Sumter County Wins the Class 3A Girls Basketball Final

This information was reported Friday from the AHSAA website:

Class 3A Girls Championship

Sumter County 53, Madison Academy 50

Sumter County clawed back from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter Friday night to beat Madison Academy 53-50 and claim the school's first Class 3A state girls basketball championship since 1978, the first year the AHSAA sponsored a state tournament for girls

Coach Eddie Jackson's Wildcats (26-3) had to turn to some strong defensive pressure and clutch free-throw shooting to stage the comeback.

Madison Academy (35-4) led 43-29 with 7:36 to play and was still up 12 with 4:36 remaining. Tournament MVP KaTia May sparked the rally, sinking 8-of 8 free throws the rest of the way and canning a jumper with 1:32 left to give the Wildcats the lead at 48-47. Her two free throws with 41 seconds left made it 51-48 and the Sumter County defense did the rest.

Madison Academy was just 7-of-23 at the foul line for the game, a low percentage key that opened the door for the Wildcats in the final period.

The 5-foot-2 May finished with 23 points, including 9-of-10 free throw shooting, and five rebounds. Jamesha Watkins chipped in 15 points and Juanice Newton had nine rebounds.

Nyla Johnson had 14 points and 12 boards for Madison Academy. Haley Stewart added 12 points.

The Class 3A All-Tourney Team: KaTia May, Sumter County (MVP); Nyla Johnson, Madison Academy; Doretha Holloway, Sumter County; Lydia McGee, Madison Academy; Jamesha Watkins, Sumter County; Haley Stewart, Madison Academy.