BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WHNT) — The state basketball finals continued on Thursday with five more local teams competing in their respective championship game.
The Mars Hill girls had a slow start against Cold Springs, but after trailing by double digits at one point the Lady Panthers came back to win 69-47 winning the program’s first state title since 2005.
“I kept telling the girls listen, hang in there, we’ll be fine, we’ll hit a couple, get some rebounds and we’ll be fine and that’s what they did,” Mars Hill Girls Basketball Head Coach Flori Sweatt said. “From there on out they were ready to roll. So glad we finished a little bit differently than we started. I’m so thankful for them more than anything.”
Belle Hill, a seventh grader on the Lady Panthers team, was named MVP of the state tournament.
In 3A boys, the Plainview Bears completed their mission of going back-to-back as state champions by beating Midfield in a nail-biter 40-37.
“I can’t speak enough about the character of this group and their love for one another,” Plainview Boys Basketball Head Coach Robi Coker said. “This group started out 0-2 and they figured out a way to develop an identity. I just can’t say enough about this group’s toughness and how they respond to adversity throughout the course of the year and because of that they deserve to be champions.”
This year’s blue map marks the fourth state title for the Bears’ program.
In the 3A girls finals, the Clements Lady Colts fell in a heartbreaker 52-48 against Trinity.
North Alabama was represented in both 4A championships as well; the Priceville girls fell to Prattville Christian 76-59 and the Westminster Christian boys fell to Jacksonville 51-37.
Four more local teams will compete for a championship on Saturday, March 4 as the state tournament wraps up.