Skyline coach Ronnie McCarver sat at this desk and felt one emotion more than any after the No. 4-ranked Vikings survived its Class 1A Northeast Sub-regional clash with R.A. Hubbard.
“That’s all it is, relief,” McCarver said. “We’re lucky to be playing another game.”
R.A. Hubbard’s full-court pressure defense wreaked havoc on the Vikings, but Skyline (30-3) found a way to hold off the Chiefs and advance to the Northeast Regional thanks to a 68-64 win Tuesday night at Skyline High School.
The Vikings play Spring Garden in the regional semifinals tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Jacksonville State University’s Pete Mathews Coliseum. The winner advances to the regional finals on Monday (4:45 p.m.) to play either Lindsay Lane or Jacksonville Christian.
Skyline never trailed, but could never shake R.A. Hubbard (17-14), which forced 21 turnovers. The Vikings led 21-15 36-29 and 47-42 at the quarter breaks.
Skyline took a 58-48 lead with 3:28 remaining after hitting three of four free throws following a foul and then a technical foul on Chiefs’ coach Sonny Conwill.
But R.A. Hubbard eventually got within 60-56 with 1:30 remaining. Collin Lockard hit then hit the first of two free throws for Skyline, and Jaylan Clements put back the second missed free throw for a 63-56 Vikings’ lead with 1:07 remaining. After a Hubbard free throw, Dawson Wynn scored on a Clements’ pass out of a trap, then made a bucket underneath with 30 seconds left to give the Vikings an 67-59 lead. Hubbard answered with a 3-pointer, but Clements sank a free throw to push it back to 68-62. With 17.6 seconds left. Hubbard got a quick basket and Skyline missed two free throws, but the Chiefs missed a 3-pointer with time winding down.
“They turned up the pressure on us. We threw two Hail Mary passes late (against their press) that we’re lucky they didn’t get, (because) it would’ve been a different story,” McCarver said. “We can’t melt down when we get pressure.”
Wynn scored 19 points, Lockard netted 16 and Jaxen White added 12 for Skyline, which also got six each from Clements and Connor Lockard, five from Dylan Bickers and four from Kordell Talley.
Keyandrick Cobb scored 13 points, Trenton Hampton added 11 and Tyrus Johnson had 10 for R.A. Hubbard.
Lindsay Lane 63, Woodville 47 — At Athens, the Panthers held the state's all-time career leading scorer to a season-low point total, but were unable to produce enough offense in a season-ending sub-regional loss Tuesday night.
Woodville finished 16-15 after losing to Lindsay Lane in the sub-regionals for a second straight season.
The Panthers held Lipscomb signee Tommy Murr, who has scored more than 5,000 career points, to a season-low 26 points and just eight points in the half second while also limiting the Lions' second-leading scorer, Charlie Morrison to only four points.
But Woodville struggled offensively, making just 3 of 27 first-half shot attempts. Jackson Peek was Woodville's lone scorer in double figures with 23 points. Caleb Dolberry added eight while Da'Vion Johnson and Corey Chance had six each and Christian Franks had four.
Lindsay Lane (22-11) surged in front 22-6 after one quarter and led 37-16 at halftime and 50-35 after three quarters. Woodville got as close as nine in the second half, but the Lions pulled away down the stretch to advance to play Jacksonville Christian today at 4:30 p.m. in the Class 1A Northeast Regional at JSU.
“We played really good defense, we just couldn't score, especially in the first half,” said Woodville head coach Bubba Smith. “We got within nine and missed a three that would've cut it to six. We just had a hard time scoring.”
Woodville will lose six seniors but returns its top two scorers, Peek and Dolberry, next season.
“We’ll have to have some other guys step in,” Smith said
Sand Rock 64, NSM 62 — At Sand Rock, the home team avenged two regular-season losses to fourth-ranked North Sand Mountain with the sub-regional upset.
NSM trailed 14-12 after one quarter before leading 28-25 at halftime and 46-41 entering the fourth quarter. Sand Rock, however, outscored the Bison 23-16 in the final frame to win. NSM committed a turnover on its final possession with less than 3 seconds remaining.
Luke Maples scored a game-high 27 points for NSM while Russ Marr had 17, Kaleb Helton 10, Derek Bearden five and Drue Carlton three.
Eli Bates and Jacob St. Clair scored 16 points each for Sand Rock while Cade Ballenger netted 14.
NSM finished 19-9. Sand Rock (21-12) advanced to play Sacred Heart in the Northeast Regional Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at JSU.
Oneonta 68, North Jackson 40 — At Oneonta, North Jackson’s season came to a close with a sub-regional loss Tuesday night.
North Jackson trailed just 9-5 after one quarter and 21-12 at halftime, but Oneonta outscored the Chiefs 25-11 in the third quarter to take control.
Seniors Eli Gill (17 points), Tyrus Jackson (11) and Carter Gass (six) led the way for the Chiefs, who also got three points from Zeke Ballard, two from Cade Reed and one from Brady Cunningham.
North Jackson finished 17-11. Oneonta (24-6) advanced to play No. 1-ranked Talladega in the Northeast Regional on Feb. 17.