Brandon Austin long ago cast aside the cast that shielded his broken left hand while it healed.
It’s finally disappeared from his mind, too.
Austin, back in G.W. Carver’s starting lineup only when the playoffs started, starred Monday in the Wolverines’ 70-53 victory over Jeff Davis for the Class 6A, Area 6 championship.
The junior scored a game-high 20 points, including 12 in the first quarter when Carver bolted to an 18-point lead.
“I could tell from the start that he was going to shoot well,” guard Harold Cardwell said. “I could tell he was going to have a good night.”
Austin made his first career start in Carver’s season opener — months after the junior verbally committed to Alabama — but had to wait for his second.
Austin broke his hand in a practice when he and Cardwell “collided like we were on the football field,” Cardwell said. Both went to set screens for the other and picked off each other instead.
Austin missed Carver’s next six games and, when he returned, had to adjust to a cast, too. His shot, in his words, was “terrible.”
“I couldn’t hit anything at all,” Austin said. “It took me four or five games just to hit a jump shot.”
The Wolverines (21-4) kept Austin as their sixth man, the role he played all of last season.
Austin returned to the starting lineup only because senior Draequon Murphy is nursing an ailing knee. Austin scored 10 points in Carver’s playoff opener against Sidney Lanier.
“This is the best time to start playing well,” Austin said. “I want to help my team get to state and win a championship.”
On Monday, Austin hit an 18-foot jumper on Carver’s second possession. By the end of the first quarter, he added a 16-footer, two 3-pointers and a layup.
Murphy is expected back when Carver hosts Smiths Station for a subregional Friday.
“Both of them together are pretty good,” Carver coach James “J.J.” Jackson said. “We hope to get them both back.”
Brandon Murphy finished with 14 points, while Cardwell and Demetrius Houston added 13 each for Carver.
Desmond Deramus led Jeff Davis (19-8) with 17 points. Shane Osborne, after missing his first 10 shots, made his final five and scored 14 points. The Vols play at Central-Phenix City on Friday.