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CCA girls, boys fall at state

By Stephen Dawkins

Chilton Christian Academy’s boys and girls basketball teams suffered heartbreaking defeats in the ACEA state final four tournament over the weekend.
The boys lost 56-53 to Tuscaloosa Christian on Feb. 12.
The Patriots (14-7) trailed by 12 points at halftime but fought back and briefly took the lead in the fourth period before fading in a game played in their opponents’ backyard, Shelton State Community College.
“I’m proud of the guys,” CCA coach Chris Jones said. “Our boys gave a good effort. I hate it for the seniors. We just fell short tonight.”
Tyler Gray led CCA with 22 points and nine rebounds. Matt Klein scored 17 points before fouling out.
Teammates Zach Brown and Austin Shropshire also fouled out as CCA was whistled 29 times compared to Tuscaloosa Christian’s 10 fouls.
The CCA girls were even closer than the boys, falling 26-24 to eventual state champion Victory Christian on Feb. 20 when a last-second shot attempt rimmed out.
Victory’s game-winning shot came with 7 seconds remaining on the clock, though CCA (15-6) held a lead at halftime.
“Our team goal this year was to reach the state tournament, and we did just that,” coach Todd Stephens said. “We had the youngest team there.  We feel that we definitely earned our spot at state and had just as good of a shot as anyone at winning it all.
“We will be back next year, stronger than before and aiming for the state title.”
Freshman guard Jessica Standifer scored a team-high eight points for the Patriots.
Senior guard Summer Hall, with six points and six steals, and freshman forward Destiny Richards, with five points and 15 rebounds, were named to the all-tournament team.
CCA’s cheerleaders also competed in Tuscaloosa. The school took home second-place honors in both the small varsity and junior high divisions.