Road to a state title: Charles Henderson punches a 5A title ticket

The Trojans held off a rowdy Ramsay Rams squad for a tough 1-point, 61-60 victory, and will get their shot to bring home the school's first boys state title.
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 10:36 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WTVY) - Charles Henderson’s girls and boys entered the spotlight on Wednesday in Birmingham, as both pushed for their opportunities at getting to play for state crowns in Class 5A.

Charles Henderson 38 - Pleasant Grove 68

While Pleasant Grove’s (18-10) path to earning a 5A Girls Championship game appearance could be described by some as “erratic,” there was little erratic for the Lady Spartans as they cruised past Charles Henderson (27-6) en route to their first championship appearance in school history.

The first half was close before a 15-2 late pushed Pleasant Grove to a 14-point lead at the break. Once they were back on the court, the Lady Spartans expanded on that lead with a 10-2 run and didn’t look back.

The Lady Trojans were able to force 15 turnovers, but ended up committing 24 of their own thanks to a tough full-court pressure defense from Pleasant Grove.

Charles Henderson’s KK Hobdy led the way with a double-double performance of 15 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Harmony Hubbard also helped out the Lady Trojans with 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal.

For the Lady Spartans, the trio of Skylar Lassiter (17 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals), Ashauntae Monday (14 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals), and Tanya Smith (11 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks) paved the way to a victory.

Pleasant Grove will get a tough matchup on Saturday at 9 a.m. against the Arab Lady Knights (21-12) in the 5A title game.

Turnovers played the major factor as the Lady Trojans fell to the Pleasant Grove Lady Spartans, 68-38.

Charles Henderson 61 - Pleasant Grove 60

Down-to-the-wire finishes can define historic runs for many teams, and Charles Henderson (25-5) dealt with their own as they held off last season’s 5A runners-up Ramsay (26-7), the same school that knocked them off in the 5A football championship game just months prior, to get to a destination the Trojans basketball boys haven’t seen since the late ‘80s.

The Trojans were up by double digits in the third quarter, but saw that lead dwindle as the clock ticked away to under 2 minutes to go in the fourth period.

Erratic free-throw shooting from Charles Henderson, along with clutch points from the Rams offense down the stretch got it down to a 61-59 game with under 20 seconds left. A tough rush at the rim from Kerrington Kiel for Ramsay sent the senior to the free throw line, but he missed the front end of his two tries at the line. That allowed the Trojans then to inbound the ball and run out the remaining 6 seconds to secure their first title game ticket since 1987.

4 players hit double-digits on the score sheet for Charles Henderson, with Austin Cross leading the way in points with 13 alongside 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals. Two players got the double-double territory for the Trojans as well, that being Tyler Carlton (11 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block) and Jywon Boyd (10 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals), and Mario Davenport also added 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals with his efforts.

Jalen Jones was top scorer in the game and from the Rams, finishing with 18 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 4 steals. Kerrington Kiel had 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal; QB Reese had 11 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist; and Zedrick Powell had 11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal.

The Trojans become the only Wiregrass team at the moment that will be playing for a blue map, one that could be the first boys crown in school history for Charles Henderson. To get it done, they’ll have to get past another tough Rams team, undefeated Valley (32-0), at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday.

News4′s Briana Jones will be live from Birmingham throughout the week with highlights and coverage of our local teams. You can find the full Wiregrass team schedule for Birmingham by clicking here.

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