Briarwood drops tourney opener to Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer
HOMEWOOD — Things didn’t go as hoped for the Briarwood Christian School boys basketball team in the first round of the Homewood High School Metro Tournament, as the Lions fell to Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 75-48 on Jan. 2.
The Patriots opened up with a 11-4 run, but Briarwood crawled back in the game with a 7-3 run. The Patriots were able to put another basket in just before the buzzer, taking a 16-11 lead after one quarter.
Briarwood started the second quarter with a bang, as a quick basket by Sawyer McKenzie coupled with a three by Jacob Laatsch pulled the Lions to within three points at 19-16. Hillcrest then went on a 7-0 run to extend the lead to 26-16. Briarwood closed in again, 28-20, off a pair of free throws by Justin Brown. The Lions got even closer when McKenzie put a basket in to bring the score to 30-24.
Just as it appeared Briarwood would close in to the lead going into the half, the Patriots went on a run of their own, scoring the final seven points of the quarter.
The run gave the Patriots an 11-point lead heading into intermission.
Hillcrest opened the second half with another huge three, extending the Patriots’ lead to 14. The two squads traded buckets back and forth throughout the third period until Briarwood went on a 6-0 run courtesy of Thomas Collier. Hillcrest responded with a 10-run of its own, started by another huge three from the Patriots’ outside shooters. The Patriots headed into the final quarter of play up 60-39.
The Patriots then kicked off the final period with an 8-0 run to extend the lead to 68-39. Despite being down, the Lions came back fighting. A basket by Collierand another 3-pointer by McKenzie helped the Lions out on a 6-0 run. Unfortunately, the scoring spurt was not enough, as the Lions fell, 75-48.
McKenzie finished with 15 points and six rebounds, while Collier had 10 points and five rebounds and Josh Laatsch had seven points and five assists.