Marengo Academy, Pickens Academy in AISA semifinals today

AISA Girls Tournament Semifinals

When: Today

Where: Huntingdon College, Montgomery


Class A:

Marengo Academy vs.

Patrician Academy, 9 a.m.

Class AA:

Pickens Academy vs.

Wilcox Academy, 3 p.m.

Danny Stenz, coach of the Marengo Academy girls basketball team, and Pickens Academy coach Wade Goodman didn’t have to scramble for scouting reports on their next opponents.

Marengo Academy (24-2) faces Patrician Academy for the third time this season in today’s AISA Class A semifinals. The Lady Pirates (20-3) play Wilcox Academy in Class AA. Goodman said his team beat Wilcox Academy in the recent regional tournament.

Patrician Academy advanced with a 49-43 victory over Chambers Academy.

"We’ve got a definite size advantage," Stenz said.

"We’re taller, but they’ve got a real good outside game. We’ll need to stop Gabby George and Haley Doggett. They shoot really well from the outside."

Stenz said George is the daughter of Patrician Academy coach Chris George.

"We’re going to have to really extend our defense out," Stenz said. "It’s going to come down to who wants it the most, who wants to get to that championship game. It’s kind of hard beating a team three times in one year. I’m sure he’s got a different game plan for us. We’ve been working on some different stuff in practice, just in case what we’ve been doing doesn’t work."

Lakeside plays Sparta Academy in the other semifinal. Stenz said Lakeside is probably the favorite, having won the Class AA title last year. The Class A championship game will be at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Marengo Academy defeated Edgewood Academy 46-28 in the quarterfinal round. Chandler Stenz led the Lady Longhorns with 13 points. Brooke Smyly scored nine, and Anna Michael Crocker had eight. Andrea Edmonds had seven points.

"We didn’t come out of the gates like I wanted us to, but we eventually got into a running game," Danny Stenz said. "We like to run the court. We’re tall and lean. We try to get the ball inside.

"Our outside shots weren’t falling. At halftime I told them we’ve either got to get fast-break points or pound it inside. We did a better job of that in the second half. We kind of spread it out. Everybody had a little part in it."

Senior Marion Colvin scored 15 points, and senior Elisabeth Hankins had 14 when Pickens Academy beat Wilcox Academy 60-46. Goodman said his team outscored Wilcox Academy 20-2 in the second quarter, but the Lady Wildcats had the scoring edge in the other three quarters.

"I don’t really like having to beat a team two, three or four times," Goodman said. "I know Restoration had beaten us twice, and we were hoping to get to play them. I know Wilcox Academy will be biting at the bit to play us. They are a wonderful basketball team.

"If you lost in the regular season, I think your sort of have an advantage in the playoffs. You know you’ve got to play a good game, but there’s no need being nervous. You want to try to avenge your loss."

Pickens Academy’s probable starting lineup will consist of Colvin and Hankins at forward, seniors Marianna Pratt and Katie McKinzey at guard and eighth-grader Kacy Noland at guard.

"They are a lot like us," said Goodman, who coached the Lady Pirates to the Class AA title in 2010. "We usually have five girls on the court at all times who can score. They do too. That makes it tough on a defense because you can’t overplay to try to take one person out. That’s unusual for high school basketball. The gimmick defenses and all that don’t work against a team that has five people who can score."

Pickens Academy beat Northside Methodist 47-24 in the quarterfinals. Wilcox Academy beat Coosa Valley Academy 59-39. Autauga Academy plays Lowndes Academy in the other semifinal. The Class AA final is set for 6 p.m. Friday.

"I told them (Tuesday) that this was our last practice unless they earn another one," Goodman said.


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