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Lady Tigers claim 4A State Championship

Deshler defeats St. James 74-42
Deshler’s Chloe Siegel takes aim from the 3-point arc with Saint James’ Katie Brightwell...
Deshler’s Chloe Siegel takes aim from the 3-point arc with Saint James’ Katie Brightwell defending(AHSAA Photos / MARVIN GENTRY)
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 10:47 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Deshler High School girls’ basketball coach Jane Killen finally climbed the stairway to seven. The Tigers (34-1) won the seventh state championship with Killen as head coach – all since 2003 – with Friday’s 74-42 victory over St. James in the AHSAA 100th State Basketball Championships Class 4A girls’ title game at the BJCC Legacy Arena Friday night.  

“She deserves it,” Deshler junior Chloe Siegel said. “She’s the GOAT. ”Killen and Deshler won its most recent title in 2016, followed by title-game losses in 2017, 2018 and 2020. The program has won eight state titles, starting in 1985 long before Killen took over. The legendary coach will be inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021 later this month in a ceremony at Montgomery.     Her team was primed from the start Friday night.

Deshler jumped out to an early 14-4 lead and methodically pulled away, thanks to 14-of-29 shooting from 3-point range while shooting 56 percent from the field.  Amid the championship euphoria, Killen deflected praise and instead lauded her team’s “hunger and drive.”    “I’m so honored to coach these kids,” she said. “They’ve been a joy all year. I’m so happy for these girls. I wanted it for them and they wanted it for me. That’s love.” Tournament MVP Emma Kate Tittle led Deshler with 30 points, and Siegel added 20. Both players made six 3-pointers apiece. Katie Brooke Clemmons contributed 13 points and eight rebounds, and point guard Raegan Rickard had five assists and three steals.  For Saint James (25-7), coached by Katie Barton, junior guard KK Hall scored 13 points, and Ava Card added 12.  

Siegel said she has dreamed of winning a state championship for Deshler “since I was in the fourth grade and they won back-to-back” in 2015 and 2016. I can honestly say the job is done.”

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