DOTHAN – Sensing the inevitability in the waning seconds of the game, Brewbaker Tech coach Chauncey Shines walked down the bench and looked each player in the eye, and calmly said, “Hey men, we fought.”
The Rams trailed by 15 at halftime, and despite a furious comeback in the second half, Brew Tech fell to Wilcox Central 65-60 today in the Class 4A South Regional semifinal.
Down by two with 1:25 to go, senior point guard Khalil Carter picked up his fifth foul, and could only sit and watch as the game slipped away.
“Probably one of the worst feelings in my life,” Carter said. “You try to keep faith in your teammates and keep believing, but it just eats you up inside knowing you can’t be out there.”
The Rams (21-6) rebounded from the halftime deficit and outscored the Jaguars 19-6 in the third. Brew Tech took its first lead with 1:54 left in the quarter 43-41, and trailed by two heading into the final quarter.
“That’s been my guys all year long,” Shines said. “We’ll battle back, we’ll fight hard. I’m proud of what they were able to do, it just didn’t work out for us.”
The teams traded baskets until the final minutes when the Jaguars (22-4) were able to pull away and lead 61-56 with 28 seconds left. Wilcox went 7-for-8 at the free-throw line down the stretch.
“We just tried to keep believing and keep having faith and pray that one of them would miss,” Carter said. “You win the game on free throws, and they made their free throws.”
Lorenzo Moore led the Rams with 23 points. Normally a sure thing at the line, he missed all five of his free-throw attempts. Steven Rogers scored 17 points and Carter had 12.
Size inside was the difference for the Jaguars. Freddie Smith led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Lorenza Dale had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Wilcox scored 18 second-chance points off 15 offensive rebounds.
It was Carter and Moore’s last game in a Rams uniform, but Shines said they aren’t done playing basketball. The two are undecided on their college plans.
“I understand it hurts, but we’ve got bigger fish to fry than this,” Shines said. “They’re going to go on and they’re going to do things. They’ve just got to be strong right here and learn from it. Somebody in college basketball is going to get a steal with these two guys.”