With exactly two minutes left in the game, Childersburg led 45-44 following a basket on a baseline drive by Sylacauga’s Kadeem Jackson.
After a timeout, Sylacauga went on to gain the lead on a driving layup by Daveon Nix, making it 46-45.
With a little more than a minute to play, Tylan Coleman attempted a 3-pointer but was fouled. However, Sylacauga caught a lucky break as Coleman missed all three free throws.
Jackson hit two free throw attempts on Sylacauga’s next offensive possession with 55.0 seconds remaining to give Sylacauga a 48-45 lead.
Childersburg cut the lead to 48-47 when Sy Butler found Trevor Bates cutting to the basket for an easy basket.
Sylacauga had the ball until Bates elected to foul with just 15.6 seconds left.
Daveon Nix was clutch, making both free throws to give Sylacauga a 50-47 lead.
Sy Butler put up a 3-point shot with just 4.2 second left, but the ball went out of bounds off a deflection on a Sylacauga defender.
Bobby Brown inbounded the ball underneath to Tylan Coleman, who made a move around a defender and had a decent look, but the shot hit the rim and sailed into the hands of Sylacauga’s Antwane Cook.
“There at the end we were four out of four,” Sylacauga head coach Will Copeland said. “Daveon (Nix) hit two and Kadeem (Jackson) hit two. We got some stops there at the end. We had a bad foul down there they called. Fortunately for us, they just missed all three. If they’d made all three, it would have been a different ball game. We stuck free throws and got a stop there at the end. No. 12 (Tylan Coleman) got a good look and he just missed it.”
Sylacauga opened the game with hot shooting, making five 3-point shots in the first quarter to start jump out to a 15-6 lead.
Childersburg responded with a 10-2 run to regain the lead, 18-17. Coleman capped the run with a 3-pointer and a layup with 5:14 left in the half.
Later, Rodney Gilbert hit a baseline layup to cut the Childersburg lead to 24-23 and prompting the Tigers to call a timeout with 2:11 remaining in the half. Gilbert hit two free throws and Nix came up with a steal and ensuing layup. However, Childersburg closed out the second quarter on a 6-0 run. David Cowlin scored the final points of the first half with a rebound and putback to give Childersburg a 30-27 lead.
The game remained tight in the third quarter, with Childersburg coming out with a 39-38 lead by the end of the quarter.
Late in the fourth quarter, Childersburg led by as much as 45-40 following a Kel Mitchell basket in the post, but Sylacauga responded in the closing minutes.
“We were up five and we missed some free throws,” Childersburg head coach Al Barnett said. “One thing our kids do is they play hard every night. They played so hard and we’ve lost so many close games like this. It was just two pretty good teams that battled it out and they got the best of us tonight. Hopefully, maybe we can meet in the County Tournament and see what happens again. We’ll just keep trying to get a win. Compliment them: I thought both teams played really good defense.”
Sylacauga had three players score 12 points: Nix, Jackson, and Jaylon McGhee. Rodney Gilbert was also in double figures with 10 points.
Artravious Twyman led Childersburg with nine points, while three Tigers each scored eight points: Kel Mitchell, Jatorre Cook, and Coleman.
Sylacauga opens as host of the County Tournament Wednesday against B.B. Comer at 6 p.m.
Childersburg will play TC Central Monday at 8 p.m.