Boys basketball continues run toward state title

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The Opelika boys basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16 after beating Jeff Davis 57-52 in overtime. OHS trailed most of the game including being down by 12 points in the fourth quarter. Senior center T.J. Pressley led the Dawgs’ comeback, scoring 29 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Pressley hit one free throw with six seconds left in regulation to tie the game. The Vols missed a desperation shot as the horn sounded, sending the game in overtime.

Pressley scored five of the Bulldogs’ 10 points in OT. The team hit six of eight free throws to win the game by five points.

This was the second OHS overtime win in a row, Opelika beat Central in OT to advance to the sub-Regional game against the Vols.

The Bulldogs, under Coach John Wadsworth, are back in the Sweet 16 for the third straight season. He talked about the huge win on his post game radio show with me: “These kids have heart. They have a never-say-die attitude. They are playing hard, they are listening and taking the coaching. I am honored to be able to coach these great young men.”

Opelika, 19-10, has played one of the toughest schedules in the state. OHS played defending 6A champion Carver twice, beating the Wolverines at OHS to stop a 38-game win streak; Jeff Davis with 20 wins; Lanett, who played for 2A state title last year and many other teams who made the state playoffs.

Opelika played Thompson yesterday, the game was not over at press time. If Opelika beats Thompson, we will play today at 10:30 a.m.

You can hear the game on WKKR 97.7 KICKER FM.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

The OHS girls lost a tough game against Jeff Davis. The Lady Bulldogs led by 14 in the fourth quarter but lost due to several questionable foul calls late in the game that allowed the Vols to score 18 of their 22 fourth quarter points from the free throw line. Four OHS players fouled out.

Coach Devin Booth’s team finished their season 22-7 including winning the Area regular season championship and the Area tournament. The girls went 8-0 in Area play.

Congratulations to the Opelika Girls Basketball Team!

BASEBALL

The Opelika High School baseball team opened the 2013 season by splitting a double header in Prattville. The Dawgs won the first game, 13-8, behind five hits from BJ White including two doubles. Sawyer Stephens added four hits, Mathew Christian had three hits, Gage Young had two while Doss Arnold, Garrett Brown, Chase Hegwood and Lawson Butz each added a hit.

Justin Traylor was the starter on the mound; Mathew Christian earned the win in relief.

In game two, the Dawgs lost 5-4 in 8 innings. Mathew Arnold started on the mound. Gage Young led OHS at the plate with three hits, BJ White added two, including a home run, while Garrett Brown and Mathew Christian also had two hits apiece.

Opelika was scheduled to open at home tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 22) against Dadeville and Wetumpka, but these games had to be moved to Dadeville since construction work on Bulldog Park is not quite complete. The home opener is now scheduled for next Thursday, Feb. 28.

SOCCER

The OHS boys soccer team improved to 5-0 with a 3-0 win over Prattville Christian. Austin Black scored twice while Angel Antonio-Vasquez added a goal. The junior varsity team tied Prattville Christian 0-0.

The Opelika Middle School soccer team beat Benjamin Russell Middle School 10-0.

Ben Garner scored five goals to pace OMS.

TENNIS

The Opelika girls and boys tennis teams swept Prattville. The girls won 8-1. Meg Larson, Anna Lazenby, April Wade, Ashley Robertson, Kelcie Carpenter and Sam Herring won single matches. Double winners were Larson/Wade, Lazenby/ Robertson and Carpenter/ Wilkerson.

The boys won 9-0 behind single winners Kevin Lazenby, Duncan Asbury, David Bazilla, Winston Smith T and Michael Bizzilla. Double winners were Lazenby/Asbury, Bazillia/Smith T, and M. Bazillia/ Carpenter.

Both OHS teams are 2-0 at this point.

WRESTLING

The following Opelika wrestlers competed in the AHSAA state wrestling tournament last weekend. Each wrestler’s results are by his name.

113 lbs. Tyler Carter (0-2 at state)

126 lbs. Marquis Banks (3-2 at state/ placed fifth overall)

132 lbs. Lacarris Patrick (3-2 at state/placed fourth overall)

152 lbs. Jamal Vaughns (1-2 at state)

170 lbs. Marquis Preston (0-2 at state)

In the 126 lb. class, OHS senior Marquis Banks defeated Alrefai of Bob Jones in round 1 by a pin. Banks defeated Strong of Vestavia Hills in the quarterfinals by a pin.

He lost to Hunter of Thompson in the semifinals by a pin and to Baker of Prattville in the consolation semis by a score of 4-8. Banks defeated Hall of Hoover in the fifth place match by forfeit, placing fifth in the state.

In the 132 lb. class, Lacarris Patrick, also a senior, defeated Lowery of Pell City by a pin in round 1 and   defeated Holt of Grissom in the quarterfinals by a score of 7-6.

Patrick lost to Haynes of Thompson in the semifinals by a score of 1-5 but defeated Prewitt of Tuscaloosa County in the consolation semifinals by a score of 6-1. Patrick lost to Spurlock of Auburn in the consolation finals by a score of 1-4. Lacarris placed fourth overall at state.

In the 152 lb. weight class, Jamal Vaughns lost to Edwards of Sparkman 3-5 in overtime of round 1 but came back to defeat Sorensen of Gardendale in the first consolation round by a pin. Jamal lost to Denson of Hewitt-Trussville by a score of 6-8 in consolation round 2.

FOOTBALL  RECRUITING

OHS juniors JaKell Mitchell and Stephen Roberts are getting offers to play major college football just about every day.

Both have had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky and many more.

Mitchell and Roberts are enjoying the recruiting process so far. They are also looking forward to the 2013-14 football season.

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