The Opelika girls basketball team (24-8) lost 59-39, to Hillcrest of Tuscaloosa (30-2) in the second round of the AHSAA 6A state playoffs. OHS played last Friday in the Acadome on the Alabama State University campus.
The Lady Bulldogs scored a season-low 39 points one game after scoring 83 points in the first-round win over Stanhope Elmore.
The Patriots’ inside game was too much for Opelika. Hillcrest made 14-of-25 shots in the first half with most of the baskets being made in the lane, within four feet of the goal.
On the other hand, OHS made 5-of-29 shots in the first half and trailed 36-12 at halftime. Opelika won the second half 27-23, but could not overcome the huge halftime deficit.
Anita Payne led Bulldogs with 13 points. Diamond Buchannon and Sierra McCollough added six points apiece.
Coach Devin Booth was disappointed with the loss, but realizes only one of her 12 players graduate. The experience of playing in Montgomery will help Opelika next season.
The future continues to be bright for OHS girls basketball.
Opelika’s boys soccer team (2-3) lost three straight matches last week in the Lakeshore Shootout in Birmingham. OHS lost to Pelham 1-3, Helena 1-2 and 0-3 to Homewood.
The Dawgs hosted Alabama Christian Academy Tuesday at the W. James Samford Soccer Complex.
Results were not available at press time.
Coach Adam Massey watched his girls and boys tennis teams sweep Smiths Station and split with Pelham last week.
The OHS Lady Netters beat SSHS 7-2. No. 1 one Sam Herring won 8-1, No. 2 Sara Hollis Smith T and No. 3 Mary Bentley Barfield both won 8-3, No. 4 Marilyn Grouby and No. 6 Lane McTier both won 8-5.
Doubles winners were Herring / Smith T , 8-2 and Barfield / Grouby, 8-5.
The Lady Bulldogs lost 3-6 to Pelham in Birmingham. Sam Herring and Sara Hollis Smith T won singles and doubles matches.
The Opelika boys swept the Panthers 9-0. In order of rank, Andrew Bizilia won 8-3, Connor Pruitt won 8-0, Andy Huling won 8-2 and Henry Smith T, Wilson Hudson and Grayson Crowley each won 8-0. Doubles winners were Bizilia/Pruitt, Huling/ Smith T and Hudson / Crowley, all winning 8-0.
The boys team then beat Pelham 8-1 in Birmingham. Andrew Bizilia, Conner Pruitt, Andy Huling , Henry Smith T, Wilson Hudson and Grayson Crowley won their singles matches. Doubles winners were Bizilia/ Pruitt, Huling /Smith T and Hudson/ Crowley.
The Opelika High softball team opened the 2017 season with a pair of heartbreaking losses in Smiths Station. The Lady Bulldogs lost the first game 10-3 to Dothan, after leading 3-2 in the sixth inning. The Tigers exploded for eight runs in the sixth and retired three OHS batters in the seventh.
The girls played Smiths Station in the second game and led 6-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. The Panthers scored five runs to take a 8-6 lead. Opelika could not get a runner on base in the top of the seventh.
Coach Tina Deese has a young team after losing eight seniors. This team will continue to improve as the season progresses.
Coach Nick Richardson’s tenure as the head OHS baseball coach started Monday in Phenix City. The Dawgs played 7A Thompson and 7A rival Central.
In the opener, OHS led 2-1 heading into the sixth behind the pitching of Mitch Myers. The Alabama signee pitched four innings, striking out 10 batters and allowed no earned runs. Thompson rallied to score three runs in the sixth inning off reliever Micah Christian to win 5-2. JD Worth, Mitch Myers, Taylor Jones and Tekeal Demunn recorded hits.
Central beat Opelika 11-1 in five innings. The Red Devils scored 11 runs off 12 hits. Luke Davis, Carter Milner and JD Worth each collected hits for the Bulldogs.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.