By Lee Davis
The Mountain Brook Spartans boys’ basketball team served up Product 19 Friday night.
No, it wasn’t a healthy type of breakfast cereal. The 19 reflected how many consecutive games Coach Bucky McMillan’s team has won, and the long streak couldn’t be happening at a better time.
The top-ranked Spartans crushed Gardendale 73-46 in Class 6A sub-regional play to advance to the Class 6A Northeast Regionals at Jacksonville State University.
Guard TaWarren Grant paced Mountain Brook with 17 points, with 11 coming in the crucial fourth quarter. Alex Peters also scored 17 points despite getting into early foul trouble. Jack Kline and Patrick Keim each added 10 for the Spartans.
Mountain Brook didn’t shoot well early in the game but used its hustling defense to keep control of the game.
The winners started a 15-point run late in the first half that extended well into the third quarter to break the game open at 46-22.
“We don’t really play conventional basketball,” Keim said. “We run up and down the court and try to wear the other guys down. That’s what happened tonight.”
Mountain Brook, the defending 6A state champs, improved its mark to 30-3 for the season.
Grant believes this Spartan team might be the best yet.
“I think this team plays the hardest,” he said. “We battle hard, no matter what happens. We just go to war.”
Despite its high ranking, Mountain Brook didn’t draw an easy game for its opening round in the regionals. The Spartans faced Robert E. Lee of Huntsville on Tuesday in a game with championship overtones.
Spain Park defeated Thompson 61-52 in another sub-regional. The win sent the Jaguars to the Central Regionals at Alabama State University. They faced Central-Phenix City on Wednesday.
Austin Wiley and Antonio Moss each scored 16 points for Spain Park. Wiley took 10 rebounds, and Moss grabbed eight. The Jags ran their season record to 20-10.
Bessemer City’s Johnathan Coleman hit a jump shot with one second left to give the Tigers a 65-64 win over Hoover. Quamari Hardy topped the Buccaneer scoring with 20 points. Austin Cherry added 17, and Maurice Brown scored 13.
In Class 5A, Homewood took a dramatic 52-50 win over Center Point. Owen Ferguson’s three-point basket with six seconds on the clock gave the Patriots the victory.
Malik Cook topped Homewood’s scoring with 17 points. Ferguson added 11. Sean Eaton scored 10 points, and Stan Mizerany scored five.
The Patriots raised their record to 21-9 and advanced to the Northeast Regionals at Jacksonville State University, where they met Columbia of Huntsville on Wednesday.
In Class 1A, Shades Mountain Christian’s season ended with a 59-52 loss to Collinsville, and St. Jude defeated Westminster Oak Mountain 80-38.