The championship was the first of 14 to be played in the 94th annual AHSAA State Finals.
Coach Ricky Austin’s Panthers (31-4) dominated from start to finish to claim the school’s fifth girls’ state basketball title overall. It was the fourth in Austin’s tenure.
Class 1A state tournament MVP Tykeah Rogers scored 25 points and cleared 14 rebounds to lead Spring Garden. She also had three blocked shots and two steals.
Savannah Dempsey, who also made the all-tourney team, had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Madison Sides, the third member of the all-tourney team from the Panthers, added nine points. Dempsey also had four 3-pointers.
Linden (18-7), coached by Teressa Bolden, were led by all-tourney selection Amber Richardson’s 15 points and nine rebounds. She also had a game-high six steals.
Spring Garden’s other state titles came in 1987, 2004, 2007 and 2008. Austin’s team finished as runner-up last season.
The Class 2A, 3A and 4A girls’ and boys’ state championship games will be played Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will crown their champions on Saturday.
All championship games are being played at Birmingham’s BJCC Legacy Arena and are being televised live by Raycom Media and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network.. Details are at www.ahsaa.com.
Class 1A State Finals All-Tourney Team| Tykeah Rogers, Spring Garden (MVP); Savannah Dempsey, Spring Garden; Madison Sides, Spring Garden; Amber Richardson, Linden; Harriett Winchester, Keith; Kaitlyn Cheatham, Decatur Heritage.