Briarwood grabs overtime win against Calera

Published 1:19 pm Sunday, December 19, 2021

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By SETH HAGAN | Special to the Reporter

CALERA – Briarwood Christian School traveled to Calera for what was a crazy back-and-forth game between the two Shelby County schools.

The Eagles built a big lead in the first half, but the Lions battled back, forced overtime and escaped with the 56-54 road win.

Briarwood head coach Bobby Kerley knew it would take something extra to pull off a victory in a raucous environment.

“The one thing we talked about was bringing a big bag of nasty with us. You’ve got to be classy, but you’ve got to be tough. They’re such a tough team,” he said. “They play such great defense you have to be tough and we weren’t early on. We gave up 16 points in the first six minutes and only gave up 8 the rest of the half so we grew up a little tonight.”

Calera had a terrific start to the game at home and scored seven of the game’s first eight points, finishing on a 9-4 run to take a 16-5 lead after the first quarter.

They also forced 14 first-half turnovers. Briarwood climbed back into it with a 10-2 run to open the second period.

Up by three, Calera scored six of the last eight to take a 24-17 halftime lead, but the Lions were starting to heat up.

William Lloyd led the Lions out of the locker room with a different mentality. He hit two 3-pointers and 12 of the team’s 19 points as Briarwood poured in more in the third quarter than they had in the entire first half.

“He’s an incredible guard for us and he had the best game he’s ever played,” Kerley said. “He’s played some good games, but he was special tonight. You’re not going to go full court on better defenders than they had so for him to handle it like that over and over like that was amazing.”

Lloyd scored five more in the fourth quarter, but his teammates made their hay at the charity stripe where they hit seven of 12 attempts.

Xzayvion Childress also scored five of his 18 points in the fourth as Calera tried to hold off the Lions, but the teams sat at 48-48 when the buzzer sounded forcing overtime.

Childress hit all three of his free throws, but Briarwood kept the Eagles from any overtime field goals.

Lloyd and Christopher Vizzina both hit big baskets in the extra period and Miles Gilbert hit all six of his free throws to put the win away.

Lloyd led all scorers with 21 as Gilbert put 17 on the board, including 13 of those from the charity stripe.

Childress’ 18 led Calera who also had Tierren Thomas add 12 points.