Marion County knocks off Keith in semifinals

Published 10:31 am Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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Keith High School could not overcome an eight-point third quarter in its Class 1A girls semifinal contest against Marion County on Monday morning at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Legacy Arena.

The Lady Red Raiders turned a 24-20 halftime lead, scoring 23 third-quarter points en-route to a 65-37 victory. 

Keith finished the season at 19-10.  Adasia Atkins and Shania Moore each finished with eight points. Central Region MVP Ja’Kayla Moore, who averaged 16 points, a game, was held to seven points.

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“Honestly, we were thankful for the opportunity to be here,” Keith coach Cecil Williams said. “I know you see a lot of tears from our girls right now, but with me it’s more [feelings] of excitement. I’m coaching girls that had never won a playoff game so for them to make it to the state semifinals … I’m so proud.”

Marion County held Keith to 12-of-38 shooting from the field and forced 21 turnovers. The Lady Bears made just 2-of-13 free throws. 

At the press conference, Williams said the Final Four trip was a learning experience for the Lady Bears. They return four starters next year: Ja’Kayla Moore, Janiyah King, Adasia Atkins and Shania Moore .

“The majority of our players are in 9-11 grade,” Williams said. “The foundation is pretty solid. We have a good middle school group coming up and the majority of the teams we played to get here had a lot of seniors, so I have no doubt we’ll be back. The girls are motivated already.”