By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
R.A. Hubbard's quest for a second state championship in the past three years got off to a good start on Wednesday, as the No. 2 Chiefs held off No. 9 Falkville 61-51 in the semifinals of the Class 1A Northwest Regionals.
Alexandria Gholston shone for Hubbard with 27 points, five rebounds and three assists.
The Chiefs (20-5) led by as many as 19 points in the second half and survived a furious Blue Devil comeback late to secure their spot in the regional final against Lynn. The game is set for Saturday at 9 a.m.
Ashlen McCoy was the only other double-digit scorer for Hubbard. She had 10 points.
Falkville's Sydney Moore and Autumn Eddy each tallied 13 points. The Blue Devils concluded their season with a 20-5 record.
% Lynn 52, Shoal Christian 26: The Lady Bears (30-1) used a dominant third quarter to stave off the Flames' early upset bid, easing past Shoals Christian on Wednesday night.
Leading by three at halftime, No. 4 Lynn used a 17-3 third quarter to pull away heading into the fourth.
The Bears received big-time contributions from Lindsey Tompkin — 20 points — and Jackee Dodd — 10 points and 10 rebounds — to advance to the 1A Northwest Regional final against R.A. Hubbard.
Lynn's D allowed just 12 points in the second half, while holding the Flame to under 30 percent shooting for the entire contest.
% Marion County 71, Shoals Christian 45: The No. 8 Raiders had no issue with the Flame Wednesday evening, riding a 23-point outburst from senior guard Deshawn Riebesehi to punch their ticket to the Class 1A boys Northwest Regional final.
Right behind Riebesehi were teammates Ready Swanigan and Sean Wallace, both of whom tallied 21 points.
Shoals Christian (10-18) trailed by just three late in the second quarter, but Marion County (25-6) closed the frame on a 16-4 run before outscoring the Flame 29-14 in the third to seal an easy victory.
The Raiders will face off against Parrish Saturday at 10:40 a.m. for a spot in Birmingham's Final Four.
% Parrish 62, R.A. Hubbard 50: The Tornadoes certainly lived up to their No. 3 ranking on Wednesday, dispatching the Chiefs by 12 points to move on to the Class 1A boys Northwest Regional final.
Parrish (30-1) jumped out to a big lead early and never looked back, scoring plenty of baskets to eventually cut down R.A. Hubbard's season at Wallace State.
Barry Hill was a terror inside for the Tornadoes, as the 6'8 center scored 20 points to go along with 19 rebounds and six blocks. The junior thrilled the crowd in the second quarter with a 360 degree layup off an alley-oop pass.
Hill was helped out by teammates Jermichael Harris and Brandon Sims, who scored 18 and 10 points each, respectively in the win.
The Chiefs' season ends with an 18-7 record.
% The Times’ Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.