Hoover Bucs claim 7A boys hoops title

AHSAA Class 7A Boys Basketball Championship

Super Sophomores Lead Hoover Past Central-PC in 7A State Finals

By Josh Bean | AHSAA

Birmingham, AL – Playing in their first state championship game, Hoover High School sophomores Salim London and DeWayne Brown shined.

London led the Bucs (31-4) with 34 points and the 6-foot-9 Brown added 24 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots in an 84-66 victory over Central-Phenix City in Saturday’s Class 7A championship game at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena which concluded the AHSAA 2023 State Basketball Championships.

“These guys have been carrying us all year,” Hoover coach Scott Ware said. “They’re really, really good players, and we’re blessed to have them on our side.”

Hoover boys gave Bucs a swept in Class 7A basketball titles. The Hoover girls won a third straight girls’ Class 7A title by beating Sparkman earlier Saturday. Hoover is the first school to sweep both basketball championships since Tanner in 2011 and the first from metro Birmingham since Ramsay in 2006.

Central-Phenix City sophomore Jacoby Hill scores two of his game-high 37 points in the Class 7A boys’ state finals. (David Holtsford | AHSAA)

“It’s an incredible moment,” Ware said. “This is what you work for.”

Central-Phenix City (24-10), coached by Charles Burkett, was trying to win its first boys’ basketball state title. Ware served as an assistant on Burkett’s staff when Hoover won its only other boys’ state basketball state title in 2015.

Central-Phenix City’s own sophomore standout Jacoby Hill led all scorers with 37 points making four 3-pointers and drilling 11-of-14 free throws.

“I don’t normally drop that many points,” Hill said. “I let it come to me.”

Added Burkett, “What’s so special about Coby is he’s a basketball player. He does not go point-hunting. When he needs to make the extra pass, he makes the extra pass. He’s a scorer but he’s a basketball player.”

Central simply had no answer for Hoover’s size, as the Bucs won the rebounding battle 41-21 and scored 56 points in the paint to just six for the Red Devils.

Hoover sophomore Salim London (5) named 7A State Tourney MVP with 34 points, six rebounds and two assists in the Bucs’ 84-66 win over Central-Phenix City. (David Holtsford | AHSAA)

“We thought a couple of our post players would at least be able to slow Brown down a little bit, but it didn’t happen,” Burkett said. “They kept coming. We just ran out of gas.”

London was named tournament MVP, while Brown and Johnathan Caicedo were named to the All-Tournament Team. Caicedo tallied eight points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Que Billingsley added 13 points, three steals and two assists for the Red Devils. Hill and Billingsley were named the All-Tournament Team from Central, ands Spain Park’s Sam Wright was also selected.

AHSAA 2023 State Basketball Championships
BJCC Legacy Arena

CLASS 5A Girls’ Finals

Pleasant Grove (29-6) 53, Arab (22-13) 36
CLASS 5A Boys’ Finals

Valley (33-0) 54, Charles Henderson (25-6) 50
CLASS 6A Girls’ Finals

Hazel Green (35-1) vs. Huffman (27-4), 12:30 p.m.
CLASS 6A Boys’ Finals
Buckhorn (29-7) 65, Mountain Brook (26-7), 56
CLASS 7A Girls’ Finals

Hoover (35-1) 55, Sparkman (26-9) 44
CLASS 7A Boys’ Finals
Hoover (31-4) 84, Central-Phenix City (24-10) 66

CLASS 2A Girls’ Finals

 Mars Hill Bible (26-5) 69, Cold Springs (31-3) 47
 CLASS 2A Boys’ Finals
 Aliceville (25-1) 44, St. Luke’s Episcopal (16-12) 43
 CLASS 3A Girls’ Finals

 Trinity Presbyterian (32-2) 52, Clements (28-7) 48
 CLASS 3A Boys’ Finals
Plainview (31-5) 50, Midfield (25-6) 37
 CLASS 4A Girls’ Finals

 Prattville Christian (34-3) 76, Priceville (23-10) 59
 CLASS 4A Boys’ Finals

 Jacksonville (29-6) 51, Westminster Christian (29-4) 37

CLASS 1A Girls’ Finals
Spring Garden (36-1) 62, Marion County (21-14) 39
CLASS 1A Boys’ Finals

Covenant Christian (31-3) 50, Oakwood Adventist Academy (27-9) 46