Submitted by The Alabama High School Athletic Association
BIRMINGHAM – Collinsville High School’s Lady Panthers looked like they had been there before Friday morning as girls played in their first state basketball championship game in school history.
Junior guard Hadley Hamilton made the first two 3-point shots she attempted and the Panthers matched Cold Springs step for step as Collinsville (29-3) beat the defending Class 2A state champions 58-45 to claim the AHSAA Class 2A state title. The Class 2A girls’ finals opened Championship Friday at the 98th AHSAA State Basketball Championships being held at Birmingham’s BJCC Legacy Arena. The championship was Collinsville’s first. Cold Springs (31-5) has won four state crowns including the 2019 title.
Hamilton finished with 16 points, going 4-for-8 from the 3-point arc and making all four free throws she attempted. Senior forward Brittany Rivera had 11 points and 13 rebounds to earn Class 2A state tourney MVP honors. She also had five assists, five steals and one blocked shot. Olivia Akins added 16 points and Tyla Tatum 13. Collinsville was 13-of-14 at the foul line for the game and 5-of-16 on 3-pointers.
Cold Springs’ Lady Eagles, coached by Tammy West, led the nation in 3-point shooting last season and ranked among the nation’s top five this season. In Friday’s finals junior guard Toni West sank 5-of-9 and the team was 8-for-24. The difference came at the foul line, Cold Springs was 7-of-11, and on the boards. Collinsville out-rebounded the Eagles 32-19.
West finished with 17 points and Elizabeth Hill added 13 points for Cold Springs. Elizabeth Neely had eight – six coming on two 3-pointers.