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Red Bay Tigers advance to regional finals

The Red Bay Tigers have advanced to the regional finals for the first time since 1995, beating Southeastern 72-55.

The Tigers will face Vincent Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. at Wallace-Hanceville, with a trip to the Final Four in Birmingham on the line.

Red Bay seemed to dominate the game from start to finish, but Southeastern hit several three-pointers at opportune times to keep the Mustangs within striking distance.

“In the first half we couldn’t seem to pull away,” said Red Bay Coach John Torisky. “We dominated the boards and forced 15 turnovers, but they just kept hitting shots.”

“I thought they took some bad shots,” Torkisky added, “shots I would have been yelling at my players for taking. But they were going in.”

Red Bay out-rebounded Southeastern 34-22 and forced 18 turnovers throughout the game.

In the first half, however, the Tigers shot eight for 30 from the field and made one three-pointer.

“We just couldn’t get shots to fall in the first half,” said Torisky. “We got that corrected in the second half with better shot selection.”

Junior Braden Ray opened the game with a three-pointer and scored the first seven points of the game for Red Bay, giving the Tigers a 7-3 lead. Ray would surpass the 1,000 career points milestone just before halftime, as well.

Forcing several early turnovers, Red Bay extended the lead to 17-8 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Lane Shewbart got a putback off a Ray missed three-pointer, giving Red Bay a 25-14 lead with just over four minutes left to play in the first half.

“Lane did a great job on the boards tonight,” said Torisky. Shewbart also had eight rebounds, five on the offensive end of the floor.

Arden Hamilton got putback off another Southeastern turnover, giving Red Bay a 29-16 lead.

Southeastern hit enough three’s to stay in the game and managed to cut the Tigers’ lead to seven, 30-23, by halftime.

A three-pointer by Jalen Vinson put the Tigers up 46-32 with 2:53 to go in the third quarter.

Tanner Hamilton attacked the basket for a layup to give Red Bay a 50-34 lead with 1:57 to go in the third quarter, and Red Bay led 50-39 at the end of the third quarter.

Vinson opened the fourth quarter with a drive through the lane and dunk to give Red Bay a 52-39 lead, but Red Bay extended that lead to 68-45 with 2:11 to go in the game before wholesale substitutions.

Ray led all scorers with 26 points. Shewbart added 13 points. Point guard Clay Allison had 11 points and five assists. Vinson also contributed 11 points. Hunter Burks finished with four points, Tanner Hamilton three points, Arden Hamilton two points and Landon Glover two points.

Red Bay outlasts Sheffield

To advance to play Southeastern, the Red Bay Tigers outlasted the Sheffield Bulldogs in the Class 2A subregion contest 54-48.

Ray hit three first quarter three-pointers to help Red Bay to a 15-13 lead.

Sheffield came back in the second quarter to tie the game 24-24, and the Bulldogs extended their lead to 37-33 at the end of the third quarter.

Red Bay stormed back in the fourth quarter thanks to good free-throw shooting, outscoring Sheffield 21-11 to capture the win and advance to the regionals.

Ray led all scorers with 17 points.

Allison, Vinson and Burks scored eight points each. Tanner Hamilton added seven points. Shewbart had four points, and Gage Bays had two points.

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