The North Sand Mountain varsity boys basketball team won a battle of Top-10 teams to advance to the Class 2A Northeast Regional.

No. 2-ranked NSM (25-5) built a double-digit lead in the third quarter and held off No. 9 Spring Garden the rest of the way to post an 87-76 Class 2A Northeast Sub-regional victory Wednesday night at North Sand Mountain High School in Higdon.

The win advanced the Bison to a Northeast Regional semifinal matchup at No. 1 Midfield on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, regional semifinal games are being playing played on high school campuses rather that at Jacksonville State University’s Pete Mathews Coliseum. The NSM-Midfield winner plays the Sand Rock/Westminster-Oak Mountain winner in the regional title game at JSU on Feb. 25.

It is NSM’s eighth all-time regional appearance. 

Spring Garden led 17-16 after one quarter, but NSM moved in front 36-32 at halftime before pushing its lead to 66-53 after three quarters.

Luke Maples and Russ Marr scored 32 and 30 points respectively while Derek Bearden had seven points and Lake Bell and Drue Carlton had six each for NSM, which made 11 3-pointers and 32 of 41 free-throw attempts. 

Weston Kirk scored 30 points for Spring Garden (19-11), which also got 15 Cooper Austin and nine each from Chaz Pope and Luke Welsh.

Class 1A

Skyline 72, Oakwood Adventist 45 — At Skyline, the No. 8-ranked Vikings took charge in the second quarter on the way to clinching a fifth straight regional appearance with the Class 1A Northeast Sub-regional win on Wednesday afternoon.

The win advanced Skyline to the Northeast Regional for the 17th time, most among all Jackson County boys basketball programs. 

Skyline (22-8) is scheduled to play at Jacksonville Christian in a Class 1A Northeast Regional semifinal game on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, regional semifinal games are being playing played on high school campuses rather that at Jacksonville State University’s Pete Mathews Coliseum. 

The Vikings led just 15-13 after one quarter before outscoring Oakwood 22-9 in the second quarter to build a 37-22 halftime lead. Skyline led 55-31 after three quarters.

Weston Avans scored 19 points and Curtis Knopps netted 10 for Skyline, which also got nine from Dylan Knight, eight each from Jaylon Clements and Logan Evans, seven from Matt Burton, six from Chase Bickers and five from Camden Gilliam.

Jaylon Nesbolt scored 12 points and Meheri Andreas added 11 for Oakwood.

Class 2A

Sand Rock 71, Section 64 — At Sand Rock, No. 6-ranked Section’s season came to a close with a Class 2A Northeast Sub-regional loss to No. 4 Sand Rock Wednesday night.

Section (19-14) led 17-16 after one quarter and trailed 33-32 at halftime. Sand Rock pulled in front 51-43 after three quarters and made 14 of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold on for the win.

Logan Patterson scored a game-high 20 points for the Lions while Jacob Cooper and Alex Guinn had 14 points each, Gabe Hilley had nine and Dominik Blair had five.

Scoring leaders for Sand Rock (23-5) were Garyn Sharpe with 18, Jacob St. Clair with 17, Kaden Justice with 16 and Xander Bradley with 15.

Class 1A

Woodville sub-regional game sees postponements — Woodville’s Class 1A Northeast Sub-regional game at Decatur Heritage has been postponed three times due to inclement winter weather.

The game is now scheduled to be played on Friday at 4 p.m.

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