State Semifinal Action on Thursday From Birmingham

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Birmingham, Ala. - (WHNT) Five area teams were in action Thursday hoping to punch their tickets to the state championship game on Saturday. Below are recaps of each team game involving teams from North Alabama courtesy of the AHSAA.


Class 6A Girls Semifinals
Homewood 66, Austin 40
The Lady Patriots clinched their first-ever berth in the Class 6A girls state basketball finals with a strong second-half finish to beat Austin 66-40.
Homewood (29-4), coached by JoVanka Ward, outscored Austin 43-19 in the second half. Ajah Wayne led with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Hannah Barber added 15 points and five assists, and Tori Webb chipped in 10 points. Wayne also had four steals.
The Black Bears (27-5), coached by Bruce Hamilton, was led by Aaliyah Rice’s 13 points. Katie Speegle also had eight rebounds.
Homewood will play the 6A championship game Saturday at 1 p.m.


Class 6A Boys Semifinals
Lee-Huntsville 48, Homewood 45
Lee-Huntsville (27-6) outscored Homewood 12-5 down the stretch to pull out a 48-45 semifinal victory in the Class 6A boys state basketball tournament at the BJCC Legacy Arena Thursday.
Geron Scissom sealed the win with two free throws with seven seconds remaining for Coach Greg Brown’s Generals. Scissom had a team-high 13 points and finished a perfect 4-of-4 at the foul line. He also had three steals, three blocked shots and three assists.
Tracy Burnett added 10 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks and Malik Burnett had 11 points.
Homewood (28-8), coached by Tim Shepler, was led by Malik Cook-Stroupe’s 15 points and four assists. Ronald Claiborne had 10 points and Austin Patterson had eight plus a team-high seven rebounds.
Lee will play in the 6A finals Saturday at 3 p.m.


Class 7A Girls Semifinals
Jeff Davis 42, Hazel Green 41
Jeff Davis scored the last five points of the game to stage a dramatic 42-41 come-from-behind win over Hazel Green Thursday to advance to the Class 7A girls’ state basketball championship game Saturday night at the BJCC.
Hazel Green (29-6), coached by former Jeff Davis coach Tim Miller, led 26-18 at the half and 34-29 after three quarters. Ahyiona Vason sank a 3-point goal with 37 seconds left to bring the Lady Vols to within one at 41-40, then dished a pass from underneath the goal to teammate Larvasha Thigpen with 21 seconds left and Thigpen delivered the game-winning bucket to seal the win.
Coach LaKenya Knight’s Lady Vols (30-4) outscored Hazel Green 24-15 in the second half. Kayla Jackson and Jasmine Walker each scored 10 points for Jeff Davis. Tia Horne added nine points, Vason finished with seven and Thigpen had scored two.
Hazel Green was led by Rayven Pearson with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Choloe Long’s 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The historic first-ever Class 7A girls’ finals will be Saturday at 5 p.m. at the BJCC Legacy Arena.


Class 5A Boys Semifinals
J.O. Johnson 57, Faith Academy 40
J.O. Johnson rallied from a one-point deficit at the half to post a 57-40 win over Faith Academy in the Class 5A boys state tournament semifinals Thursday at Bill Harris Arena.
The Jaguars (31-4) of Coach Jack Doss outscored the Rams 32-14 in the final two quarters to snap Faith Academy’s 33-game winning streak -- longest current boys streak in the state heading into the 2015 AHSAA State Tournament.
John Petty’s 21 points and nine rebounds sparked J.O. Johnson. The victory was the 748th career win for Doss (748-340). The veteran coach was selected to be inducted into the 25th AHSAA Hall of Fame Class on March 23.
Terrion Bone added 14 points and Justin Hopkins had 10.
Coach John Price’s Rams (34-2), who lost in the second game of the regular season before reeling off 33 straight wins to capture the South Regional, were paced by Josh Hill’s 23 points and eight rebounds.
J.O. Johnson will play Ramsay in the Class 5A state finals at BJCC Legacy Center Saturday night. Ramsay finished as Class 5A runner-up in 2014 and Johnson was runner-up in Class 4A. The Jags moved to 5A this school year when the AHSAA established seven classifications.