Briarwood comes back in third quarter to sweep season series with Sylacauga

Published 12:01 am Saturday, December 16, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – The Briarwood Christian Lions responded to the Sylacauga Aggies’ best shot with a strong third quarter to come from behind and earn the 48-40 victory.

The win in the Lions’ final home game of 2023 also secured the season series against the Aggies.

Briarwood’s guard play set the tone for the early stretch just like it has for much of the season. Drew Mears got going early with seven points, and Eli Stubbs added six more as the two scored all 13 of the Lions’ first quarter points.

However, Sylacauga matched that effort from Briarwood and sent the teams into the second quarter tied at 13.

That set up the Aggies for a solid second quarter where they held the Lions to just six points in the period, and they scored 12 on the other end of the floor to take a six-point lead at halftime.

Now down 25-19 at the beginning of the third quarter, Briarwood responded by limiting Sylacauga to just five points in the next eight minutes.

The Lions had their best quarter of the game with 16 points in the third scored by seven different scorers, including four points from Caleb Kaller. That gave Briarwood the 35-30 lead at the end of the quarter.

With the Aggies still in striking distance and two possessions away from taking the lead, the Lions needed to finish the game strong, especially since Sylacauga was still scoring on offense.

Briarwood did just that and took advantage of their trips to the free throw line, going 7-9 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter to take the eight-point victory.

Mears led all scorers in the game with 14 points, and Keller followed with 10 points off an efficient 4-5 shooting. In addition, Stubbs had eight points and Luke Schultz scored six more.