Published 9:58 pm Friday, December 13, 2019

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The Andalusia High School Bulldogs held on and scored a last-second basket to beat 6A Saraland High School 57-55 in the semifinal of the 53rd Annual AHS Christmas Tournament last night.

Saraland opened the game 2-0, but a shot by Chance Russell tied it at 2-2.

With 6:05 left in the first period, Russell made a pass to Elijah McClain to finish off and go up to 4-2.

A three-pointer by Saraland tied the game up at 5-5, with 3:42 left in the first period.

Russell was fouled right after and made a free throw to go up by one.

Saraland took the lead to end the first period 9-6.

McClain struck again in the second period with an and-one, to make it 10-8, Saraland still leading.

Saraland increased their lead 12-8, but then Jake Wilson had an and-one and made four free throws to take the lead 15-12.

Saraland took the lead once again but with 4:23 left in the half, Omare Latimer had a big floater to take the lead 17-16.

The Bulldogs increased their lead in the second period when McClain hit four free throws to make it 20-16.

With 3:17 left in the half, Wilson hit a layup to increase the Bulldog lead and then Russell followed behind him with a three-pointer to make it 25-17.

Saraland scored two layups and then with 35 seconds left in the half, they scored again to cut the Bulldog lead 27-23.

As time expired in the first half, Mike Hourel hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the Bulldogs to the locker room with a 30-23 lead.

Saraland opened the second half, but Russell was fouled and made a free throw to make it 31-25.

With 6:25 left in the third period, McClain scored to make it 33-27, but Saraland answered with a three-pointer to make it a three-point game at 33-30.

McCorvey scored again to increase the Bulldog lead to 35-30.

Saraland was fouled with 4:49 left in the third period, and made their free throws to make it 35-32.

McCorvey was then fouled and made both of his free throws to make it 37-32.

Saraland then hit a three-pointer to make it a two-point game and then with 3:06 left in the third, Saraland tied it up at 37-37.

McClain answered right back and took the lead again but Saraland made another three-pointer to take the lead back 40-39.

With 1:56 left in the third period, Bry’Arious Burnette had a floater to take back the lead 41-40, and McCorvey hit another layup with 38 seconds in the third to go into the fourth period ahead 43-40.

Saraland opened the fourth period with a three-pointer to tie it at 43-43, but McClain answered with two layups to make it 47-43.

Saraland then hit two shots to tie it up at 47-47 with 3:55 left in the game.

With 2:58 left, Saraland took the lead 49-47, but Latimer scored to tie it up at 49-49.

Saraland then took the lead after two layups and two free throws to make it 55-49, with 59 seconds left in the game.

Wilson came up with a big three-pointer to make it 55-52, with 50.4 seconds and then Russell scored another three-pointer in traffic to tie the game up at 55-55 with 28.7 seconds left.

In the final seconds on the game, McClain stole the ball from Saraland, dribbled down the court and made a pass to McCorvey who made a layup as the buzzer went off.

“This is great man, this is really great,” AHS head coach Brad Goldman said. “Saraland is a really good basketball team. They just came off of a big win at Daphne last night and I’m sure that affected them a little bit, but that is a really good basketball team. I’m just so proud of my guys tonight. They made plays and we had guys come in and make huge shots and make plays when they had to. I’m just so proud of them.”

Senior Patrick McCorvey who hit the game-winning shot, said he knew he had to hit when he got the ball.

“It felt great hitting that shot,” McCorvey said. “I was wide open, I saw him throw the pass and I knew I had to make the layup. I had to. This season I have made a lot of improvement and I’m excited to see how far we can go.”

McClain led the Bulldog scoring effort with 15 points.  McCorvey had 11 points and Wilson had 12.

With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 4-2 and go on to face Georgiana in the final tonight at 7 p.m.