the AHSAA 100th State Basketball Championships continued Tuesday at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
Card finished with a game-high 26 points with a strong 10-of-16 shooting performance from the field and 6-of-8 at the foul line. She also had three rebounds and four steals for the Trojans of Coach Katie Barton.
Saint James (25-6) jumped out to a 26-15 lead over the Indians (26-6) in the first half before New Hope, coached by Craig McGill, settled down and began to chip away at the Trojans’ lead in the second half. Saint James’ lead was eight heading into the final quarter, and while New Hope never took the lead, McKinlee Keel sank a 3-point goal with 22 seconds left to cut the lead to one at 44-43, and six seconds later, Kaylee Lebon tied the game for the Indians with two free throws at 45 all. That set up Saint James’ final shot. Saint James worked the ball up court with 16 seconds left and Natalie Barton, a seventh grader, passed the ball into Card with six ticks remaining to set up the winning shot.
Saint James’ K.K. Hall had eight points, Barton had seven plus a team-high six rebounds and three assists. Jada Bates led New Hope with 14 points, Lebon had eight points, 13 rebounds and three assists, and Kaylee Yarbrough had 12 points.
Class 4A Girls’ Semifinals Deshler 96, Vigor 53
Deshler High School’s Lady Tigers (33-1) outscored Vigor 30-12 in the first quarter and closed out the ASAA 100th State Basketball State Championships Class 4A girls’ semifinals at the BJCC Legacy Arena Tuesday night with a 96-53 win over Vigor to earn a berth in the girls’ state finals Friday at 4 p.m. Coach Jana Killen’s Lady Tigers were 40-of-81 from the field with 12 treys made in 29 3-point tries, out-rebounded the Vikings (17-12) 55-33 and forced 24 turnovers in what was one of the their best games this season. Emma Kate Tittle led the way with 30 points, Kate Brooke Clemmons added 12 points, Chloe Siegel added 12 points and went over 2,000 points in her career in the process. seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. She made four 3-pointers and also blocked two shots. Raegan Rickard added 11 points and six assists. Haley Goodloe cleared nine rebounds and Tamya Thirlkill had eight. Kiara Howard’s 31 points paced Vigor, coached by Glen Clarke. She canned five 3-pointer. Janiya Labyzon contributed 15 points and had seven rebounds. Tykeria Prince pulled down eight rebounds. The 96 points scored set a Class 4A girls’ state tourney record and was nine points shy of the girls’ overall state tournament mark (105) set by McIntosh in a 105-59 win over Hazlewood in a Class 1A state tourney game in 2006.