Decatur Heritage wins in overtime, heads to state finals
Decatur Heritage 60, Georgiana 58
BIRMINGHAM – Junior guard Giancarlo Valdez stole a Georgiana pass with four seconds remaining in overtime and sank a short jumper at the other end just before the final buzzer sounded to lift The Eagles (31-4) to a 60-58 win over Georgiana in the semifinals of the AHSAA 2019 State Class 1A Boys’ Basketball Championships at the BJCC Legacy Arena Monday.
Valdez canned key jumper with 20 seconds left in the extra period to tie the game at 58 all for Coach Jason Marshall’s Eagles. Georgiana (27-6), coached by Kirk Norris, then set up at the other for a shot to win. Valdez’s fourth steal of the game foiled that opportunity.
Georgiana, trailing by 11 at 34-23 with 1:36 left in the third period, staged a dramatic comeback – thanks in part to two 3-pointers by Jaheim Powell, to cut Decatur Heritage’s lead to three heading into the fourth quarter. It set the stage for the incredible finish.
Valdez finished with 13 points and four rebounds and 6-foot-8 senior center Noah Boler had 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocked shots for the Eagles. Derrick Bishop also had 12 points. Kyle Jackson handed out seven assists.
Powell led Georgiana with 17 points. Christian Williams added 14, nine coming on three treys, and Christopher Mixon had 11. Martavius Payton had 13 rebounds and six points, and Lecedric Haynes added 12 boards.
Decatur Heritage moves into to Class 1A boys’ state finals Thursday afternoon at 5:45 p.m. at Legacy Arena.
The AHSAA State Basketball Championships continues Monday with the remaining Class 1A girls’ and boys’ semifinals and the Class 2A semis. Classes 3A and 4A play Tuesday. Classes 5A and 6A play Wednesday and Class 7A semis will be Thursday morning. The remaining schedule will be the state finals.
All semifinal games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based program and broadcast over the AHSAA Radio Network. The finals will also be produced by the NFHS Network and AHSAA Radio Network with the live video also being shown over the Alabama Cable Network.