Hazel Green 55, Opelika 31
BIRMINGHAM – Hazel Green High School’s girls’ basketball program was expected to be in a rebuilding mode after winning the AHSAA Class 6A state championship in 2018. Instead of rebuilding, Coach Tim Miller’s Lady Trojans just reloaded and set their sights on a repeat. That completed that goalSaturday afternoonwith a 55-31 win over Opelika in the finals at the 97thAHSAA State Basketball Championships being held at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
The Trojans (34-3) jumped on the Bulldogs quickly with senior guard Marisa Snodgrass sinking three 3-pointers in the first period to take a 14-2 lead. Hazel Green had another fast start in the third quarter as the defense-minded Trojans held Coach Devin Booth’s team to just four points.
Snodgrass finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two assists to earn Class 6A state tournament MVP. She also sank 5-of-7 free throws. Jaelyn Johnson added 13 points, canning both 3-point attempts she tried. Farrah Pearson and McKenzie Hill each had nine points.
Opelika (26-7) was led in the scoring column by Shaquala Walton and Ananda Huguley, with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Walton also had six rebounds and four steals.
The state championship was the third overall for Hazel Green (1995, 2018), 2019). It was the sixth coached by Miller, who has a 583-95 overall record in 19 seasons as a high school head coach. He won a state title at Jeff Davis (2006), three at Bob Jones (2008, 2009, 2011) and now has two at Hazel Green. His winning percentage (86%) is among the tops in the nation for high school girls‘ basketball.