Trojans, Lady Dawgs capture area crowns

Published 8:22 pm Thursday, February 9, 2023

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The Charles Henderson Trojans and Pike County Lady Bulldogs both won area championships on Thursday night.

The Class 5A No. 5-ranked Trojans won their 12th straight game, securing the Class 5A, Area 4 Championship with a 58-55 victory over the Carroll Eagles. After Charles Henderson led for much of the first half, Carroll came alive in the third quarter and led by as many as 12 going into the fourth quarter.

With CHHS trailing 46-40 with 5:50 left in the contest, Jayden Spearman knocked down a three followed by Austin Cross stealing the inbounds pass and knocking down a three of his own to tie the score 46-46 with 5:30 remaining. Cross completed the 8-0 run with a pair of free throws to put the Trojans up 48-46 with 4:58 left.

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The two sides traded scores until the Eagles earned a steal and a layup to give Carroll a 51-50 lead with 2:41 left. Charles Henderson then exploded for a 6-0 run to go up 56-51 with 53 seconds left. Tyler Carlton knocked down a layup, Spearman hit a pair of free throws and Davenport earned a score off a rebound during the run.

Caroll cut the lead to 56-53 on a layup and then stole the inbounds pass and hit another layup – plus a foul – to cut Charles Henderson’s lead to 56-55 with just 16 seconds left. Davenport knocked down a pair of free throws after grabbing the rebound off Carroll’s missed free throw to seal the area championship.

“We played well enough to win,” CHHS coach Tim Fayson said. “This game has become a little bit of a rivalry for us, so I knew it was going to be intense and tight.

“(Carroll) played a great ball game and we had to dig deep. That showed a lot of the character and makeup of our team. We could have folded a lot of times but we showed that resiliency and got the win.”

Austin Cross, Tyler Carlton and Mario Davenport earned All-Tournament honors. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

While CHHS struggled shooting the ball at times – knocking down 39 percent of its shots – the Trojans won the rebound battle handedly 40-25 and forced 14 turnovers. Cross, Davenport and Carlton earned All-Tournament honors for their performances and Cross captured Tournament MVP with 17 points, four assists and five rebounds. Despite playing in foul trouble for much of the game, Davenport chipped in with 14 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Jywon Boyd added eight points, four assists, six rebounds, two blocks and four steals. Carlton scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds.

The Trojans will host the sub-regional round of the state playoffs either Monday or Tuesday against the winner of the Area 3 Championship between Eufaula and Headland.

The Pike County girls’ team captured the Class 3A, Area 4 Championship with a resounding 63-23 win over New Brockton on Thursday, as well. Pike County jumped out to a 25-9 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, holding NBHS to under 10 points in each of the four quarters.

Amity White and Auriel Moultry led the Area Champs with 14 points each, while Taniyah Green added 13 points and Ivy White scored 10 points. Urriya Berry tallied seven points.

The Lady Dawgs will host the sub-regional round of the state tournament next week.