MONTGOMERY – Chambers Academy’s bid for back-to-back state basketball titles came up short today as the Rebels fell in the AISA Class 1A state championship game to Crenshaw 43-33.
A poor shooting performance proved to be the downfall for the Rebels. The second and third quarters were particularly troublesome for Chambers and it allowed Crenshaw to drain the clock in the fourth with the lead they had built.
The game started out fairly even, with Chambers falling behind by two after the first quarter. Crenshaw benefited from a 10-1 run early in the second but Chambers, behind the play of Tae Henry, cut the Cougars’ lead to five at halftime.
The Rebels scored just 15 points in the first half, and Henry had 14 of those; it was a trend that continued throughout the game.
Crenshaw opened the second half on another 10-1 run and with two minutes left in the third quarter, the Cougars had built a 14-point lead, their largest of the night.
Chambers trailed by 12 heading to the fourth and the Cougars slowed the game down to prevent the Rebels from making a comeback. Just two days prior, Chambers had come from 18 down, but the title game was different.
With three minutes to play, the Rebels started fouling. CA got to within six points with less than a minute to play, but the Cougars hit their free throw in crunch time to secure the state championship.
For the game the Rebels shot just 17 percent from the floor.
Henry provided the bulk of the CA offense. He finished with 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds. He would be named to the Final Four all-tournament team.
Jay Tinsley was also named to the all-tournament team and he finished with six points and nine rebounds. Trent Dodgen, Malik Lyons and Jamie Brown each scored for CA as well.
The loss ended an impressive two year run for the Rebels. Over the past two seasons the Rebels have a record of 46-10.
“We’ve definitely built up our program,” coach Jason Allen said after the game. “We’ve got a lot of guys that have laid their guts on the line and it’s a tremendous thing for our program and I’m very proud of them.”
*For full story see next week’s print edition of The Sun.