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Red Bay boys hold off Aliceville to snatch up area title

The Red Bay Tigers held off a late rally by the Aliceville Yellow Jackets to lay claim to the Class 2A, Area 10 championship, winning 45-37. Red Bay, winners of three straight area titles, will host the Class 2A, Area 13 runner up Winston County in the subregion Wednesday at 5 p.m.

“We really locked them down on defense,” said Red Bay Coach John Torisky, “especially in the third quarter.  We were able to limit them to just two points, and that was big. Braden got hot and hit three threepointers, which helped us get a good lead.”

Aliceville led Red Bay 13-11 at the end of the first quarter, but Red Bay’s Braden Ray scored five straight points in the second quarter to give the Tigers a 15-14 lead.

A reverse layup by Gage Bays gave the Tigers a 22-17 lead with 2:15 to go in the second quarter. The Yellow Jackets battled back and banked in a threepointer at the buzzer to tie the game 22-22 at halftime.

Ray opened the second half with two three-pointers to give Red Bay a 28-22 lead. A layup by Lane Shewbart and another three by Ray extended the Tigers’ lead to 33-23 with 2:43 to go in the third quarter.

As the third quarter closed, a screen and roll layup by Carson Corum gave the Tigers their biggest lead of the night, 37-25.

Aliceville wasn’t finished. The Yellow Jackets swarmed back late in the fourth quarter, cutting Red Bay’s lead to four with just less than a minute to play in the game. Red Bay, however, held off the late rally at the free throw line, winning 45-37.

“We really focused on protecting the ball and did really well executing for much of the game,” said Torisky.  “We had a stretch in the fourth quarter where we lost our composure a little bit. I called a timeout to settle them down. I told them we have five seniors on the court, and we need to play like seniors.

“Fortunately, Gage Bays had a huge steal, and Lane Shewbart and Hunter Burks hit some key free throws down the stretch.”

Ray led Red Bay with 19 points. He was followed by Shewbart with nine points. Andrew Ray, Jalen Vinson and Landon Glover scored four points each. Bays, Corum and Burks finished with two points each.

In the semifinals, Red Bay beat Lamar County 66-48. Ray led with 22 points. Shewbart, Vinson and Burks added 10 points each.