Spain Park drains buzzer-beater to down Hewitt-Trussville

Published 12:32 am Saturday, January 12, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

HOOVER – With 6.5 seconds remaining, Hewitt-Trussville went to the free throw line leading 60-59 in an area matchup at Spain Park on Friday, Jan. 11.

After making the first, that lead was extended to two points, but the second clanked off the left side of the rim and into the hands of Austin Laatsch off the rebound.

Laatsch pushed the ball up the floor quickly and once he reached half-court, his eyes were still spanning the floor before locking onto Chris Workman in the far left corner in front of the Jaguars’ bench.

Laatsch leaped in the air, and from half court threw a two-handed overhead pass all the way to the hands of Workman, who calmly released the ball. With the final two seconds ticking off, the ball rotated toward the basket before brushing through the net as the buzzer sounded sending the Spain Park players and fans into a frenzy.

It had been a season of heartbreak for the Jags up to that point, who had lost several tightly-contested games on their way to a 4-17 overall record.

But their hard work and effort had been there, and they were just waiting to see it pay off. It showed after the exciting win as the players piled on top of Workman in the corner of the gym, head coach Chris Laatsch shared hugs with his coaches and family, and the entire team took pictures on the floor in celebration.

One of the biggest aspects of the victory is that Spain Park took down an area foe in the Huskies to improve to 1-1 in area play and 5-17 overall. And while the Jags have to go up against difficult area opponents in Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills, it shows they aren’t a team that will roll over without a fight, knowing now they can win a big game.

The win also showed they can overcome the ups and downs of the game, as the Jaguars actually controlled the game throughout until a furious comeback by Hewitt-Trussville in the second half.

Spain Park was able to take control of the game early on because of great defense. The Jags allowed just seven points in the first half, while scoring 14 of their own behind two 3-pointers and at least four points from both Parker Boswell and Jacob Jenkins.

At the half, that lead more than doubled as Spain Park’s defense allowed just eight more points and got even better offensively.

The Jags had three players with at least four points this time around thanks to five from Laatsch and Jenkins as well as four from Jaelon Agee, which helped them gain a 30-15 halftime lead.

Coming out of the locker room, however, the Huskies started the comeback effort.

The Jags were outscored 16-14 in the third quarter, but at least for the time being held steady with a 13-point lead heading to the final period of play.

That’s when Hewitt flipped into a different gear.

Between Cameron Glover, Colin Glover and Jacoby Thomas, the Huskies were able to knock down six 3-pointers in the final quarter to lead the comeback effort.

Two of those were back-to-back banked in 3-pointers trailing 54-51, which all of a sudden pushed Hewitt in front 57-54 with 1:03 to play.

But this time, after so much heartbreak this season, Spain Park wasn’t going to fold.

The Jags stayed in contact over the final minute of the game, before Workman capitalized on the final opportunity of the game for the chaotic win.

Boswell led Spain Park with 14 points in the win and Jenkins had 12 points, while Laatsch and Cam Crawford both added 11 points.