Blue Devils win 4A regional final, advance to Final Four

Published 4:27 pm Thursday, February 24, 2022

MONTGOMERY – Next stop, Birmingham.

Escambia County defeated Williamson 53-44 today in the AHSAA Class 4A southwest regional final at Garrett Coliseum.

Both teams had a slow first half on the offensive end, but the Blue Devils held a 14-9 advantage going into halftime. ECHS took a 20-9 lead early in the third period.

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The Blue Devils then took advantage of their free-throw prowess in the second half to pull away.

With the win, the Blue Devils (26-5) advance to the Final Four next week, where they’ll face Hayleville on Tues., March 1, at 7:30 p.m.

Tournament Most Valuable Player Sheldon Williams hit a layup with 3:27 to go in the third, and his brother, Stephen, added a dunk to make it 28-10.

Williamson’s Justin Brown went on a 6-0 run by himself to cut the lead to 12.

Hakeem Johnson, who with Sheldon, led ECHS with 20 points, went 12-of-12 from the free-throw line in the second half. He finished the game 12-of-13 from the charity stripe.

The Blue Devils held a 34-27 lead going into the fourth period. Sheldon picked up his fourth foul.

No matter as Johnson took over with his free throws, and then a late jumper from Sheldon to seal the game.

Brown led WHS with 19 points. Anthony Johnson added 10 points.

Sheldon added 17 rebounds, and Stephen had nine rebounds.

Sheldon, Stephen, Johnson, Brown and Allister Dixon of Williamson were named to the All-Tournament team.