High school basketball teaser
Kirsten Fiscus/The Anniston Star

GLENCOE — Austin Brazier saved Piedmont’s season as his game-winning buzzer-beater beat Pleasant Valley 42-41.

The win put Piedmont into the Class 3A, Area 10 championship game against Glencoe at 7 p.m. Friday, while Pleasant Valley’s season ended in heartbreak.

Down one point with 24 seconds left, Piedmont’s Lee Stanley stole the ball and called timeout.  The Bulldogs missed their first potential game-winning shot attempt, but grabbed the rebound and eventually found Brazier for the layup as the clock hit four zeros.

Piedmont head coach Tommy Lewis praised Stanley after the game.

“His defense, it won the game — that and Austin hitting (the shot),” Lewis said.

Lewis added that he didn’t know what to think during the last moments of the game.

“I just was hoping something like a miracle would happen because we hadn’t done anything really good the whole time,” Lewis said.  “As these things work, Austin had made a couple of mistakes with the technical. So that’s what you try to tell them out there — that’s what sports is. It gives you a chance for redemption.”

Brazier recorded a technical foul in the fourth quarter, but Pleasant Valley failed to capitalize on the free throws. He regroups and finished with a solid night, finishing with a team-high 14 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Easton Kirk finished with 10 points and six rebounds. Taylor Hayes contributed eight points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Senior Josh Faucett’s 18 points paced Pleasant Valley. Seniors Reid Hightower and Riley Vernon finished with nine points apiece. Vernon’s nine points all came from the 3-point line.

Lewis also praised Pleasant Valley head coach Ryan McCoy and their seniors on such a good game.

“Coach (McCoy) had a terrific game plan and his players — they really played well,” Lewis said. “Their seniors came out and played hard and our seniors came out and played a little nervous. We didn’t do great things tonight. I’ve seen teams have that game and then the next game you get back on track.”

Pleasant Valley led majority of the fourth quarter, but just couldn’t quite hang on as the Raiders fell short at the end.