Eufaula High School edged Wenonah 79-73 Wednesday in the 96th annual AHSAA State Basketball Finals Championships at the BJCC Legacy Center. The Class 5A semifinal victory clinched the Tigers’ first berth in a state championship game since 1999.
     Eufaula (29-9) trailed the Dragons (29-7) by one 73-72 with 1:55 remaining. Coach Michael Smith’s Tigers outscored Wenonah 7-0 the rest of the way – going to the foul line eight times and making seven. Laquaveous Nelson, Tyler Mayo and Jadarious Blackshire each made two each. Eufaula finished the quarter 11-of-14 and was 16-of-25 for the game. Wenonah took the lead in the fourth period with some solid free-throw shooting as well and finished the game 15-of-21.
    Nelson scored 22 points to lead the Tigers. He also had nine rebounds, three steals and sank two 3-pointers. Mayo had 19 points with four treys, Eiszeric Thomas had 12 points and Blackshire finished with 10 points and three assists.
    Wenonah, coached by Audwin Howard, got big efforts from Cameron Tucker and Justin Minter. Tucker totaled 27 points nailing 4-of-7 3-point attempts and sinking 11-of-11 free throws. Minter had 24 points and was 3-for-3 at the foul line.
     Eufaula will play in the championship game Saturday at 10:45 a.m.
    The Class 7A semifinals will tip off Thursday morning. Class 1A girls’ and boys’ finals will be Thursday afternoon. Class 2A, 3A and 4A finals will be Friday and Classes 5A, 6A and 7A will conclude the tourney Saturday.