BIRMINGHAM — Sydney Steward scored 17 points and No. 1-ranked Hazel Green’s defense throttled the No. 4 McGill-Toolen girls in a 49-22 victory in the Class 6A state semifinals Wednesday at Legacy Arena.
The Trojans (35-1), who had their state-record 87-game winning streak end late in the regular season, will go for an unprecedented sixth straight state title — a feat never achieved by an AHSAA boys or girls team — on Saturday.
Hazel Green never trailed on the way to its 11th straight win in the state final four and the 22 points the Yellow Jackets scratched out were the fewest allowed by the Trojans in the state tournament since 2015.
It was another disappointing final four for McGill-Toolen (29-6), which has made it in eight of the last nine seasons without winning a Blue Map.
“They wouldn’t let us get into our offense,” Jackets coach Carla Berry said. “We didn’t play well today and Hazel Green had a lot to do with that.”
The Trojans’ stifling defense held McGill-Toolen to 24% shooting, including just 2 of 10 three-pointers. The Jackets never led and trailed 18-6 at halftime before Hazel Green ran away with the game with a 20-5 run in the third period.
“We had a good season but just came up short,” said McGill-Toolen’s Lindsey Cox, who scored 11 points but was 4 of 14 from the floor.
Meanwhile, Steward made four 3-pointers and the Trojans shot 43%, including 9 of 22 three-pointers, and outscored the Jackets 20-6 on points off turnovers and 14-2 off the bench.