Opelika boys, girls win area championships

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Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

By D. Mark Mitchell

The Opelika boys and girls basketball teams won the area tournament championship last week at Opelika High School’s Sports Arena.
The 19-9 Lady Bulldogs defeated Benjamin Russell 61-35 in the area tournament finals. Coach Devin Booth’s team continues to play great defense and an up-tempo offense. Anita Payne and Abrea Green scored 10 points each to lead Opelika. Quala Walton added 7 points and 13 rebounds.
Opelika advances to the sub-regional round of the AHSAA’s 6A state basketball playoffs Tuesday night against Pelham. The winner advances to the regionals in Montgomery.
The results of Opelika v. Pelham were not available at press time.
BOYS BASKETBALL
The Opelika boys defeated Benjamin Russell 53-36 in the area tournament last week. Coach John Wadsworth created a difficult schedule for his team to help prepare them for late-season challenges. Jorden Heard led the boys with 13 points, and Trey Boone and Taye Fields added 10 and 9 points, respectively.
The Bulldogs hosted Pelham last night in the OHS Sports Arena, with the winner advancing to regionals in Montgomery Thursday. Results were not available at press time.
WRESTLING
Four Opelika wrestlers advanced to the AHSAA State Meet in Huntsville after qualifying in the sectionals last weekend. Below is a list of the qualifiers:
Heavyweight James Dawson placed fourth in his division. The sophomore will make his second trip to the state championships.
145-lb. Desmond Shuman was sixth in his class, and earned his second trip to the state finals
170-lb. Benjamin Daughtry was 2-0 before a sickness prevented him from finishing. He qualified for state with a sixth-place finish.
195-lb. Cameron Reese finished seventh in sectionals to qualify for state.
The four wrestlers, along with Coach Jim Davis, will travel to Huntsville today for the AHSAA State Championships. Matches will begin at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Von Braun Civic Center.
SPRING SPORTS
Although it’s February, spring sports are beginning. Opelika baseball, softball, tennis, track, golf and soccer teams have been practicing in preparation for the upcoming season.
The Opelika girls and boys soccer teams opened the season this week against Park Crossing, but results were not available at press time. Both teams travel to Montgomery Saturday to participate in the ‘Capitol of Dreams’ tournament at the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex.
The girls and boys tennis teams will travel to Columbus tomorrow to take on Columbus High.
Opelika baseball opens its season Monday in Enterprise. The Bulldogs will play Enterprise in a double-header, with first pitch slated for noon.
ON THE MARK
Fans can keep up with Opelika athletics Monday-Friday by listening to the ‘On the Mark’ radio program on WTLM 1520 AM and on the web at kickerfm.com/sports. Click the On the Mark tab to hear interviews from coaches and others guests pertaining to local sports. You can follow me on Twitter handle, @VOICEOFTHEDAWGS.
D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.

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