Published 10:31 pm Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Charles Henderson will meet UMS-Wright on Saturday. The winner advances to the state final four in Birmingham. (Photo/Ryan McCollough)

Charles Henderson plays Oneonta in the semifinals of the state tournament on Wednesday. (Photo/Ryan McCollough)

The Charles Henderson Lady Trojans boarded the bus Tuesday and made the 141-mile trip to downtown Birmingham.

But they might as well have went back in time.

None of the current members of the Charles Henderson roster were alive the last time the Lady Trojans advanced this far in the state tournament.

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Sinead O’Connor was dominating the airwaves with “Nothing Compares 2 U,” the San Francisco 49ers has just clobbered the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl and the Lady Trojans were hooping in up.

Charles Henderson fell to Hamilton in the semifinals.

“It has been a long time since the school has been this far,” said Charles Henderson head coach Dyneshia Jones. “We are taking the same mindset we have all season. We are going to play our game, which is defense, free throws and pressuring the other team to make a mistake, then capitalize.”

Standing the Lady Trojans’ way is the defending state champion Lady Redskins of Oneonta.

Oneonta is 31-6 on the season, and brings back eight key players from last year’s state title run. Destiney Elliott, a Samford commit, lead the way for Oneonta averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds per game.

The Lady Redskins are 132-17 over the last four years with two region titles and the 2013 state title.

Jones knows of Oneonta’s talent, and respects it tremendously. But she said her team would not shy away from the competition.

“We played two really good teams in Dothan,” said Jones. “Clarke County and UMS were great, and I know Oneonta is as well. We will have to play great basketball, and take advantage of mistakes when we force them. They are good, but we are as well.”

The Lady Trojans struggles some early in the two games at the Dothan Civic Center at the region tournament.

Now the tournament moves to the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, a 17,000-seat venue in downtown Birmingham.

“I told them the same thing that I did last week,” said Jones. “No one has practiced in that building. We are all equal. Oneonta was her last year, but that was last year. Everyone is in the same boat this year.”

The 4A girls’ semifinals get underway at 3 P.m. Wednesday with Charles Henderson and Oneonta.

The other semifinal game, between Anniston and Calera, will start at 6 P.m.

The state title game will be held Saturday at 9 a.m.