MA girls fall short in 3A finals
BIRMINGHAM - Lauderdale County closed out the most successful chapter in girls’ basketball history Friday afternoon as the Lady Tigers downed Montgomery Academy, 55-44, to capture the school’s fifth straight Class 3A state basketball championship. It was also a state-record championship No. 13 for the school.
The seniors for the Lady Tigers (30-7) of Coach Brant Llewellyn won state crowns every year since the eighth grade – a new AHSAA state record. The win Friday at the AHSAA State Basketball Finals capped the prep careers of Alabama’s most recognizable basketball-playing triplets, Emma, Ella and Ivy Wallen.
Emma Wallen sank six 3-point goals and finished with 22 points to pace the Tigers’ effort. Ivy had 14, five steals and seven assists and Ella had three points and four rebounds. Sophomore Allie Craig Cruce had 12 points, two blocked shots and three steals.
Montgomery Academy (27-5) pushed Lauderdale County to the limit. Coach Barry Fencher’s Eagles trailed 37-23 at intermission but turned up a defense that shut out the Tigers over a nine-minute (9:04) stretch in the second half to cut the lead to nine, 45-36 with 3:06 to play. Ivy Wallen got the next three points and Lauderdale County was able to seal the win.
Jade Brooks scored 25 points for MA to lead all scorers. Elizabeth Robertson added 10 points, and Kayla White had eight rebounds.
Lauderdale County finished the 2015 season 39-0 riding an 84-game winning streak. That streak finally ended earlier this season at 86 games. Five other schools have won four consecutive girls’ state titles: Mars Hill Bible (1988-91), Fyffe (1994-97), Deshler (2003-06), Ramsay (2004-07) and Midfield (2007-10).
AHSAA State Championship action continues Friday at the BJCC Legacy Arena with championship games for Class 4A later Friday afternoon. Saturday’s championship slate (5A, 6A and 7A) closes out the 94th AHSAA State Basketball Finals.
All championship games are being televised live by Raycom Media’s network of stations over their digital 2 stations and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network. Details can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
Class 3A State Finals All-Tourney Team
AHSAA State Basketball Championships
Boys Championship (10:45 a.m.)
Boys Championship (2:15 p.m.)