• 55°

Trojans heading back to state semifinals with win over Carroll

MONTGOMERY, AL – The Lady Trojans of Charles Henderson High earned a berth once again in the AHSAA Class 5A Final Four, with a convincing 46-24 win over Carroll High of Ozark in the Southeast Regional Basketball Finals Monday afternoon in Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum.

Improving to 18-2 on the season and returning to Birmingham for the Final Four as the defending Class 5A state champions, CHHS will play this Saturday, 9 a.m. in Bill Harris Arena of the Birmingham Crossplex. The Lady Trojans will take on an opponent to be determined in an AHSAA playoff game to be played Tuesday.

Trailing early in the contest, CHHS responded to lead only 8-4 at the end of the first quarter and 20-15 at the half before blowing the game open in the second half.

The Lady Trojans, led by a strong 16-point performance of Makayla Hobdy, outscored Carroll High 16-2 in the third period for a 36-17 lead entering the fourth period, and continued the rally en route for the 46-24 final.

Hobdy, a sophomore, finished the game with 16 points, 14 rebounds and four steals.

Kristian Jackson added 15 points, eight rebounds and five steals, while Deanna Gosha scored seven points and had nine rebounds, Raven Williams scored six and Mileah Ward added two points.

Ta’Kayha Condrey of Ozark scored 16 points to lead the Lady Eagles, who finish the season at 15-11.

CHHS Head Coach Dyneshia Jones-Elder was satisfied that her girls are returning to Birmingham, in spite of all of the challenges thrown at them this season.

“This year has been rough because of Covid and everything that is going on with players out, and myself being out for a while, but overall it is a blessing that we are here not but a surprise,” said Coach Jones-Elder.”

The Lady Trojans never really swayed from their original game plan, with the exception of some adjustments in the second half on defense.

“We stayed the same with our strategy, just a little bit of change on defense with rotation, and taking the ball to the hole a little bit more,” said Coach Jones-Elder. “They were leaving the lane wide open, so I guess there was some adjustment with our offense, but not defense. We just spread the offense out and took it to the hole a little bit more.

“I told them it was horrible, (their first-half performance) because when I tend to tell them they do a good job, they do opposite. I fussed at them a little bit, because if I tell them they did a good job, it turns bad.”

Coach Jones-Elder feels good also about her team and the way they are playing as they return yet once again to the Class 5A Final Four in Birmingham. She also does not expect her girls to celebrate too long before focusing on Saturday’s next game.

“I’m thinking about it right now,” said Coach Jones-Elder. “I do not ever sleep, it’s ongoing, the what-if’s. I do not even know who we play, or what time. I hate to look forward right now. I don’t know what time or anything else. Of course I will look in a minute, but it has been no sleep. If we prepare them the correct way, if they make good shots and play great defense, we will keep winning.”

The season was on-again and off-again for the Lady Trojans, with Covid quarantine and games postponed and cancelled and more, but Coach Jones-Elder is pleased with how her girls remained focused through the unusual year.

“I think it says a lot,” said Coach Jones-Elder. “It concerns me every day. I talk to them about keeping their masks on, staying away from everyone. They just need to keep being smart, not going to public places and hanging around big crowds. I get on to them every day about it. I’m going to tell our team in the locker room, great job, let them enjoy today, and be ready to practice tomorrow.”

Wenonah and East Limestone play Monday night, with that winner taking on Jemison Tuesday at 2 p.m.

The winner of that game will face CHHS this Saturday.