Enterprise Holds Off Top-Ranked Huntsville in AHSAA Class 7A Boys Semifinals

Wildcats Can Win 2nd State Title in Last 3 years

By Josh Bean | For the AHSAA

BIRMINGHAM – Enterprise (26-4) became the first in-state team to beat Huntsville High School this season. The Crimson Panthers’ buzzer-beating 3-pointer bounced off the rim, and the Wildcats earned a 55-52 victory in Thursday’s AHSAA State Basketball Championships Class 7A boys’ basketball state semifinals.

“I keep saying: I don’t think we can lose,” Enterprise coach Rhett Harrelson said. “All night long, we made plays, made plays that mattered.”

Enterprise’s Eric Winters made two free throws with five seconds remaining, and Huntsville’s John David Gossett took the ball out of bounds. His 70-foot pass landed in the leaping hands of 6-foot-10 senior Caleb Harrison, who passed to Simon Walker in the right corner in front of Huntsville’s bench.

Walker’s arching 3-pointer bounced off the rim, sending Enterprise into Saturday’s Class 7A championship game against defending champ Hoover.

“I felt like if we completed the pass, we’d have a shot,” Huntsville coach Christian Schweers said. “It just didn’t go down.”

Added Harrelson, “They did a great job. Got the look they wanted. Fortunately for us, it didn’t go down.”

Huntsville, which ended the season ranked No. 1 in the statewide basketball rankings, defeated Enterprise 59-39 during a holiday tournament in December. The Crimson Panthers (32-3) entered Thursday’s state semifinal game undefeated against in-state teams and riding an eight-game winning streak.

Enterprise, which has a 12-game winning streak after Thursday’s semifinal win, now turns its attention to Saturday’s title game. The Wildcats chase a second state title in the last three seasons. Enterprise won the 7A crown in 2022.

Huntsville’s Brayden Rivers (2) battles for a bucket as Enterprise’s Brady Wadsworth (25) defends.  (AHSAA PHOTO | David Holtsford)

“All we heard all week was, ‘Huntsville, Huntsville,’” Winters said. “Well, we’re here now.”

Harrison led Huntsville with 17 points and six rebounds. Walker added nine points and five assists, and Gossett had nine points, six rebounds and six assists.

Tucker Wadsworth led Enterprise with 18 points, while Andrew Purcell and Winters added 10 points apiece. Winters added seven rebounds and three steals, and Malachi Reed had eight assists and seven rebounds.

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

“It didn’t feel like it was meant to be,” Schweers said. “It just seemed like Enterprise kept making plays. They kept making shots when they needed to. I think they outplayed us.”

Play continues Thursday with  championship games in Class 1A. Spring Garden and Marion County are in the Class 1A girls’ finals. Georgiana and Covenant Christian square off later today in the boys’ championship game.

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.

Cover Photo: Enterprise’s Andrew Purcell leaps high on a lay-up as Huntsville 6’9 forward Caleb Harrison gets set for a block attempt. (AHSAA PHOTO | David Holtsford)

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