BIRMINGHAM — Jaykwon Walton is about to experience something he never has before.
The junior who’s among Alabama’s 2019 targets led Carver-Montgomery to a 98-68 victory over Hazel Green on Wednesday in the Class 6A semifinals at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena in Birmingham.
“This is my first time going (to the championship), so it’s a big accomplishment for me,” Walton said. “I just want to bring my teammates in and hopefully we can win it.”
Walton, a three-star combo guard, led the way for Carver-Montgomery. He scored an efficient 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting. Walton also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists.
He turned the ball over just once, knocked down a 3-pointer and was 5-of-6 from the line.
As a team, Carver amassed 19 assists to just six turnovers.
“I think these guys came out and really showed what brand of basketball we like to play,” said Carver coach J.J. Jackson. “I take my hat off to (Hazel Green) coach (Danny Anderson) and his squad. They do a fine job. It was just one of those days when we were kind of on fire and things were working for us.”
Walton and Jackson credited the road Carver took that aided them in the semifinals matchup.
“We had a national schedule, we went across the United States and played very good teams,” Walton said. “We did that so places like this would come easy. Work hard in practice and it will come easy in the game.”
Carver played in Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, California, Colorado and Florida throughout the season, challenging itself to tougher opponents outside of the state.
The matchup pitted Walton against another 2019 Alabama recruit, in Kira Lewis Jr. Lewis scored 35 points in the loss. Lewis is the third-ranked player in the state and Walton is the fourth-ranked.
Near the end of the third quarter, the two had a chance to chat.
“We were talking about the game and he was talking about how they are going to play and win in the championship,” Lewis said. “Just a good friend. He’s a great player.”
Carver-Montgomery (29-7) will face Paul Bryant (30-4) in the state title game at 2:15 p.m. Saturday. Bryant will be seeking to repeat as 6A championship season. Carver will look for its first championship since 2015 and its fifth overall.