Class 6A Men’s Championship: Mountain Brook moves away from Spanish fort
Mountain Brook is dancing again.
The No.2 Spartans pulled out late for a 56-43 win over Spanish Fort to win the Class 6A Boys State Championship on Wednesday at UAB’s Bartow Arena, their fourth state title in the five last years.
“I am extremely happy and honored,” said Mountain Brook freshman coach Tyler Davis. “I don’t think anyone could have predicted that when I was appointed coach in June. It’s just a testimonial from these seniors and the players. We have great kids, great coaches, and great resources here. They just had a great work ethic from day one.
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Mountain Brook (30-6), who hasn’t lost since December 30, won their 18th straight game.
The Spartans pulled out, eliminating 8 of 8 free throws in the final 55 seconds and 14 of 17 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Bo Barber had no basket, but finished 7 of 8 from the line and also distributed four assists.
“I don’t feel like I had a very good game,” said Barber. “My job today was to make sure I got my teammates involved and gave them the ball.”
Davis said he disagreed, respectively.
“You look at his line and you see the seven points,” Davis said. “All of those free throws were crucial. If he’s not there, we probably won’t win the game.
Ty Davis was also big for the Spartans, flipping back-to-back crucial three points early in the third quarter to break a 27-27 stalemate and give Mountain Brook the lead for good.
Davis added two free throws in his personal 8-0 run to give Mountain Brook a 35-27 lead.
“He grew up in the gym,” Davis said. “This is the way we play… the next man. If we played tomorrow it would probably be someone else. It’s such a selfless group. Everyone has accepted their roles all season. “
Mountain Brook led just 41-39 with 3:46 as Barber sank a pair of free throws to start a 15-2 run to end the game.
“You look at the final score and it was 56-43, but we’re only two behind in the fourth quarter,” said Spanish Fort coach Jimbo Tolbert. “You look at some of those occasions where we missed some of those short shots or didn’t grab an offensive rebound.
“When you’re in a game where there aren’t a lot of runs scored against a team like Mountain Brook who are so patient on offense. They sit there and make you guard, and if you miss a chip, they take you down and guard for a minute and a half and it tires you out.
Spanish Fort (28-4) had not lost since Dec. 29, and his 17-game winning streak was interrupted in his first appearance in the state championship game.
“Our mantra in the locker room this year was simply, ‘Hey, let’s fight for the guy next to you for the next 32 minutes so we have one more meal, another bus ride.’ We can walk out of here with our heads held high.
The Toros led 14-11 at the end of the first quarter, but the Spartans rallied to a 27-25 advantage at halftime.
“They had a great game plan, and I thought they caught us sleeping a few times,” Davis said. “I think the wear has finally caught up with them. We were able to squeeze and eventually exhaust them.
Game Star: Rayven Turner was named MVP after scoring a team record 14 points with four rebounds and two assists.
“I’m going to remember the crowd going crazy and rubbing shoulders with my teammates when the buzzer went off and was able to hold that credit card,” Turner said.
Statistical sheet: Mountain Brook – Julius Clark had 12 points and was a perfect 4 of 4 on the court and 4 of 4 on and line and also caught seven rebounds. Davis added 11 points on 3 of 6 shots from behind the arc while Barber had seven points and Paulson Wright with four points and three rebounds. Spanish fort – Colby McAllister led the Toros with 14 points, 12 in the first half, followed by Kolby Horace with 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals and Carl Fauntroy with seven points and six steals.
In numbers: 30, Mountain Brook won the rebound battle 30-19, including 7-6 on the offensive glass; 16, the Toros topped the Spartans 16-6 on turnovers; 11, Spanish Fort had 11 interceptions; 23, the Spartans attempted 23 3 pointers (8 of 23), but only 11 shots from inside the arc (7 of 11); 16, Mountain Brook dominated the Spanish Fort bench, 16-0. On the 14th, Spanish Fort was 14 of 41 in the field (34%), including 4 of 19 of 3 points (21%).
Did you know? Mountain Brook, who lost in the Class 7A title match a year ago, has won four of the last five state championships and six of the last nine. Spanish Fort, playing their first league game lost on their only other trip to the Final Four, losing to Parker in the semifinals in 2017.
They said it: “These kids bought all year as we tried to win every game and every possession. We did not play the scoreboard. It doesn’t matter if we’re early or late, we just moved on to the next room. I think it has a lot to do with why we are champions of state today. – Davis
“We’re going to let that feed us next year. We got a little taste, and I think these guys are going to come back hungry next year and want a little more taste and finish it off with a credit card – Tolbert
“I’m going to remember that tough year with Covid and all, but also one of the best basketball experiences of my life. I’m really in shock right now. – barber
“His basketball IQ is second to none. He just finds a way to impact a game even if it’s not in the scoring column or the rebound column. He’s able to get his hands on the ball here and there, deflect a ball where someone else gets a steal and an easy basket. – Tolbert on Fauntroy
“It was difficult at first. I picked up cheap fouls. The coach believed in me and told me to just come back in there and take advantage of my opportunities. I was able to do a few pieces in record time. “- Turner