Autaugaville finishes undefeated season with Championship
BIRMINGHAM – Autaugaville High School closed out the first boys’ basketball perfect season Friday night with a 38-34 victory over stubborn Belgreen in the Class 1A championship game of the 99th AHSAA State Basketball tournament.
The victory wasn’t decided until junior guard Antonio Hardy sank two free throws with five seconds left to give the Eagles (30-0) a four -point lead. Belgreen (26-3) missed two 3-point goals a few seconds earlier – both good looks by Bulldogs senior guard Scout Bragwell. He nailed a trey at the buzzer ended the half from the top of the key following an inbounds pass that came with just 1.3 seconds left in the second quarter. The bucket sent Belgreen to the locker room at intermission leading 22-18.
Autaugaville, which became the first undefeated boys’ squad in the AHSAA since Barbour County finished 34-0 in the 2011-12 season. John Carroll Catholic (36-0) finished unbeaten in 2002-03 for the only other team to run the table in this decade.
Equally as stunning was the Eagles’ defense. Belgreen led 34-29 heading into the final quarter and Autaugaville, coached by Darren Golson, shut out the Bulldogs 9-0 in the final eight minutes.
Leading the defense was 6-foot-8 senior Dewaun Stubbs, who finished the game with 11 points, rebounds, and more importantly, 2 blocked shots to earn 1A state tourney MVP honors . Makenzie Bristow-Matthews finished with a team-high eight finished with six points, was 2-for-2 at the foul line and had four rebounds. Jaden Nixon contributed nine points and four rebounds Hardy had six points and seven rebounds and Jermaine Sanders tallied six points, six rebounds and three steals.
Pacing Belgreen, coached by Marty Cooper, was Collin Bonner with 16 points, two assists and two steals, and Bragwell with six points, six rebounds and two 3-pointers. Austin James also had two treys.
The 2021 State Basketball Championships conclude Saturday with the girl’ and boys’ finals in Class 2A. Lanett meet Hatton in the girls’ championship game at 9 a.m., and Lanett takes on Midfield in the boys finals at 11:30 a.m.
All championship games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network by AHSAA TV partner WOTM TV and broadcast live over the AHSAA Radio Network.
Class 1A Boys’ All-Tournament Team
Dawaun Stubbs, Autaugaville (MVP); Jaden Nixon, Autaugaville; Collin Bonner, Belgreen; Scout Bragwell, Belgreen; Antonial Ware, Notasulga.