Charles Henderson gears up for historic Final Four
Published 4:44 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2023
For the first time in school history both the Charles Henderson High School boys and girls basketball teams will be playing in the AHSAA Final Four on March 1.
The Charles Henderson Lady Trojans (18-9) will face the Pleasant Grove Lady Spartans (27-6) in the Class 5A Girls State Semifinals. The Lady Trojans earned a measure of revenge over Eufaula in the South Regional Final last week and the Lady Spartans bested Jasper by a score of 44-40 in the Northwest Regional Finals.
While this will be Pleasant Grove’s first Final Four appearance, the Lady Trojans are right at home in the Final Four. Charles Henderson has made the 5A Final Four in each of the last four seasons and seven of the last eight years. Last season, Charles Henderson lost to Guntersville in the State Semifinals and lost to Mae Jemison in the semifinals in 2021. In 2020, Charles Henderson defeated Center Point in the semifinals and won a state championship against Madison Academy in the finals. Charles Henderson holds a 5-5 record in the Final Four with two state championships and one state runner-up.
CHHS senior KK Hobdy – The Messenger’s 2022 Female Winter Athlete of the Year – has been one of the top players in the state all season and earned Regional Tournament MVP honors last week. This season, Hobdy averages 19.7 points, 4.1 assists, seven rebounds and 3.3 steals per game. She’s also averaging 72 percent from the free throw line.
Brewbaker Tech defeated Marbury in the Central Regional Finals and Arab knocked off Southside in the Northeast Regional Finals. Brewbaker Tech will play Arab on March 1 at 6 p.m. in the other state semifinal matchup. The state championship will be played March 4 at 9 a.m. at Legacy Arena.
The Charles Henderson boys’ team (24-5) will matchup with the Ramsay Rams (26-6) in the Class 5A Boys State Semifinals. The Trojans also knocked off Eufaula in the 5A Southeast Regional Finals last week to earn a spot in the Final Four. The Rams defeated Fairfield 62-54 in the Northwest Regional Finals, as well. Ramsay spent the majority of 2023 as Class 5A’s No. 1-ranked team and will now clash with Charles Henderson in the State Semifinals on March 1 at 4:30 p.m. at Legacy Arena in Birmingham.
While the CHHS girls’ team has made the Final Four a home away from home, this is just the third time in school history the Charles Henderson boys have advanced to the state semifinals. In 2005, Charles Henderson lost to Butler in the Final Four and the Trojans also lost to John Carroll in the semifinals in 1998. Ramsay, however, has been a staple in Birmingham playing in 10 Final Fours since 2006, including each of the last five straight seasons. Ramsay holds an 8-8 record in the Final Four with two state championships. The Rams won state titles in 2006 and 2010 but also earned runner-up in each of the last two seasons. Ramsay lost to Lee-Huntsville in the state finals in 2021 and 2022.
While this is the first time CHHS and Ramsay have met on the hardwood this season, the two schools are certainly no stranger to one another. Charles Henderson and Ramsay played in the Class 5A Football State Championship this past season with Ramsay coming out on top 41-20. Many of the prominent players for both teams played in that game, as well.
Charles Henderson is led by senior Austin Cross – The Messenger’s 2022 Male Winter Athlete of the Year – who averages 23.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Fellow senior Jayden Spearman also averages 19.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals, while senior Tyler Carlton is averaging 10.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Junior Jywon Boyd comes into the Final Four averaging 14.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
Valley throttled Central of Clay County in the Central Regional Finals 61-36, while Scottsboro defeated Guntersville 67-66 in the Northeast Regional Finals. Those two schools will meet in the other state semifinal matchup on March 1 at 7:30 p.m. The two winning sides will meet in the Class 5A State Championship on March 4 at 10:45 a.m. in Legacy Arena.
The Charles Henderson girls play at 3 p.m. and the boys will play immediately after. The Messenger will have live coverage on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thetroymessenger) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/troymessenger).