By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
The championship game of the 2016-2017 Etowah County boys basketball tournament is set.
Hokes Bluff will meet Glencoe for the crown on Friday (Jan. 20) following the Yellow Jackets’ 54-52 semifinal victory over Sardis on Thursday at Glencoe. The Eagles defeated Southside in the other semifinal earlier this week.
After the Lions took a 22-20 halftime lead, things began to heat up in the third quarter. Glencoe (11-11) tied the game at 22-22, and the lead chanced hands five times during the period. The Yellow Jackets eventually took a 41-34 lead at the end of the quarter and appeared to have the game well in hand.
But Sardis (7-12) began to chip away at the Glencoe lead, cutting it to 48-47 with 2:17 to go. Trailing 54-52 in the final seconds, the Lions had a chance to tie the score but the shot rimmed out and Glencoe claimed the rebound.
But the Yellow Jackets were whistled for a double dribble with less than a second remaining, giving Sardis one last opportunity. The Lions got off a desperation shot but it fell short at the buzzer.
“We played hard but not smart,” said Glencoe head coach Jason Gilley. “We just got impatient and tried to force things. But we made some big free throws down the stretch. The teams were evenly matched, and in a game like this one, you hate to see either team lose.”
Sardis started out with a 5-0 lead and led 16-14 after the first eight minutes of play. The second quarter saw the game tied twice before the Lions went into the break ahead by two points.
“We had our chances,” said Sardis head coach Van Owens. “We missed too many free throws and too many lay-ups. Glencoe played well, and I wish both teams good luck in the finals.”
Micah Sizemore led Glencoe with 15 points, followed by Aaron Bush with 14. John Holland was high point man for Sardis with 23 points, followed by Michael Cook with 10.