Lady Senators advance to Class 7A state championship game against Hoover
By CALEB ODOM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BIRMINGHAM – The Sparkman Lady Senators handled Foley 53-31 in the State Semi-Finals on Thursday, March 2 in Birmingham to advance to the Saturday State Championship game against Hoover.
Sparkman (26-8) was powered by the scorching Kennedy Langham who tallied 25 points in the victory while Laryn Scott finished with a double-double (14 points and 10 rebounds).
Foley (23-6) turned to Jestiny Dixon’s double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds, but the Lady Senators were the more complete team at the point of the season where a school either has what it takes or they are heading home.
Sparkman had three girls with at least nine boards in the game as Scott had 10 while Jaliei O’Neal and Nylaa Fuller ended up with nine rebounds each.
“We have a pretty balanced team,” Lady Senators head coach Jarvis Wilson said.
“Of course with a player the magnitude of a Kennedy Langham it helps to have players that can embrace their role with her on the floor.”
The toughness and grit that Wilson expects from his teams was shining through as Sparkman shook off a cold start in the first quarter.
Foley led the game 13-8 after the first eight minutes of play.
“We started out slow for the second game in a row,” Wilson said.
“I believe it was more so getting our feet up under us. Being able to grab the moment that we were playing in. Once we gathered ourselves and settled down, we were good to go.”
The Lady Senators didn’t crack under the pressure of the moment.
A 17-point second quarter, proved that Sparkman was made of tougher stuff as the lead changed to 25-21 Lady Senators by halftime.
Sparkman stayed the course in the second half by outscoring Foley in the final two quarters.
After three quarters in the books, it was 37-31 Lady Senators.
Langham and her teammates put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter by shutting out Foley and scoring 16 more points.
The other State Semi-Final game was in the morning before Sparkman faced Foley and it was all Hoover in a lopsided defeat of Prattville 87-39.
The Lady Bucs are looking to win their third straight 7A State Championship, but the Lady Senators have something to say about that.
“We without a doubt must match their physicality and be patient on offence. We will have to be sound on defense.” Wilson said.
This might be a new experience for the current Sparkman girls, but what they do have on their side is a coach who has been in these kind of games several times.
Jarvis Wilson has been to the Final Four five times now with appearances as coach of Carver-Birmingham, Blount and Sparkman this year.
Wilson has lost a title game to Hoover in his first year as head coach, but won another in 2021 when Carver took down Mae Jemison.
The State Final game between Hoover and Sparkman is set for 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 4 at Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham.