HHS, LHS-advance to finals, games set for this afternoon

Published 1:18 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2024

By Ella-Kate Tomlin and Haley Mitchell Godwin

Special to The Luverne Journal

On Feb. 15, the Luverne Varsity Girls’ basketball team and the Highland Home Varsity Boys’ team clinched victories in round one of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) South Regional basketball tournament, advancing to the regional finals, also known as the “Elite 8.” 

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The Lady Tigers punched their ticket to the regional finals with a 50-39 win over the Washington County Bulldogs. Kalaiya (Kae Kae) Dixon, a key player for Luverne, credited her team’s success to their hard work and unwavering confidence.

“I feel that we played a great game against Washington County,” Dixon said. “We played a good team, but our mindset is really what brought us to a win. We work hard every day to have the opportunity to play big games like this and to go this far into the playoffs. I have no doubt that my teammates, coaches, and I will continue to go even further.” 

Key contributions to the win over the Bulldogs came from NiKayla Melton with 11 points and 9 rebounds, Zyan Peterson with nine points and 15 rebounds, Sarah Crum with 11 points, and Amiracle Taylor with 10 points. Kalaiya Dixon also had a notable performance, contributing nine points and four assists.

Principal Kilpatrick commended the Lady Tigers for their remarkable progress throughout the season, attributing their success to their work ethic and dedication.

“It has been so great watching the Lady Tigers continue to get better and better each week,” Kilpatrick said. “They are having a great time and giving it their all. Coach Dorsey and his staff continue to motivate and get the best out of each player. The support from the students, staff and community has been incredible and we are so proud of our Lady Tigers and look forward to what they will achieve!”

The girls will face the Cottonwood Bears at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. 

The Highland Home Varsity Boys’ team secured their place in the regional finals by defeating St. Luke’s Episcopal High School 46-36. Head Coach Justin Cope said they are keeping things simple moving into the next round. Cope commended his team’s relentless effort and commitment, emphasizing their eagerness for the championship quest.

“The boys have been working really hard and have been focused on taking it one day at a time,” Cope said. “The team is really enjoying the experience and they are working hard toward a championship.”

Highland Home athletic director Adrian Daniels urged the community to continue rallying behind the Crenshaw County teams, acknowledging the tremendous support received in the previous week.

“Crenshaw County came out and supported big last week,” Daniels said. “Congrats to the Luverne Girls and the Highland Home Boys. Let’s show up again and support these two teams that have worked so hard to make it to the Elite 8.”

The Squadron will hit the hardwood at 5:45 this evening to take on the Clarke County Bulldogs. 

If the teams win, they will play again on Feb. 26.

Admission for the games is $14 and tickets must be purchased on GoFan. Ticket includes parking and facility fees. Only clear bags will be allowed into the coliseum and they must not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.”