BIRMINGHAM — Alabama recruit Kira Lewis Jr. was proud of the season he and his team put together even as it came to an end on Wednesday.
Hazel Green fell to Carver-Montgomery 98-68 in the Class 6A semifinals at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena in Birmingham.
“First of all, it was a good season,” Lewis said. “Congrats to Carver as they get to play in the state championship. This year, nobody expected us to be down here, so we just worked hard all season and believed in each other. As we say family got us to this point and we’ll be back next year.”
Lewis, a four-star point guard in the 2019 class, struggled a bit in the first half. He scored 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting. He came back to score 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting in the second half. He finished with a game-high 35 points, scoring over half of his team’s points in 32 minutes of playing time.
Even with his team down 20-plus points much of the game, Lewis was diving on the floor for loose balls and attacking the rim. At one point, he needed to have his knee wrapped, as it bled after he crashed into the scorers table.
“Kira’s just a competitor,” said Hazel Green head coach Danny Anderson. “I knew we had a chance to have a special team this year with the commitment level he’s portrayed this year and just the effort. He just wants to win. Kira Lewis is going to have a chance to go play college basketball where he wants. But he wanted his high school basketball team to be apart of this and that’s been the biggest difference this year. He wants to win and I love you for that man.”
“I love you too, coach,” said Lewis
Lewis, who officially visited Alabama on Jan. 27, was at the center of the gameplan for Carver head coach J.J. Jackson.
“We know that one-on-one, (Lewis) is a tough guy to stop,” Jackson said. “We knew they liked to get that ball out in transition. We worked our butts off working on transition defense and just trying to crowd him a little bit. He’s a tremendous player; we knew that it was going to take a team effort to slow him down.”
The matchup pitted Lewis against fellow 2019 Alabama recruit Jaykwon Walton. Walton scored 26 points in the game. Lewis is the No. 3 player in the state; Walton is ranked fourth.
Near the end of the third quarter, the two had a chance to chat. Lewis and Walton played AAU basketball together and have struck up a friendship.
“Me and Kira actually played together when I first moved down here,” Walton said. “We got real close ever since I came. I was telling him ‘good game’ and that he was playing really good.”