Midfield beats Sumter Central, Returns to Class 3A Title Game

By Josh Bean | For the AHSAA

BIRMINGHAM – Midfield High School’s Patriots shot past Sumter Central for a berth in the 104th AHSAA State Basketball Championships Class 3A boys’ title game.

The Patriots (24-9), coached by Courtney Jones, made 10-of-16 from 3-point range in Tuesday’s 64-61 victory over Sumter Central (22-4) in the Class 3A boys’ state semifinals at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena. Jaden Sellers made the team’s 10th 3-pointer with 31 seconds remaining to give the Patriots a 62-60 lead.

“It was wide-open,” said Sellers, a freshman. “When I shot it, I felt it. I felt it was going in.”

Midfield missed two free throws after Sellers’ pivotal 3-pointer, and Sumter Central had a final possession after calling timeout with 4.1 seconds to go. The final play never materialized, as Midfield’s defense forced a turnover.

Midfield’s Jashawn Moore (23) fires a jumper with Sumter Central’s Jaylain Little (14) and Jamichael Ratliff (2) defending. (AHSAA PHOTO | David Holtsford)

Sellers led Midfield with 19 points, and Aaron Adams-Martin added 15 points. Armonie Franklin had 14 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Dujuan McKinney had 12 points on four second-half 3-pointers.

Sellers made 5-of-6 from 3-point range, McKinney made 4-of-5, and Franklin added another.

“Now, at least 85 percent of the time at practice, it’s shooting the 3-ball,” Jones said.

Sumter Central, coached by Jazmin Mitchell, got 21 points from Jonathan Fitch, 16 points from Emmanuel Clarton and 10 points from Jaylain Little. The Jaguars (24-4) outrebounded Midfield 35-25 and shot 50 percent but committed 16 turnovers.|

“Making it this far, coming from where we come from, it’s a big accomplishment,” Clarton said. Little added, “We just fell a little short.”

Sumter Central led 60-59 after Brandon Robinson’s tip-in with 1:31 to go, but Sellers’ answered with the Patriots’ final 3-pointer.

“It was basket-for-basket to the end,” Mitchell said. “They got the right turnovers at the right time at the end of the game.”

Midfield advances to the championship game, set for Friday afternoon, for the third time in four years. The Pats fell to Plainview in the 2023 title game, and Midfield won the state championship in 2021.

Play continues today at the Legacy Arena with the remaining boys’ and girls’ Class 3A semifinals and the Class 4A semifinals. Classes 6A and 5A open their tourneys Wednesday, and Class 7A plays Thursday morning.

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  Television and will also be live streamed over the NFHS Network.

All 14 state championship games will be aired live over the Alabama Public Television Network and live streamed over the NFHS Network.

Cover Photo: Jaylain Little (14) battles for a shot with Midfield defender Aaron Adams-Martin in the Class 3A boys’ semifinal game of the AHSAA State Basketball Championships Tuesday.  (AHSAA PHOTO | David Holtsford)

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