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TALLADEGA RETURNS TO 4A BOYS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME FRIDAY, LOOKING TO GO BACK-TO-BACK IN BASKETBALL


Defending Class 4A state champion Talladega made its last four free throws in the final 23 seconds of an intense fourth quarter Tuesday night to nip Montgomery Catholic 64-57 in the Class 4A semifinals of the 2020 AHSAA State Basketball Championships at the BJCC Legacy Arena.

The Tigers(26-6) of Coach Chucky Miller moved into the state finals set for Friday night at 5:45 p.m. at Legacy Arena with the win. Miller picked up the 785th win of his coaching career in the process.

Nigel Scales and Arron Green sank the crucial free throws after Catholic (30-5) had clawed back from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit to pull within five. Green finished with 19 points, including 9-of-13 at the foul line, and Scales had eight points thanks to one 3-pointer and a 5-of-6 free-throw shooting effort. D’Corian Wilson added 13 points and Kobe Simmons had 12 and a game-high 14 rebounds. Wilson also had three assists and Green had three steals.

Talladega shot just one free throw in the first half as the Knights of Coach Michael Curry led 29-28 at the half. The Tigers went to the foul line 27 times in the second half and sank 18 to finish 19-of-28 as a team. Catholic was 10-of-18.

Pacing the Knights was Justin Bufford, who had 16 points, five rebounds, and six blocked shots. Dezhion Carter contributed 15 points. Catholic finished its season with a school-record 30 wins.

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SPRING GARDEN BACK IN 1A GIRLS FINAL FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR


Macy Reedy made two of the Panthers’ four first-quarter 3-pointers and Spring Garden (34-2) quickly built a double-digit lead and pulled away for a 56-35 victory at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena today in Birmingham.

Welsh finished with 30 points -- on 14-of-21 shooting -- and added 11 rebounds to spoil the Elba girls program’s first trip to the state semifinals.

“They played tough defense on (Reedy) and that allowed Neely to go to work,” Spring Garden coach Ricky Austin said.

Added Elba coach Shaun Hammonds, “She had the game of her life. She was making unbelievable shots. ... She took the game over.”

For Elba (23-8), Jaylyn Baker had 10 points and eight assists, and Breanna Sanders added three points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots. Freeda Hooks scored eight points.

The victory sends Spring Garden into the 1A girls state championship game, set for Thursday at 4 p.m.

The Panthers advances to the Class 1A girls state title game for the third straight season. The Garden won the 1A title in 2018 and fell to Phillips in last year's title game.

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BULLOCK'S LADY BULLDOGS EARN ANOTHER SHOT AT SCHOOL'S FIRST STATE CHAMPIONSHIP ON FRIDAY


Anniston’s duo of Allasha Dudley at guard and Kiana Montgomery on the post combined for 41 points Tuesday as the Lady Bulldogs downed Childersburg 50-42 in the Class 4A girls’ semifinals of the 98th AHSAA State Basketball Championships at the BJCC Legacy Arena.

The Bulldogs (28-3) of Coach Eddie Bullock advance to the Class 4A girls’ state finals Friday at Legacy Arena at 4 p.m. to face Deshler.


Dudley, a junior, had 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and four steals – and more importantly, was 7-of-12 at the foul line six in a row down the stretch in the final 1:50 to seal the win. Montgomery, a 6-foot-2 senior, had 19 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots in a superb effort. Unrayasia Barclay also had 12 rebounds, six points and blocked two-shot for Anniston.

Childersburg (31-5) out-rebounded Anniston 45-38, had just one more turnover than the Bulldogs and took 14 more shots but Coach Gavin King’s squad came up short at the foul line – where the Tigers finished 4-of-10. Anniston was 12-of-20. Childersburg also had eight shots blocked.

Aubrey Foy and Eunique McKinney led the Tigers with nine points each. McKinney also had 11 rebounds and four steals. Keasia McKinney and Shakira Young added eight points each.

Anniston will be attempting to win its first girls’ state title in the championship game Friday. Childersburg reached the Class 4A semifinals for the last two years in a row.