Briarwood pulls away from Vincent late

Published 8:46 am Wednesday, December 5, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – Despite Vincent being a 2A school with three players on the bench, they brought a strong effort to the table on the road at Briarwood on Tuesday, Dec. 4, but eventually, the Lions depth and sustained runs became too much down the stretch in a 53-43 victory. 

The opening quarter featured a barrage of 3-pointers from the two teams as they combined for five made shots from beyond the arc, including two from the Yellow jackets and three from the Lions.

Vincent (3-3), however, struck with the first one from the shot of Malik Hamilton who gave the Yellow Jackets the early 3-0 lead, but that was quickly answered with a 3-pointer from Jack Dicen shortly after.

The next basket came off three offensive rebounds by the Yellow Jackets, before Jackson McGinnis laid the ball in to give Vincent a 5-3 edge. But then, Briarwood (4-3) picked back up with the deep ball hitting two more 3-pointers from Alex Key and Hayden Lamey to take a 9-5 advantage.

Vincent was able to respond in a big way to close out the quarter when Hamilton hit his second 3-pointer of the quarter to bring his team within a point heading to the second period.

In the second period, however, Briarwood seemed to turn up its focus on both ends of the floor, which caused problems for the Yellow Jackets.

Early in the quarter they looked fine and actually overtook the lead at 12-9 thanks to layups from McGinnis and Hamilton.

Briarwood then responded with 3-pointer from Zac Nuyt to immediately tie the game which allowed the Lions to set up a press defense at half court.

The traps in the corners started making Vincent have to work harder offensively just to set up its offense, which exhausted a team that has just three bench players, compared to Briarwood who was subbing in and out constantly.

The Lions’ defensive pressure eventually led to a 15-1 run and a 24-13 lead, before McGinnis used a strong move in the post near the end of the half to make it 24-15.

Vincent was able to rebound from the disappointing second quarter with a 10-4 run to start the third period thanks to aggressive play in the post including an and-1 from McGinnis, which cut the Briarwood lead to three points at 28-25.

The Lions then answered back with a quick 7-0 run after two free throws, a 3-pointer from Key and a layup from Lamey to quickly extend their lead back to 10 points.

Vincent answered with one last basket in the final minute to end the run and at least gain some hope heading to the final quarter down 35-27.

That hope gave the Yellow Jackets some confidence to start the fourth period, as they went on a quick 4-0 ru in less than a minute to cut the Lions’ lead to four at 35-31.

Briarwood then went on to answer with a big 7-0 run of its own after two layups followed by another deep ball from Key to put the Lions on top 42-31 with just more than five minutes remaining.

Vincent battled back yet again to get within seven points at 43-36, but every time the Yellow Jackets got close, Briarwood answered with big baskets and did so yet again, by closing the game out with a 10-7 run to pick up the 53-43 win.

Lamey led the way with 21 points for Briarwood, while Dicen posted 10 points in the win. Key added nine points and Sam Russell had eight.

Vincent was led by Chris Hardie in the post with 13 points, 12 of which came in the second half. McGinnis added 12 points while Hamilton added 11 points.