• 73°

Lady Trojans heading back to Birmingham for Class 5A Final Four

MONTGOMERY, AL – The trademark of the Charles Henderson High defense was on full display Wednesday morning as the Lady Trojans forced more turnovers than their opponent had points in a 76-22 win over Sylacauga in the championship game of the Class 5A Southeast Regional in Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum.

CHHS, improving to 27-0 and earning another trip to the Class 5A Final Four in Birmingham, had 18 steals on the day and forced 33 turnovers.

The Lady Trojans never took their foot off the gas on offense, as they play their same style of pressure defense and run-and-gun offense regardless of the opponent, or the score.

“We really are just trying to keep playing Charles Henderson Lady Trojans basketball, and keep doing good on defense, keep running the floor and keep playing our ball, no matter how the other team is playing,” said Tournament MVP Samira Moore of CHHS. “We always say never let up on the intensity, no matter how the other opponent is playing, no matter how we feel, we have to play our ball. We are just ready to go to Birmingham now.”

Any thoughts of a letdown after a big 49-40 win over No. 1 Ramsay this past Saturday morning were quickly dismissed as the Lady Trojans jumped out to a quick 19-0 lead over the Aggies, with Niaira Jones hitting a three-pointer, a layup and another three-pointer in succession before Sylacauga could get on the board.

CHHS led 23-4 after one quarter and 46-8 at halftime, forcing 16 turnovers and making 11 steals on defense.

Sylacauga, finishing the year at 10-17, did score the first four points of the second half, but CHHS quickly got back on track to pull out to a 55-14, 41-point lead including a three-pointer and layup by Raven Williams.

The Lady Trojans kept the pace in the fourth quarter as Niaira Jones added seven points and Samira Moore chipped in an additional six, en route to the 76-22 final, a 54-point margin of victory.

CHHS was led in scoring by Jones with 20 points, Moore had 19, Makayla Hobdy 11, Williams eight, Mykyia Milton seven, Kristian Jackson six, Madison Ousley three and Deanna Gosha two points.

Jones, Hobdy and Milton were all-tournament team selections, while Moore was named not only to the all-tournament team but also named the Southeast Regional 5A tournament MVP.

Moore finished the day with 19 points, five blockers shots and one steal, while Jones and Hobdy had seven steals apiece.

CHHS head coach Dyneshia Jones is leading her team to their sixth trip to Birmingham in the last seven years, and never took Sylacauga lightly.

“Sylacauga made it here for a reason,” said Coach Jones. “Just because you look at their record and see how they played today, that does not mean anything. If we let our guard down and play without any fire in us, anything can happen. I just kept reminding our girls we are here for a reason, and Sylacauga made it here for a reason.

“Our girls were excited, but myself, I showed my nervousness once again. I got on them in practice when they were not doing right and told them we did not want this to be our last time we practice. We’ve just got to go out and play smart.”

CHHS will advance to the Class 5A Final Four Tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 26, against Center Point.