BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AHSAA) – Cordova 6-foot-5 senior Jayce Willingham scored 21 points, had nine rebounds and sank 8-of-9 crucial free throws Tuesday as the Blue Devils (25-9) nipped Andalusia (25-6) in the AHSAA Class 4A Boys' State Basketball Championships semifinals at the BJCC Legacy Arena 46-39. It was his blocked shot inside in the waning seconds, however, that sealed the hard-fought victory and punched Cordova's ticket into the state finals Friday night.
Andalusia, coached by Anthony Clark, had clawed back from a 16-point deficit and trailed 42-39 when Willingham blocked a put-back shot by Bridges Anderson with only 17 seconds remaining.
Willingham got the rebound on the play and was fouled and sank two free throws at the other end to give Coach Heath Burns' Blue Devils an insurmountable five-point lead. Cordova's Dylan Hendrix sank two more free throws with three seconds left to close out the scoring.
Hendrix finished with six points, including 4-for-4 at the foul line, and Cordova 6-6 senior center Isaac Chatman had 12 points and five rebounds before fouling out late.
Bridges finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs. Trey Wilkerson added 10 points and R.J. Drish had six.