BIRMINGHAM -- A by-the-numbers take on Sylacauga’s 79-78 overtime victory over Eufaula to clinch the Class 5A state boys basketball championship at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex on Saturday afternoon:
36: The number of minutes the back-and-forth battled lasted. Sylacauga head coach Will Copeland said leading into the contest it would be the last 32 minutes of basketball his team would play this season, but his team gave the fans who made the trip west a little something extra – by four minutes.
30: How many years it had been since the Aggies won a state championship. Sylacauga, under legendary head coach Gerald Douglass, defeated Woodlawn 62-59 on March 5, 1988, to claim the Aggies’ first 5A boys basketball title.
29: The number of minutes Aggies senior forward Malik Crawford and senior guard Keaton Wilson each logged in the contest. Crawford took home tournament MVP honors with a 20-point, 10-rebound day, while Wilson contributed all over the stat sheet with 13 rebounds, five points, three blocks, two assists and two steals. Senior guard Darian Garrett and junior guard Malik Powell each saw 28 minutes of floor time.
19: The number of free throws the Aggies missed. Overall, the team shot 22-of-41 from the charity stripe, but completing half of the misses likely would’ve put the game out of reach. Both teams can stake a claim to this number, though. Eufaula struggled from behind the arc (5-of-24).
11: Sylacauga trailed Eufaula by this margin in the third quarter before the Aggies went on a 17-0 run and held the Tigers scoreless for roughly five minutes.
10.5: The difference in percentage for each team’s field goal shooting. Sylacauga finished 27-of-59 (45.8 percent) from the floor while Eufaula ended the contest 30-of-85 (35.3 percent).
3: The number of players Eufaula had that reached the foul limit. Tigers sophomore guard Jadarious Blackshire and senior guard Tyler Mayo exited late in the fourth quarter. Senior guard Terrell Jones joined them on the bench with 1:50 left in overtime.
0: The Aggies held Mayo, one of the Tigers’ tallest players at 6-foot-3, scoreless during the first half. Mayo still managed to cobble together a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds) before he fouled out.