Covenant Christian Earns Shot at Third Straight Class 1A Title

By Josh Bean | For the AHSAA

 BIRMINGHAM – Covenant Christian continues its drive for a third straight state boys’ basketball championship.

The Eagles defeated Calhoun 57-54 in Monday’s Class 1A boys’ state semifinal at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena, thanks in big part to 23 points from Jalen Chandler and 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocked shots from Trey Kellogg.

“We certainly don’t take it for granted to be back,” Covenant coach Bret Waldrep said. “Experience, I think that’s what pulled us through.”

Covenant Christian advances to Thursday’s Class 1A championship game, set to tip off at 5:45 p.m., at Legacy Arena.

The 104th AHSAA State Basketball Championships opened play Monday with Class 1A girls’ and boys’ semifinals, followed this afternoon by the Class 2A girls’ and boys’ semifinals.

Classes 3A and 4A open play Tuesday, Classes 6A and 6A Wednesday, and Class 7A on Thursday morning. Championship matches will be Thursday night for 1A girls and boys. Friday’s schedule includes championship games for Class 2A girls and boys, Class 3A girls and boys, and Class 4A girls and boys. Saturday’s final round will feature state championship games for girls and boys in Class 5A, Class 6A, and Class 7A.

Covenant Christian’s Trey Kellogg (4) jumps high to block a shot attempt by Calhoun’s Kentavius Loftin (30). (AHSAA Photo | David Holtsford)

Covenant (26-8) built an eight-point halftime lead and kept the lead near double digits throughout most of the second half. Calhoun (21-7) cut the lead to one several times, including 52-51 and 55-54, but could never take the lead.

Calhoun point guard Tyler Robertson fouled out with 1:18 to go on a drive to the basket – as Kellogg took the charge – while trailing by one.

Calhoun had the ball with 6.2 seconds remaining and designed a final play, but 3-point specialist Kentavius Loftin’s off-balanced shot was off just the rim before the buzzer.

“The plan was to get the ball to our best 3-pointer shooter, Kentavius Loftin, who’s shooting 51 percent from three,” Davison said. “But they were all over him.”

Covenant now turns its attention to Thursday’s title game.

“We’re just enjoying the moment and taking it one step a time,” Kellogg said.

All semifinal games are being live streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based platform and live on the AHSAA TV Network. Check out the cable stations on the network at All championship games will be televised live statewide over Alabama Public Television and will also be live streamed over the NFHS Network.

AHSAA 104th State Basketball Championships
at the BJCC, Legacy Arena, Birmingham
Class 1A Girls

Marion County (18-14) 65, Keith (18-10) 37
NE qualifier: 
Spring Garden (31-1) vs. South qualifier: Elba (28-4), Mon., Feb. 26, noon
1A Girls’ Finals
Thursday, Feb. 29, 4 p.m.

Class 1A Boys
Covenant Christian (26-8) 57, Calhoun (21-7) 54
NE qualifier: 
Skyline (26-4) vs. South qualifier: Georgiana (26-3), Mon., Feb. 26, 1:30 p.m.
1A Boys’ Finals
Thursday, Feb. 29, 5:45 p.m.

Class 2A Girls
NW qualifier: Mars Hill Bible (22-5) vs. Central qualifier: Cold Springs (27-4), Mon., Feb. 26, 3 p.m.
NE qualifier: 
Ider (21-11) vs. South qualifier: Luverne (26-5), Mon., Feb. 26, 6 p.m.
2A Girls’ Finals
Friday, Mar. 1, 9 a.m.

Class 2A Boys
NW qualifier: Mars Hill Bible (25-2) vs. Central qualifier: Locust Fork (22-6), Mon., Feb. 26, 4:30 p.m.
NE qualifier: 
LaFayette (24-7) vs. South qualifier: Highland Home (21-6), Mon., Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m.
2A Boys’ Finals
Friday, Mar. 1, 10:45 a.m.

Class 3A Girls

NW qualifier: Clements (24-9) vs. Central qualifier: Trinity Presbyterian (24-6), Tues., Feb. 27, 9 a.m.
NE qualifier: 
Plainview (30-5) vs. South qualifier: Cottage Hill Christian (15-13), Tues., Feb. 27, noon
3A Girls’ Finals
Friday, Mar. 1, 12:30 p.m.

Class 3A Boys
NW qualifier: Midfield (23-9) vs. Central qualifier: Sumter Central (22-3), Tues., Feb. 27, 10:30 a.m.
NE qualifier: 
Geraldine (24-7) vs. South qualifier: Hillcrest-Evergreen (26-3), Tues., Feb. 27, 1:30 p.m.
3A Boys’ Finals
Friday, Mar. 1, 2:15 p.m.

Class 4A Girls
NW qualifier: Good Hope (31-2) vs. Central qualifier: Prattville Christian (27-7), Tues., Feb. 27, 3 p.m.
NE qualifier: 
Anniston (29-4) vs. South qualifier: T.R. Miller (25-3), Tues., Feb. 27, 6 p.m.
4A Girls’ Finals
Friday, Mar. 1, 4 p.m.

Class 4A Boys
NW qualifier: Deshler (22-11) vs. Central qualifier: American Christian (27-7), Tues., Feb. 27, 4:30 p.m.
NE qualifier: 
DAR (25-9) vs. South qualifier: Jackson (27-2), Tues., Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m.
4A Boys’ Finals
Friday, Mar. 1, 5:45 p.m.

Cover Photo: Calhoun point guard Tyler Robertson (4) drives toward the basket as Covenant Christian’s Colin Thompson defends (AHSAA Photo | David Holtsford)

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