By Rubin E. Grant
The Mountain Brook boys, Oak Mountain boys and Hoover girls basketball teams took to the court early this week in regional finals with hopes of returning to the state tournament next week at Birmingham’s Legacy Arena to defend their 2021 state championships.
The Spartans’ boys (29-4) played the Huffman Vikings (27-5) Monday afternoon in the Class 6A Northeast Regional final at Jacksonville State University’s Pete Mathew Coliseum.
The Eagles boys and Lady Bucs were both in action Tuesday in the Northwest Regional at Wallace State-Hanceville’s Tom Drake Coliseum. Oak Mountain (25-5) took on James Clemens (20-9) in the boys Class 7A final and Hoover (30-3) met Bob Jones (27-3) in the girls Class 7A final.
The Spain Park boys and Vestavia Hills girls also played in the Class 7A Northeast Regional finals on Monday. Spain Park (25-7) played Huntsville (23-10) and Vestavia Hills (31-2) battled Hewitt-Trussville (25-6).
The Mountain Brook boys reached the regional final with a dominating 52-25 victory over Oxford in the Northeast semifinals last Thursday. The Spartans held the Yellow Jackets scoreless in the final quarter, outscoring them 17-0.
Ty Davis led the Spartans with 16 points. Julius Clark added 15 points and five rebounds and Kyle Layton had 11 points.
“It would be extremely gratifying and great for our program to get back to the Final Four,” Mountain Brook coach Tyler Davis said, “This team hadn’t done anything like that. It’s like John Wooden’s UCLA basketball teams and Alabama’s football program where people just expect you to play for championships, but it’s not fair to the players on this team to just expect it to happen. They have worked extremely hard to get back to this point, so it would be extremely exciting for them.”
Huffman eliminated Homewood 40-38 in overtime in the other Class 6A boys Northeast semifinal, despite Patriots forward Donte Bacchus’s game-high 21 points and nine rebounds. Homewood finished its season with a 19-13 record.
The Oak Mountain boys routed Austin 56-37 in the Class 7A Northwest semifinals behind 18 points from Brady Dunn and 13 from Wilder Evers.
“I am really pleased with how we played,” Oak Mountain coach Chris Love said. “Wilder and Brady both have been with us for four years and we’re not through. They may be tired of me, but I’m not tired of them yet.”
The Lady Bucs cruised to a 71-29 victory over Florence in their regional semifinal. Aniya Hubbard led Hoover with 14 points and nine rebounds. Reniya Kelly contributed 13 points and six assists. Devon Davidson added 12 points and Kamryn Lee chipped in 10 points.
“Obviously, we knew we had the ability to have that kind of dominant performance, ” Hoover coach Krystle Johnson said.
Meanwhile, the Mountain Brook girls and Oak Mountain girls were eliminated in the regional semifinals.
Mountain Brook (25-8) lost to Oxford 60-47, despite Francie Morris’ 16 points in the Class 6A Northeast Regional. It was the Lady Spartans’ first trip to the regional tournament since 2016.
Oak Mountain fell to Bob Jones 46-25 after being tied 18-18 at halftime in the Class 7A Northwest Regional. Raegan Whitaker led Oak Mountain (9-22) with 11 points and six rebounds.