Opelika basketball teams sweep Auburn

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By D. Mark Mitchell

sports columnist

The OHS girls and boys basketball teams both defeated Auburn High School Monday night at the OHS Sports Arena.
GIRLS
The Opelika girls basketball team beat archrival Auburn 49-41 in front of a standing- room-only crowd Monday night at the OHS Sports Arena. Head Coach Devin Booth improved her personal record against Auburn to 16-3.
OHS started quickly as senior Jaylen Snipes hit her first shot, a three-pointer, giving the Lady Dawgs the lead which they never relinquished.
That’s right, OHS never trailed after Snipes’ three-pointer.
Opelika’s largest lead was 14 before winning by eight points.
Alexis Sydnor scored 15 points while teammate Snipes added 12.
Booth and her staff recognized the six seniors, Sydnor, Snipes, Kimari Woods, Amber Mathews, Ty Tianna Lockhart and Tadesja Veasley after the game.
This was the last regular season home game for the girls. The Lady Dawgs are 13-10 overall and 4-0 in the Area.
BOYS
Monday evening, in front of the largest crowd ever inside the OHS Sports Arena, Opelika avenged their earlier loss to Auburn with a 50-46 win over the 18-4 Tigers.
Coach John Wadsworth had circled Monday’s game against AHS after the first game in December when the Tigers defeated the Dawgs by 17 points. The Auburn win was the first time they had ever beaten Wadsworth in Auburn’s gym.
The Dawgs, normally a man-to-man defensive team,  played zone the entire game. The strategy confused the Tigers and worked for the Bulldogs, as   AHS scored a season-low 45 points.
Auburn entered the game with five players, including 6’ 10” four-star standout Garrison Brooks, taller than the tallest Opelika player.
Opelika was led by seniors Kingston Frazier and Charlie Benton. Frazier scored 16 points while Benton grabbed 16 rebounds.
The Opelika boys are 11-8 overall and 2-2 in the area. They have lost seven games by four points or less.
“I am so proud of the kids! They all played hard and together. Total team win,” said a happy Wadsworth on his post-game radio interview.
“The guys laid it on the line and beat a very good Auburn High basketball team in front of their friends and family. What a crowd!” added Wadsworth.
Sweeping the Tigers should give each team a boost down the stretch.
Both played at Benjamin Russell last night in an Area game.The results were not available at press time.
Congratulations to both teams!
WRESTLING
The OHS grapplers defeated Park Crossing 45-18 this week at Opelika.
The following wrestlers won matches: Quintrell Williams, Des Shuman, Angelo Farrow, Timmy Tolbert, Deon Todd, Adam Tickal, Talik Jackson, Ryan Nixon and James Dawson.
The Dawgs improved to 13-8 overall.
AHSAA
RELEASES NEW CLASSIFICATIONS
The AHSAA Central Board of Control released the new classifications for 2016-2018.
Opelika remains in Class 6A but will have new region and area opponents.
The new football region will consist of Opelika, Benjamin Russell, Wetumpka, Helena, Chelsea, Pelham and Chilton County. Three teams moved out of the region: Oxford, Pell City and Valley. The Rams dropped to 5A.
With the new classifications available, schools will now be able to finish their football schedules for 2016-17 seasons. Opelika is set to play Carver, Auburn and Central from outside of the region.
Coach Brian Blackmon would prefer to play Smiths Station. The Panthers are 20 minutes away. They are a local school, and both school’s fans travel to support their teams.
I will publish the 2016 OHS football schedule as soon as it is available.
Basketball, baseball and softball all have three-team areas. Benjamin  Russell and Wetumpka join Opelika in each sport. Soccer’s area schools will be Opelika, Stanhope Elmore and Wetumpka. Track and tennis sectional schools include Opelika, Wetumpka, Dothan, Northview, Park Crossing, Carver and Lanier.
INSIDE THE
NUMBERS
Opelika has 905 students in grades 10-12, 162 students away from 7A. The largest 6A school is Florence with 1066 students; the smallest is Hartselle with 688 students.
Hoover is the  largest school in the AHSAA 7A, with 2,143 students.
Auburn is fourth with 1,753. Smiths Station remains a 7A school with 1,447 students.
Beauregard remains in 5A with 536 students.
Bealuh has 239 students in 3A.
Loachapoka has 103 students in 1A.
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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