Pisgah Lady Eagles Will Return to State Championship

Pisgah Lady Eagles Will Return to State Championship

By Josh Bean | For the AHSAA (Photo by Mark Almond | preps@al.com)

BIRMINGHAM – Pisgah High School’s Lady Eagles like playing basketball in Birmingham.

The Eagles stayed on course for a fourth straight state championship by beating St. Luke’s Episcopal 72-63 in Wednesday’s AHSAA Class 2A Girls’ state semifinals at Bill Harris Arena at the Birmingham CrossPlex. Pisgah has won seven straight state tourney games, all played in Birmingham.

It’s Pisgah’s fifth straight trip to the championship round, but first in 2A, after winning 3A state titles in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and finishing as 3A runner-up in 2017. The Eagles also finished 3A runner-up in 2015, and advanced Wednesday to the championship game for the sixth time in the last seven seasons.

Pisgah (27-6), coached by Carey Ellison, advances to play Hatton, which defeated Lanett in Wednesday’s other semifinal, in Saturday’s 2A championship game at 9 a.m., at Bill Harris Arena.

Molly Heard led the Lady Eagles with 26 points, nine rebounds and seven steals. Kallie Tinker made four 3-pointers and finished with 21 points and three steals, and Kennedy Barron had six points and 12 rebounds. St. Luke’s (23-5), coached by Garreth Trawick, lost in the 1A title game last season.

Iamunique Bowie led the Wildcats with 22 points, eight rebounds and six steals, and Whitney Novak added 14 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Arbany Holder had 10 points.

Pisgah built a double-digit lead early in the second quarter and led by 20 midway through the fourth quarter, but St. Luke’s rallied and cut the deficit to single digits with about 1:30 to go.

Play continues in the 2021 State Tourney with Class 4A and Class 5A championship games Thursday. Rogers (27-8) faces Anniston (25-3) in the 4A girls’ finals at 9 a.m.; B.T. Washington (19-4) of Tuskegee meets Anniston (26-6) in the 4A boys’ finals at 11:30 a.m. Mae Jemison (22-8) and Carver-Birmingham (24-4) meet in the 5A girls’ finals at 2 p.m., in the 5A girls’ finals; and Lee-Huntsville (12-1) meets Ramsay (27-7) in the 5A boys finals at 4:30 p.m.