Pike County advances to State Championship, Pike Road falls in Semifinals
Pike County senior Andres Burney picked up to quick fouls in the first quarter of Tuesday’s Class 3A boys’ semifinal battle with Hanceville at the 98th AHSAA State Basketball Championships moved into its second day at the BJCC Legacy Arena. He spent the rest of the first half on the bench.
The 6-foot-8 forward sparked the Bulldogs, down by six at halftime, in the second half scoring 12 points and grabbing 17 of his game-high 19 rebounds to lead Pike County to a 52-42 win. The victory advances the Bulldogs (23-6) to the school’s first state basketball final.
Coach Doug Holland’s squad kept the game close with Burney on the bench and clicked on all cylinders with Burney in the lineup in the final two quarters outscoring Hanceville 34-18. Omar Cumberbatch led Pike County with 13 points and also had nine rebounds. Amaghie Lampley added eight and Ze’Quan Boyd had seven.
Hanceville (18-13), coached by Stephen Chandler, got a strong effort from 6-6 senior forward Raiden Morgan, who had 18 points and seven rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth period. Cainon Moore also had 11 points and eight rebounds. Tyson Bellman had six points, eight boards and three assists.
Pike County, making its second appearance in history in the state tourney, is playing in the finals for the first time. The 3A state championship game will be played at Legacy Arena Friday at 2:15 p.m.
Pisgah’s Lady Eagles outscored Pike Road 29-14 in the third period Tuesday morning and advanced to the Class 3A state championship game for the third year in a row with a 72-58 come-from-behind win.
The Class 3A girls’ semifinal game opened play Tuesday morning as the 98th AHSAA State Basketball Championships moved into its second day at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
Pike Road (28-5) led 26-24 at the half but Pisgah (30-3) clawed back with its strong finish thanks to some strong shooting from the field and the free-throw line. Chloe Womack had 26 points for Coach Carey Ellison’s Eagles. She was 15-of-16 at the foul line – including 10-for-10 in the second half. Kallie Tinker added 18 points. She had two 3-pointers and was 6-of-8 on free throws. Molly Heard added 10 points, eight rebounds, two assists, steals and two blocked shots.
The Patriots, coached by Courtney Ward, placed five players in double figures with Aaliyah Manora scoring 13, Sakoya Knight and Tamirea Thomas, 12 each, Skye Harris-Butler 11 and Johnsheria Clement 10. Knight had nine rebounds, Thomas has eight and Manora had five assists. Harris-Butler also had four blocked shots.
The victory sends Pisgah into the 3A finals Friday at 12:30 p.m. The Eagles have won seven state titles in the school’s history, including 2018 and 2019. Other titles came in 1981, 1982, 1997, 2003 and 2005.
Pike Road is in just its second season as a high school varsity team.