Class 1A Girls Semifinals
Keith 38, Spring Garden 25
Keith High School of Orrville limited Spring Garden to just four points in the first and cruised to the 2015 Class 1A Girls State Tournament championship at the BJCC Legacy Arena Friday morning.
The Lady Bears (27-5) turned in a spirited and very emotional performance as Coach Cecil Williams captured registered the first state championship of his coaching career.
Keith came into the finals still stunned from the death of Williams’ high school coach, Eugene Mason of R.C. Hatch. The AHSAA Hall of Famer and the state’s all-time wins leader with 919 coaching victories, had been helping Williams’ team prepare for the championship game earlier this week when he collapsed on the court.
He was transferred to a Selma hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“It was really am emotional time for us,” Williams said. “The girls dedicated themselves to his memory. It is still hard for me and my girls to deal with.”
Harriet Winchester earned 1A state-tournament MVP honors scoring 18 points. She also had four assists and eight rebounds. Zykia Pettway chipped in 12 points and had a game-high 10 rebounds for Keith.
Spring Garden’s Tykea Rogers had 16 points and seven rebounds to pace Coach Ricky Austin’s Lady Panthers (33-3).
Keith last won a state girls’ championship in 1990.
Class 1A Girls All-Tournament Team
Harriet Winchester, Keith (MVP); Zykia Pettway, Keith; Tykeah Rogers, Spring Garden; Darian Gaines, Spring Garden; Bekah Voss, Decatur Heritage; Payton Burnett, Brantley.
*Full highlights & reaction in the featured video