Jones Twins Lead Huffman Past Park Crossing in AHSAA Girls Class 6A Semifinals

By Josh Bean | For the AHSAA

BIRMINGHAM – Park Crossing High School cut Huffman’s double-digit lead to just one midway through the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s AHSAA 2023 State Basketball Championships Class 6A semifinal at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena.

That’s when Huffman’s Sister Act took center stage.

Tamiria Jones swished a floater to push the lead back to three points, and a few possessions later, she passed to her twin sister, Jamiria, who swished a 3-pointer to build a nine-point lead with 1:46 to go. The Vikings (25-8) held on for a 63-56 victory over Park Crossing (29-2), coached by Freeah Smith.

“I had to throw down my play sheet and just coach,” Vikings coach Lin Slater said. “I thank God we were able to pull out the win. It was a tough win.”

What did Slater tell her team after the Thunderbirds twice cut the Vikings’ lead to one – at 52-51 and 55-54 – in the fourth quarter? “Calm down and stay focused,” she said. “We’re fine. Keep playing.”

The victory sends Huffman into Saturday’s championship game against six-time defending Class 6A champ Hazel Green in with tip-off set for 12:30 p.m. It’s a championship rematch, as Huffman made its first state-championship game appearance last year.

“I know what the ultimate goal is,” Slater said, “and that’s to get the Blue Map.”

Tamiria and Jamiria Jones finished with 23 points apiece. Tamiria added eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Jamiria Jones tallied six rebounds and two steals. Both played the full 32 minutes.

Slater called the Jones sisters “two of the top players” in the state. “If anybody didn’t see that today, they must be blind,” she said.

Click here to check out schedules and scores from the 2024 AHSAA State Basketball Finals. 

Breonna Robbins made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points for Huffman.

Saniya Jackson led Park Crossing with 25 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals. Maliyah Meeks added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Park Crossing, making its second trip to the state semifinals in the last three seasons, led briefly at 2-0 and never again held the lead. Huffman led by double digits before the Thunderbirds’ fourth quarter rally.

“We got a couple of mishaps, miscommunications,” Smith said. “Maybe the big lights got to us.”

Play continues Wednesday at the Legacy Arena with play in Classes 6A and 5A, and Class 7A plays Thursday morning. Championship games will begin Thursday in Class 1A. Finals for Classes 2A, 3A and 4A will be Friday, and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A close out the 2024 state tourney on Saturday.

All semifinal games are being live streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based platform and live on the AHSAA TV Network. All 14 state championship games will be aired live over the Alabama Public Television Network and live streamed over the NFHS Network.

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