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Rivals Hillcrest, Northridge to meet in girls area championship

Hillcrest High’s Charity Brown (12) drives the baseline during the first quarter of Thursday’s Class 6A, Area 13 tournament game against Bessemer City. Brown led the Patriots with 18 points in a 48-22 victory.

TUSCALOOSA | Local rivals Northridge and Hillcrest square off Saturday with a basketball championship at stake.

Northridge (18-9) defeated Tuscaloosa County 56-39 Tuesday in the first game of the girls Class 6A, Area 13 tournament. Hillcrest, the host team, reached the final by beating Bessemer City 48-22.

The title game will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Hillcrest.

Hilcrest (20-10) struggled offensively to build a 20-13 halftime lead. In the third quarter, freshman Charity Brown scored 12 of her 18 total points, and the Lady Patriots staged a 19-0 run.

Bessemer City’s Jamila Brooks made a free throw, but Brown answered with seven straight points with a 3-point shot, a steal and a layup and a bank shot from the lane when she made a spin move to fake a pass.

Brown’s steal led to a layup by Ariel Minor, and Brown assisted on a layup by Ambrica Johnson.

"She knows what her capabilities are," Hillcrest coach Jerome Elliott said of Brown. "I want them to play toward those capabilities. If I have a shooter, they shoot it. If I have a passer, their job is to pass, and everybody’s got to play defense. Whatever a young lady can bring to the floor that’s going to be positive for us, I allow them to do it. I don’t put them in handcuffs."

Johnson’s layup gave the Lady Patriots a 39-14 lead. Bessemer City’s Teaira Quicksey made a free throw to end the scoring in the quarter.

"In the first half, we had really good looks, the same looks we had in the second half," Elliott said. "The kids played gallantly in the second half on the defensive end and of course they started getting into a rhythm and we started knocking down shots."

Johnson had 10 points, Vashawn Wiggins nine and Minor eight.

Tamera DeRamus scored eight points to lead Bessemer City (0-28). Brooks had five points, and Taniyia Byrd scored four.


Northridge 56, TCHS 39

Northridge led 24-12 at halftime, but the Lady Wildcats (14-11) cut the deficit to 28-26 on a 3-pointer by guard Kendra Conner. Northridge finished the quarter with a 33-27 lead and started the fourth quarter with a 12-2 run.

Senior guard Kiana Johnson led the Lady Jaguars with 21 points. Coach John Cain said Johnson made her first two free throws to extend her streak to 26 straight before missing. Johnson nailed a couple of 3-point shots and scored 10 points in the first quarter.

"Kiana does a good job of settling things down on the offensive end," Cain said. "She just has a presence about her that lets everything else flow. I was real proud of the other girls in the third quarter just to keep their composure. Like I told them in the locker room, they did a great job of weathering the storm."

D’Aja Patrick had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Jaguars. Shameka Tubbs had seven points. KeKe Williams scored four points and blocked six shots.

Shakirra Thomas scored 15 points to lead TCHS. Conner had nine points, and Katie Krout scored eight.


Reach Andrew Carroll at or at 205-722-0223.