Montgomery area 2021 high school basketball rewind: Top games and best moments
With four teams reaching the final four, two state champions and multiple All-State first-teamers, the River Region 2020-21 high school basketball season was one to remember.
Best regular-season games
GIRLS: G.W. Carver 62, Robert E. Lee 59 on Jan. 5
Pregame in Carver's gym, both teams honored the late Rodney Scott, Lee's head coach who died this past season, with a moment of silence. Lee draped one of Scott's shirts over a chair on the bench with flowers and a photo.
The game itself was a back-and-forth contest between area foes that featured the Generals making a late comeback in the final minutes. The size of Carver's Bre'Anna Rhodes and Mya Barnes — both 6-foot-1 — was the difference during an emotional night.
BOYS: Robert E. Lee 68, G.W. Carver 66 (OT) on Feb. 2
Montgomery's biggest city rivalry featured another memorable contest, this time on the Generals' home court. Tied in the final seconds of overtime, Lee junior Christopher Dillihay darted coast-to-coast to bank in the winner. The Generals' bench spilled onto the floor with head coach Bryant Johnson celebrating in a powder-blue suit among the sea of red.
For Johnson, the matchup was a part of his return after he stepped away from the team due to personal reasons earlier in the season.
Best postseason game
For the first time in six tries, the PCA Lady Panthers overcame the MA Eagles, and in the process advanced to the final four.
MA had lost just twice prior to the meeting in Garrett Coliseum. A veteran-heavy lineup featuring Leighton Robertson, Madi Caddell and Chloe Johnson established a fourth-quarter lead. But PCA's Ella Jane Connell (23 points) and the pair of CoCo Thomas and Hannah Jones (20 points) led the comeback.
Eight years had passed since an undefeated AHSAA boys state champion reigned (Barbour County). The Autaugaville Eagles changed that in Class 1A by going 31-0. Led by All-State first-teamer DeWaun Stubbs (21 points per game), Autaugaville capped its run with a 38-34 victory over Belgreen.
Trinity's Emma Kate Smith notched 14 3-pointers against BTW-Magnet on Jan. 2, setting an AHSAA single-game record. She made her final shot with a step-back — the same way she scored her 1,000th point earlier in the campaign.
The top recruit in the state had high expectations for his final high school season. But Calhoun's Davison didn't disappoint, totaling 102 points in the Tigers' first two games. Davison dropped 57 against Wilcox Central, then scored 45 at Jefferson Davis.