Buzzer beater lifts Panthers over Lions

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Senior Qadash Williams hit a 14-foot jumper as time expired to lift the Pelham High School boys’ basketball team to a 44-42 victory over visiting Briarwood in high school basketball action Jan. 31.

The Panthers (14-10), who never trailed after the 5-minute mark of the second quarter, called a timeout with 7.9 seconds remaining to set up a final play.  Point guard Justin Brooks penetrated the lane and found Williams open on the left baseline for the game-winning shot.

For Williams, it was his third game-winner at the buzzer this season as he also hit game-winners against Oak Mountain and B.B. Comer.  In the Panthers’ 42-39 over Briarwood in overtime back on Nov. 29, it was Trey Hurst who hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Pelham the win.

“We called a timeout and set up a play, but they (Briarwood) disrupted it,” said Pelham head coach Joel Floyd.  “I decided to let it go and see if we could make a play.  Fortunately, Justin saw Q open for a shot.

“It’s good to get a win to start a three-game stretch before the playoffs,” Floyd said.  Pelham will play host to Bibb County on Friday as the Panthers recognize their senior class on Senior Night.  The final home game will be next Tuesday against Calera.

The Panthers led by as many as eight points (30-22) in the third quarter after leading 20-16 at halftime.  Pelham led by a 30-24 score entering the final period, but the Lions kept coming back.

Devin Bowman’s basket on a drive in the lane with :51 remaining tied the game at 42-42 before Williams’ game-winner in the final second.

Pelham connected on 53 percent (9-of-17) of its field goals in the second half after hitting only 39 percent (7-of-18) in the first 16 minutes.

Xavier Lacey led Pelham with 16 points as he hit 6-of-10 field goals and 4-of-5 from the line.  Brooks added 11 for the Panthers.  Jason Laatsch paced Briarwood (13-14) with 19 points, but the Panthers held the Lions’ senior to just 6-of-17 shooting.  Barnes Bankston contributed 12 points and a game-high seven rebounds for the Lions.

Pelham edged the Lions on the boards, 22-21.  The Panthers had 16 turnovers to Briarwood’s 11. 

GIRLS

The Briarwood Christian School girls’ basketball team defeated Pelham 53-41 in high school basketball action Jan. 31.

Abbie Cutcliffe led the Lions (19-5) with 17 points in the victory.

Hannah Wainwright added 16 points. Cara Medders chipped in 12 points in the win.

Sydney Days led Pelham (14-9) with 13 points.

Erin Whitman added 10 points.