AHSAA - BIRMINGHAM - Defending Class 4A state girls' basketball champion Deshler extended its current winning streak to 33 in a row Tuesday with a 56-41 triumph over UMS-Wright in the semifinal game of the 2016 State Basketball Finals at the BJCC Legacy Arena Tuesday.
Coach Jana Killen's Tigers (35-1), winners of the Class 4A state in 1985, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2015, got solid offensive efforts from sophomores Taylor Aikerson and Annie Sparks. Aikerson had 19 points and Sparks, 15 with nine coming on a 3-for-4 shooting effort behind the 3-point arc. She also had seven steals. Center Karleigh Sledge, another sophomore, cleared 18 rebounds and blocked six shots while scoring six points.
UMS-Wright (27-7), coached by Terry Canova, was led by 6-foot-2 senior center Ashley Scott. She had a game-high 19 rebounds, blocked 11 shots and three assists while scoring seven points. Lauren Lomax also had 14 points for the Bulldogs.
Deshler advances to the Class 4A state finals the BJCC Legacy Arena Friday at 4 p.m.
The 1A girls' and boys' finals will be Thursday at 4 and 5:45 p.m. respectively. Classes 2A, 3A and 4A play girls' and boys' championships Friday while the State Finals conclude Saturday with Classes 5A, 6A and 7A championship games.
All semifinal games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network. All championship games will be televised live by Raycom Media. Details are at www.ahsaa.com.