【AL】 South Regional boys: Antonio Jackson lifts Blount to OT win over Pike Road – Alabama News

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Blount coach Demarcus Mosley and star senior Antonio Jackson used the same exact phrase following their Class 6A South Regional semifinal game on Friday.

“We are built for this,” they said.

Jackson gave his team the lead for good with a 3-pointer in the final two minutes of overtime and then hit four straight free throws to ice it as the Leopards held off Pike Road 52-47 at Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum.

“This wasn’t our first overtime,” Mosley said. “We beat Baker in overtime a few weeks ago. We played another overtime game. We are built for this. Whoever wants it in the end, that is who will come out on top. Our guys wanted it.”

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Blount improved to 22-6 with its 11th straight victory. The Leopards play rival McGill-Toolen at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday for the right to go to the final four in Birmingham. The Yellow Jackets have won 18 straight. The two Mobile-area rivals haven’t played this season.

“We’ve been looking at each other,” Mosley said. “I talked to coach (Phillip) Murphy earlier and congratulated him. Everyone has been looking forward to this matchup, and here it is to go to Birmingham. They are well-coached and play hard. They run their stuff. We are opposite. We press a lot. It’s kind of a clash in styles. It’s going to be fun.”

Blount led Pike Road by 10 at the half and maintained that lead for most of the third quarter. However, the Patriots scored the final eight points, cutting the margin to 33-31 entering the fourth.

“We started out like we wanted to, up 10,” Mosley said. “Then they made a run. I told our guys that basketball is a game of runs. We just needed to stay with it. Coming out in the second half, I tried to make an adjustment. I tried to zone them. It didn’t work. We went back to man, and it was back-and-forth from there.”

Blount had a chance to put the game away late in regulation but connected on just 1-of-4 free throws in the final minute. The Patriots, meanwhile, got two free throws from Alijah Hicks and two from Dillan Johnson to send the game into OT, tied 42-42.

“We could have closed it out with some free throws, but we missed a bunch of them,” Mosley said. “We missed a bunch all year. I told them we have to get that cleaned up this time of the season. We have to make those free throws.”

Blount was 11-of-19 from the free throw line overall.

Jackson finally gave his team the lead for good late (48-46) in the extra period when he buried a 3 – the team’s only 3 in 11 tries. Even that wasn’t easy. An inadvertent buzzer sounded right before the basket went in, sparking a debate between officials on whether to count it.

“I was like, ‘That basketball has to count,’” Mosley said. “The ref looked at me like he didn’t know. I said, ‘No, it has to count.’ They hit the buzzer, so it should have counted, and fortunately it did. It was a big 3 for us.”

Jackson then hit four free throws in the final 31 seconds to ice the game. He put an exclamation point on the win with a windmill dunk, though it came just after the buzzer.

Star of the game: Jackson was the key player down the stretch. Seven of his 15 points came in overtime. He also had 13 rebounds.

“He’s our captain,” Mosley said. “I wouldn’t want anyone else shooting free throws. I already knew he was going to make it. He said, ‘Coach, I’ve got this,’ and I believed him.”

Stat sheet: Blount – Devontaey Woulard led the way with 18 points and three steals. Joseph Paige had nine points. Pike Road – Jayden Cooper kept the Patriots close with 24 points. Dillan Johnson had 10.

The said it:

“It feels good, but I feel like we could have played a whole lot better and dominated. We could have done more, especially with the small details of the game.” – Jackson.

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