TUSCUMBIA — Brooks relied heavily on its stingy defense and solid rebounding to down Wilson 56-39 to advance to the finals of the Helen Keller Hospital/Wayne Bracy Invitational.
The Lions will play Florence at 7:30 p.m. today in the championship game at Deshler High.
“I thought we defended well tonight.” first-year coach Brian Wright said. “I’m really proud of the way we competed.”
Wilson scored the game’s first points, but it was the only lead it would see as Brooks closed the opening quarter with a 9-0 run to claim an 18-6 advantage after the first eight minutes.
Brooks carried its momentum into the second quarter and found success in the paint. A three-point play by Holden Corum pushed the lead to 15 with fewer than four minutes remaining in the half.
Jacob Richardson added five of his game-high 12 points in the second and the Lions claimed a 30-18 advantage at the midway point.
Wilson got five points from Brennan Parrish in the quarter, but the Lions’ rebounding mostly limited the Warriors to one shot per possession.
Brooks opened the second half on a 7-2 run, capped by a deep 3-pointer from senior Skyler Beck, and held Wilson to six points in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
With two minutes remaining, Rae Beasley found Cole Blackstock for an easy layup to give Brooks its largest lead of the game at 25.
Beck finished with 10 points from Brooks, while Pate Wear led Wilson with 10.
Earlier, Brooks knocked off Central 66-33 to advance to the semifinals.
Wright understands that challenge ahead if his team wants to claim the tournament championship. Florence beat Brooks in the TimesDaily Classic semifinals earlier this month at Flowers Hall.
“We will have to continue to defend well and knock down shots.” Wright said. “Florence is a very athletic team. They can really get to the rim. We’ll have to be fundamentally sound and just see what happens. That’s why we play the games.”
n Florence 60, West Limestone 46: Florence forced 21 turnovers and held West Limestone to 20 points through three quarters to advance to the championship game.
Chaunce Watkins scored 10 of his 15 points in the first quarter to propel Florence to a 14-6 lead. The Falcons opened the second quarter with a 14-3 run, and Dee Smith scored eight of his game-high 19 points, as Florence claimed a 31-15 halftime lead.
A three-point play from Watkins extended the lead to 20 points in the third and Florence never looked back in claiming the semifinal win.
Smith led all scorers with 19 points, while Watkins added 15, and Isaac Dillard 10.
Nate Adams led West Limestone with 18.
Florence topped Colbert County 75-55 as Watkins scored 24 points and Will Simpson scored 21 points.
Sam Howard paced Colbert County with 18 points and Jonah Casteel added 13.