The Ider Lady Hornets Capture Their First State Title Since 1985 Over Defending 2A State Champion Mars Hill Bible

Birmingham, AL – In a thrilling conclusion to the AHSAA Class 2A girls’ state basketball championship, the Ider Hornets emerged victorious against defending champion Mars Hill Bible. The Hornets’ strategic gameplay paid off, holding a lead that culminated in a 64-58 triumph at Birmingham’s BJCC Legacy Arena.

Makinley Traylor, Ider’s point guard, showcased her poise under pressure, particularly during the pivotal final minutes where her performance at the free-throw line proved crucial. Sinking 6-of-8 attempts in the last 1:46 and totaling an impressive 14-of-19 for the game, Traylor’s 22-point finish, complemented by five assists, rightfully earned her the title of Most Valuable Player.

“Free throws win games,” Traylor asserted post-game, emphasizing the critical role of coming through at the charity stripe. 

For Jamie Pruett, Ider’s seasoned coach, this victory represents a long-awaited dream coming to fruition. Having previously guided Ider to a second-place finish in 2009, Pruett described the experience as “a dream come true” and marked it as a significant landmark in his coaching career.

Despite Mars Hill’s commendable defense of their title under Coach Flori Sweat and the resilient efforts of senior Madie Sain, who expressed pride and lasting camaraderie voiced by her statement, “we’ll always be champions,” they could not secure the win.

David Holtsford | AHSAA

Contributing to the Hornets’ win were teammates Kennize Smith with 14 points and Cambree Chapman’s 11, ensuring that all of Ider’s starting five scored upwards of seven points and logged considerable playing time. Ider excelled at the free-throw line, attempting 35 and successfully sinking 27. Conversely, Mars Hill connected on 16-of-20 at the charity stripe.

Kadence Rolston was a standout for Mars Hill with an exemplary 24 points and 12 rebounds. Belle Hill followed suit with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Sain offered eight points and four assists.

The game took a turn when Rolston, with a notable 17-point contribution in the first half, incurred her fourth foul late in the third quarter, necessitating her to take a seat until late in the contest. The hiatus provided Ider the opportunity to reclaim the lead and establish a four-point margin upon Rolston’s return.

Coach Sweat acknowledged the tactical measures by Ider stating, “They did a great job of packing the paint.”

The State Finals march onward with upcoming championship games in Classes 3A and 4A, culminating in the concluding classes through Saturday. These events are all accessible via live streaming on the NFHS Network and televised live across the AHSAA TV Network, in addition to Alabama Public Television’s live coverage.

David Holtsford | AHSAA

Class 2A Girls’ All-Tournament Team:

Makinley Traylor of Ider, along with fellow teammates Addison Heard and Kenzie Smith, were joined by Mars Hill Bible’s Belle Hill, Madie Sain, and Kadence Rolston to form an exemplary representation of skill and sportsmanship in the tournament.

Leave a Reply