AHSAA Northwest Regional Wednesday
At Tom Drake Coliseum - Hanceville:
4A G: Deshler 78, Danville 56
4A: Cordova 56, Deshler 48
3A G: Lauderdale Co 60, Colbert Co 49
3A: Lauderdale Co 57, Hanceville 53
5A G: Wenonah 56, Lee Huntsville 41
5A: Wenonah 59, Lee Huntsville 37
FLASH NOTES: Hanceville left an impact despite coming up short in the 3A regional final to Lauderdale County.
The two teams went through five ties and an incredible 16 lead changes by halftime. Twenty lead changes would be for the entire contest.
A 9-2 run late in the second lifted Lauderdale County to a 38-35 halftime lead.
Foul trouble became a concern for Hanceville as star forward RJ Evans went to the bench with three right before the half closed out.
Damion Johnson made matters worse by having three as well.
Hanceville went down 42-35 to start the third, regrouped and narrowed it to 46-45 after the third.
Evans and Josh Stanley got disqualified in the fourth period, putting a lot of pressure on Hanceville to comeback with two valuable starters up front out.
Lauderdale County PG Wyatt Newton was able to score three out of four from the line in the final seconds. His last one came after Hanceville turned the ball, needing to score that would have tied the game and force overtime.
Conner Smith tossed in 17 for the Tigers, now 23-9 and was named regional MVP.
Zeke McDonald put his name on the all-tournament team for Hanceville, scoring 15, while Raiden Morgan netted 11 and also collected an all-tournament award, as did Evans who tallied 10.
Fred Ellis produced nine off the bench with Hanceville shooting well, going 20 of 39 for the game and nine of nine from the line. The Bulldogs' six-game winning streak ended as they posted 19 wins against nine defeats, their best season since 2014 for Daniel Wakefield.
No. 1 Deshler Lady Tigers were off and running early, getting control and leading No. 6 Danville 21-9 following the first period.
Their offense was consistent and at times, dangerous. Deshler put 22 on the board in the second and went to the locker room, comfortably ahead 43-23.
Danville was unable to stop the 1-2 punch of Deshler with center Karleigh Sledge producing 28 points and guard Taylor Aikerson scoring 18. They got support by the bench with 10 points from Shamari Thirkill. Deshler was 28 of 67 for the game, nine of 26 in threes and 13 of 20 from the line.
Sledge was named the regional MVP with Aikerson and Abbi Holley joining her on the A-T team. Deshler is 32-1 and heads to the Final Four in Birmingham with a 21-game winning streak.
Danville had its guards, point guard Kayla Compton and shooting guard Jolee Cole to give them solid play, scoring 16 points each.
Compton made her impact in the third quarter with 11 points on five field goals, including one trey.
Cole knocked down six shots, one from long range and added three at the line. Both were selected to the A-T team. Under first year coach J.J.Hill, the Lady Hawks finish 26-9.
Cordova defended its regional championship with a 14-6 first period lead over Deshler. Deshler stayed on the heels of the Blue Devils, down 25-20 at the half, but was behind 40-33 going into the fourth.
Deshler could not find enough offense to overtake the Tigers in the final stanza.
Deshler ends the season 28-7, 4th in the 4A rankings.
Cordova will return to Birmingham for the Final Four at 24-9.
Issac Chatman was named the regional MVP. He scored 17 in the title game. Jayce Willingham put 22 on the board and guard Demeterius Kirk tallied 13. They were selected to the All-Tournament team.
Avery Sears tossed in 21 for the Tigers with JP Robinson scoring 15. Both earned all-tournament honors.
Lauderdale County Lady Tigers stormed to a 38-16 lead at the break in the 3A title bout with Colbert County.
Colbert County was able to find a way of getting the deficit cut down some, putting together a 33-point second half to only 22 for the No. 1 ranked Lady Tigers.
Allie Craig Cruce, in her final game in the Northwest Regional, collected 27 points, was 12 of 15 from the line and had 10 rebounds. She easily received the MVP award.
Chelsea Leach of Colbert County ended her career, producing 22 points and got a spot on the all-tournament team.
Lauderdale County is 34-2 in returning to Birmingham after missing out in 2017 with a regional final loss to Locust Fork.
Colbert County produced 21 wins against seven losses that included an upset at Locust Fork in the sub-regional round to send the Lady Indians to Wallace State this season.
An emotional Wenonah Lady Dragons team claimed their fifth straight regional title as they fight hard on the hardwood while their coach, Emmanuel Bell, fights for his life with Stage 4 cancer.
Bell was able to be on the bench for both games this week at the Coliseum, but let Kenneth Lang run the duties.
Wenonah led 20-12 at the half and kept the advantage at arms length to improve to 25-7 on the season and head back to the Magic City in the quest of nailing down another championship.
Faith Reynolds was the MVP for the Lady Dragons.
Fairview center Abbi Taylor, was selected for the A-T team after a solid performance in the Lady Aggies' semifinal defeat to Wenonah 54-38.
Wenonah put on a 31-5 second half explosion to overcome a 32-28 halftime deficit withj No. 1 Lee. Lee went through frustration in the second half, scoring only five points and four technical fouls to boot.
Fairview's Bryson Flecther was selected to the All-Tournament team.
Kendall Tucker of Wenonah was the regional MVP.
Photo of Deshler PG JP Robinson (1) vs. Cordova guard Demeterius Kirk (2) in the 1st of 4A regional final at Wallace State Wednesday.
Photo of Colbert County senior Chelsea Leach going to the goal in between the Lauderdale County defense Wednesday in the 3A regional final.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton