Hale County downed Cordova 79-60 in the Class 4A boys’ semifinals Tuesday at the BJCC Legacy Arena and notched a berth in the 2017 AHSAA State Basketball Tournament championship game. The Wildcats (27-4) will play the winner of the Monroe County vs. Madison Academy game in the finals Friday night at 5:45 p.m. Coach Antwan Butler’s team used balanced scoring to take a 58-41 lead into the fourth quarter. Excellent free-throw shooting in the final period helped fend off the Blue Devils’ comeback effort. Cordova (23-9), coached by Heath Burns, turned up the defensive pressure in the final quarter and cut the Wildcats’ lead to seven with a quick 9-2 run in the first two minutes. Senior Herb Jones sank six straight free throws in the final 1:48 to seal the win. Jones was 8-of-9 from the foul line for the game and finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds, four blocked shots, three steals and two assists. Teammates Kaddell Perry and Jakorrian Edwards also scored 19 points each for Hale County, and Chris Rollins had 12. Perry was 3-of-4 from the 3-point line. Kolbi Fuqua had a game-high 20 points for the Blue Devils. Isaac Chatman added 17 and Jayce Willingham had 11. Demetrius Kirk also had four points and six assists. Play continues Wednesday with Classes 6A and 5A playing girls’ and boys’ semifinal games beginning at 9 a.m. Class 7A will play Thursday’s morning session with the Class 1A girls’ and boys’ championship games following at 4 and 5:45 p.m., respectively. Friday’s finals will include Class 2A, 3A and 4A boys and girls. The 2017 state tourney will conclude Saturday with Class 5A, 6A and 7A girls’ and boys’ championship games. All semifinals are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network, and the finals will be televised live and live-streamed by Raycom Sports. The AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting all games over its statewide radio network and internet link.