Scottsboro Rallies in Second Half to Beat Gulf Shores in AHSAA Class 5A Girls Semifinals

By Josh Bean | For the AHSAA

BIRMINGHAM – Scottsboro High School girls’ basketball coach Brandon Childers might want to trademark his halftime speech from Wednesday’s AHSAA State Basketball Championships Class 5A girls’ state semifinal at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena.

After making only 1-of-15 from 3-point range in the first half against Gulf Shores (29-7), coached by Brian Sexton, the Wildcats took control with a 15-0 spurt over the final 7:02 of the third quarter and pulled away for a 54-34 victory.

“The halftime speech was, ‘Keep doing what we’re doing. We’re going to get some offensive rebounds and make shots,’” Childers said. “We did both.”

Scottsboro (27-6) advances to play Jasper in Saturday’s Class 5A championship game in a matchup of two programs both chasing their school’s first girls’ basketball state title.

“We fought in the first half and didn’t make any shots,” Childers said. “In the second half, we finally made some shots.”

When Gulf Shores’ Keyona Royal scored with 7:02 to go in the third quarter, the Dolphins trailed 25-18. Scottsboro then went on its decisive 15-0 run and Gulf Shores didn’t score again until 7:03 to go in the fourth quarter – a span of eight minutes – on Alyssa Thompson’s layup.

By then, Scottsboro led 40-18.

“It wasn’t our night,” Sexton said.

Caroline Dawson led Scottsboro with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Isabelle Nelson and Bree Sexton added 11 points and three steals apiece.

Thompson led Gulf Shores with 11 points, and Maggie Myers finished with 10 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots. Royal had eight points and 10 rebounds.

Childers noted the championship game will be special, considering he and Jasper coach Blake Laney are scheduled to go on a cruise together over spring break. “I know they’re a really, really good team,” Childers said.

The final 5A boys’ semifinal is being played Wednesday night. The 104th AHSAA State Basketball Championships continue Thursday with Class 7A semifinal games for boys and girls.

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

Championship games will begin Thursday afternoon 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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