Basketball State Semis: Spring Garden Girls & Sacred Heart Boys Win & Advance


The Spring Garden girls and Sacred Heart boys basketball teams are one step closer to another state championship. The Lady Panthers and Cardinals won their state semifinal matchups putting them back in their respective Class 1A state championship games on Thursday. Spring Garden defeated J.F. Shields 48-38 and Sacred Heart eliminated Georgiana 82-55 in a rematch of last year's state championship game. Highlights of both games are in the featured video. Below you will find a recap of each game provided by the AHSAA (www.ahsaa.com) and the scores of Monday's Class 2A semifinal games.

Class 1A Girls Semifinals- Recap Spring Garden 48, J.F. Shields 38 Defending state champion Spring Garden (26-7) downed J.F. Shields 48-38 Monday in the Class 1A girls’ semifinals to move back into the championship game for the third consecutive year. Coach Ricky Austin’s Panthers will face R.A. Hubbard in the state finals Thursday at 4 p.m. at the BJCC Legacy Arena. Spring Garden, one of the most storied programs in AHSAA girls’ basketball history, has won five state titles in school history (1987, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2016) and has finished runner-up three additional trips to the finals. The Panthers dominated the first half Monday, building a 33-15 lead by halftime. Coach Linda Hollinger’s J.F. Shield squad turned up its defense in the third quarter and out-scored Spring Garden 16-6 to pull to within eight, 39-31, heading into the fourth quarter. After see the lead cut to six (39-33) early in the final period, Austin’s team rallied back out to a 10-point lead with three minutes left. Tiyonna Rogers had 19 points and 13 rebounds to pace Spring Garden. Savannah Dempsey and Payton McGinnis added 14 each. McGinnis also had 11 rebounds. Dempsey was 6-for-6 at the foul line, and point guard Kerstin Bryant had six assists. Mar’quaja Brown had 22 points and Ti’Ajah McCrery had nine for J.F. Shields (19-4). Shamiya Johnson also had seven points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots. (Courtesy: AHSAA - www.ahsaa.com)

Class 1A Boys Semifinals Sacred Heart Catholic 82, Georgiana 55 Two-time defending state champion Sacred Heart Catholic (27-8) will be playing for a third AHSAA Class 1A boys’ state basketball title Thursday night after beating Georgiana 82-55 in the Class 1A semifinals Monday at the BJCC Legacy Arena. Sacred Heart will meet South Lamar in the finals Thursday afternoon at 5:45 p.m. at Legacy Arena. The 95th annual AHSAA State Basketball Championship semifinal games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network, and the finals will be televised live by Raycom Sports. The AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting all games over its statewide radio network and internet link. Coach Ralpheal Graves’ Cardinals used a big third quarter to break open the rematch from last year’s finals. Sacred Heart led 36-29 at the half but outscored Coach Kirk Norris’ Panthers (27-3) in the third period 28-11. Georgiana never recovered. D.J. Heath scored 27 points, had four assists and three steals for the Cardinals. Dakota Myers added 20 points, Diante Wood and Kevion Nolan chipped in 15 each. Wood also had 10 rebounds and five assists. Nolan and Heath each had three 3-point goals. Nizaiah Smith led Georgiana with 20 points and 11 rebounds. He was also 6-of-7 at the foul line and the Panthers finished 16-of-20 as a team. Ja’Micha Stallworth added 12 points and Keinderus Mobley added eight. (Courtesy: AHSAA - www.ahsaa.com)

Class 1A Semifinals

Girls Spring Garden 48, J.F. Shields 38 R.A. Hubbard 48, Westminster - Oak Mountain 44 *1A State Final - Spring Garden vs. R.A. Hubbard - Thurs. 4:00 pm

Boys Sacred Heart 82, Georgiana 55 South Lamar 80, Cornerstone 67 *1A State Final: Sacred Heart vs. South Lamar - Thurs. 5:45 pm

Class 2A Semifinals

Girls Tanner 60, R.C. Hatch 24 Geneva County 41, Fyffe 35 *2A State Final: Tanner vs. Geneva Co. - Fri. 9:00 am

Boys R.C. Hatch 51, Sheffield 27 Lanett 64, Barbour County 48 *2A State Final: R.C. Hatch vs. Lanett - Fri. 10:45 am

Tuesday's schedule (Feb. 28)

CLASS 3A Girls Montgomery Academy (28-4) vs. Locust Fork (33-1), 9 a.m. Hillcrest-Evergreen (23-0) vs. Pisgah (26-7), noon

Boys Midfield (25-6) vs. Holly Pond (32-1), 10:30 a.m. Hillcrest-Evergreen (22-5) vs. Plainview (30-4), 1:30 p.m.

CLASS 4A Girls Greensboro (22-4) vs. Deshler (33-0), 3 p.m. B.T. Washington Magnet (15-7) vs. Madison Academy (33-1), 6 p.m.

Boys Hale County (26-4) vs. Cordova (23-8), 4:30 p.m. Monroe County (22-4) vs. Madison Academy (24-6), 7:30 p.m.

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