CLINTON, Miss. – Alabama All-Star Sarah Ashlee Barker scored 15 points and cleared nine rebounds and Charles Henderson’s Niaira Jones earned 14 points Friday night to spark the visitors to a 70-63 win at Mississippi College’s A.E. Wood Coliseum in the 30th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
Barker had a dominating performance from start to finish in earning MVP honors as Alabama’s squad, coached by Hoover’s Krystle Johnson and Central-Tuscaloosa’s Michael Rivers, improved its edge in the series that began in 1991 to 16-14.
Barker also had four assists, two steals, one blocked shot and sank two 3-pointers. Jones had 14 points, 12 coming on four 3-pointers, and had four rebounds and two steals. Jones’ Charles Henderson teammate Samira Moore finished with five points, five rebounds and one blocked shot.
McAdory’s Jamya Tyus added nine points, Madison Academy’s Destinee McGhee had eight and Farrah Pearson of Hazel Green and Qintasia Leatherwood of Central-Tuscaloosa had five points each.
DaKiayah Sanders of Ramsay had three points and a game-high five steals. Pearson had four steals and Cold Springs’ Elizabeth Hill had three.
Silentianna Collins of Brookhaven was named the Mississippi MVP. She had 14 points but just four in the second half. Melyia Grayson of Hattiesburg and Jacorriah Bracey of Thomas E. Edwards High School each scored 11 points for Mississippi. Grayson also had nine rebounds and three blocked shots.
Alabama’s win was its third in row and the 70 points by the winning team was the lowest since Alabama won 60-54 in 1997 in the game played at the University of North Alabama in Florence.
Alabama boys 118, Mississippi 97: The Alabama squad earned a rare win at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic over the last 29 years.
In seven previous meetings, Mississippi had won six.
But Friday night was Alabama’s night as it set a new team scoring record in the series.
A strong performance from inside and out produced a 118-113 win as the Alabama boys improved to 16-14 in a series first played in 1991 at the University of North Alabama in Florence.
The 118 points was a new scoring record for Alabama, breaking the old mark of 113 in a 118-113 loss in 2007 in game played at Pelham Civic Center.
MVP Antwan Burnett scored 25 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to pace Alabama, coached by Pinson Valley’s Darrell Barber and Wenonah’s Audwin Howard. Burnett was 11-of-19 from the field with two 3-pointers.
Colby Jones of Mountain Brook also had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Zondrick Garrett of Oxford added 17 points, Kam Woods of Pinson Valley chipped in 12 points, six assists and three steals, and East Limestone’s Austin Harrell finished with 12 points. Rongie Gordon of Jeff Davis also had eight rebounds.
The record-setting points came on two free throws by Fairfield center Reginald Perry with just over a minute to play. He finished with seven points, four rebounds and two blocked shots.
Alabama led 54-44 at the half and outscored Mississippi, coached Bruce Robinson of Warren Central and Marcus Flippin of Brookhaven, 64-53 in the second half.
Mississippi MVP was Alijah Martin of North Pike High School. He had 18 points and nine rebounds and also blocked three shots.
Alabama won the rebounding battle 58-46 and forced 19 turnovers while making only 11.