2016 Class 1A State Champions Photo courtesy of Chris Tierce.
Spring Garden High School beat Linden 64-38 to claim the 2016 Class 1A girls’ state championship at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
Coach Ricky Austin’s Panthers (31-4) dominated from start to finish to claim the school’s fifth girls’ state basketball title overall. It was the fourth in Austin’s tenure.
Class 1A state tournament MVP Tykeah Rogers scored 25 points and cleared 14 rebounds to lead Spring Garden. She also had three blocked shots and two steals. Savannah Dempsey, who also made the all-tourney team, had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Madison Sides, the third member of the all-tourney team from the Panthers, added nine points. Dempsey also had four 3-pointers.
Linden (18-7), coached by Teressa Bolden, were led by all-tourney selection Amber Richardson’s 15 points and nine rebounds. She also had a game-high six steals.
Spring Garden’s other state titles came in 1987, 2004, 2007 and 2008. Austin’s team finished as runner-up last season.
Class 1A State Finals All-Tourney Team: Tykeah Rogers, Spring Garden (MVP); Savannah Dempsey, Spring Garden; Madison Sides, Spring Garden; Amber Richardson, Linden; Harriett Winchester, Keith; Kaitlyn Cheatham, Decatur Heritage.
Spring Garden jumped out to a quick 14-point lead in the first half and eased past defending Class 1A state champion Keith 50-34 in the semifinals of the 94th annual AHSAA State Basketball Tournament at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
Coach Ricky Austin’s Panthers (30-4) used a stingy defense to seal the win. Keith (31-3) shot only 35 percent for the game and had 15 turnovers.
Senior Tykeah Rogers has 23 points and 15 rebounds for Spring Garden. Madison Sides added 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals, and A.J. Broome handed out six assists. Savannah Dempsey added eight points.
Senior guard Harriett Winchester led Coach Cecil Williams’ Bears with 17 points. Shatavia Moore chipped in five points and six rebounds.
Spring Garden advances to face Linden in the Class 1A finals Thursday at 4 p.m.