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Central Coosa tops Sacred Heart in 2A State Final


BIRMINGHAM – Quintstavious Brookes’ rebound and put back with three seconds remaining in overtime lifted Central Coosa to a 54-52 win over Sacred Heart Catholic in the Class 2A boys’ state championship game at the BJCC Legacy Arena Friday.

The state title was the fifth in school history for the Central program – and the first since 2004. It was also the first for Coach Jeremy Freeman as the Cougars’ head coach. Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame member Joe Belyeu won the first four before retiring after the 2013-14 season.

The victory by Central Coosa (23-4) also thwarted Sacred Heart Catholic’s bid to become the first boys’ basketball program to win five state championships in a row. Coach Ralpheal Graves’ Cardinals (22-11) won the Class 1A state crown in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 before moving up to 2A this season.

Brookes, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, finished the championship game with six points and nine rebounds.  “I never thought I would be making the shot that wins a state championship,” Brookes told the media gathered for the post-game press conference at the Legacy Arena.

Senior point guard Jo’Von Richardson had 21 points, including and three important free throws with one second left in the first half to cut a nine-point Sacred Heart lead to six at 28-22. It also shifted the momentum to the Cougars. He followed up with several key buckets in  the third quarter to give Central a 42-39 lead heading into the final period.

Richardson, named the Class 2A state tourney MVP, was 7-of-7 at the foul line, had two 3-pointers, three assists and three steals. More importantly, his ball control limited Central’s to just five and his quickness on defense helped force 20 Sacred Heart turnovers.

Omar Gaddis added 12 points, Joshua McGhee had nine points, four rebounds and a game-high five steals for Freeman’s team.

Jayden Stone led Sacred Heart with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Caleb Brown added 12 points and Khalil Watkins finished with nine points and six rebounds. Aaron Moore grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds and scored six points for the Cardinals.

The Class 2A All-Tourney Team included: Jo’Von Richardson, Central Coosa (MVP); Omar Gaddis, Central Coosa; Joshua McGhee, Central Coosa; Jayden Stone, Sacred Heard; Caleb Brown, Sacred Heart; Aaron Moore, Sacred Heart.

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