BIRMINGHAM, AL (WSFA) - For the first time in 15 years, Central Coosa is the Boys AHSAA Class 2A champion of the hardwood. The Cougars (23-4) defeated the Sacred Heart Catholic Cardinals (22-11) 54-52 Friday to capture the crown.
Not only was this the first championship for Central Coosa since 2004, but it halted Sacred Heart’s run at a fifth state title in a row. The Cardinals had won four straight at the 1A level and a win Friday would’ve etched Sacred Heart Catholic into the AHSAA record books forever.
Quintstavious Brookes was the hero for Central Coosa, rebounding a missed shot and putting it back up with three seconds remaining to lift the Cougars to victory.
Brookes, just a sophomore, finished with nine rebounds and six points. His ninth rebound and his sixth point would seal the deal for something he never thought he’d do.
“I never thought I would be making the shot that wins a state championship,” Brookes said after the game.
But he did, and he will be remembered as the person who lifted Central Coosa to its fifth state championship in school history.
The Cougars had to do some clawing to get back into this one. They trailed 28-22 going into halftime. Three huge free throws from senior point guard Jo’Von Richardson cut the Cardinal lead from nine to six just before the intermission.
In the second half, Central Coosa roared back to take a three-point lead into the game’s final quarter, once again led by Richardson who finished with 21 points.
Richardson was named the Class 2A tournament MVP. Omar Gaddis tallied 12 points and Joshua McGhee filled out the stat sheet with 9 points, 4 rebounds and a game-high 5 steals for the Cougars. These three also made the Class 2A All-Tourney Team for their outstanding play.
Sacred Heart was led by Jayden Brown, who recorded a double-double in the championship game with 18 points and 10 boards.
It’s the first championship for Central Coosa coach Jeremy Freeman.