Logan Pierce shoots Spanish Fort past Calera 81-66, in Class 6A semi-final
Jimbo Tolbert remembers his father allowing him to miss a day of school when he was younger every year to watch the state four basketball final in Birmingham.
He will also have to play hooky for a few days next week.
Tolbert’s Spanish Fort team beat Calera 33-14 in the third quarter on Tuesday, turning a 3-point deficit into a 16-point lead on their way to a dominant 81-66 victory in the Class 6A regional final of the South East at the Garrett Coliseum.
The victory sent the Toros (27-3) to Birmingham for the second time in the school’s short history.
“It’s surreal,” said Tolbert, who takes a team to the semifinals for the first time in 15 years as a head coach. “There is a lot of emotion. Hard work pays off, that’s all I can say. Hard work pays off. “
Tolbert and the Toros rode Logan Pierce on Tuesday. The senior scored 19 of his game-high 29 points in the third quarter. He drained four 3-pointers in the period, the latter giving his team a 60-44 lead before heading to fourth.
“Logan is a microwave,” Tolbert said. “The first thing I think of when I see him is Vinnie Johnson (the former Detroit Piston). Logan is absolutely capable of turning it on at any time. I’m glad he did it on one of the biggest stages today in the regional final.
Pierce was 6 of 9 at 3 points in the game. In fact, his six 3s were the only ones on his team of the match. The Toros were 6 of 19 beyond the arc. They led by no less than 21 in the second half. The Spanish fort also passed Calera 52-34.
RELATED: Results of Tuesday’s regional finals
“They’re a good team,” Calera coach George Drake said of Spanish Fort. “They have 27-3 for a reason. I think they came out and were focused. We struggled to keep them in front of us. When you give up about 30 points like we did in the third quarter, it’s going to be very difficult to win. Spanish Fort did a hell of a job capitalizing on our mistakes.
Game Star: Pierce’s great third quarter turned the game in favor of the Toros. He was 9 out of 16 from the field overall and 5 out of 6 from the foul line. He also had three interceptions and no turnover.
Statistical sheet: Spanish fort – Kolby Horace had 24 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Cameron Keshock had 12 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists. Colby McAllister had 12 rebounds. Calera – Jordan Eggleston had 16 points and 4 steals. Chad Chambers had 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Keshawn Haynes had 13 points and 8 rebounds. Trevon Stoutemire had 12 points and Isaiah Green had 10.
In numbers: 27 – turnover by Spanish Fort. … 2 – 3 points achieved in 17 attempts by Calera. … 5 – directing changes in the game.… 71 – shots of the pitch by Calera.
Did you know? Spanish Fort and Calera played earlier this season in a tournament in Thompson. The Toros won the game 85-83.
They said it:
“I just told our guys at half-time that if we stop turning the ball around, put in a few more offensive sets and don’t accelerate, we’ll be fine. I felt like we were in a good position, that we could score. I thought we passed them in the first half, but we had more turnovers and that was the difference. The message was simple: stop flipping the ball, run the offense, bounce back and good things will happen, and they did. – Tolbert.
“This one hurts. We had a hell of a race. We have had a great season. We had a lot of seniors (8), and they’ve been playing their butt since the first game. I hate losing this group. “- Drake.
“He always has the green light, but even with the green light there is an understanding of the time and the score of the game. Still, I have to admit there were a couple of times today where I called a certain game and before we could get into it Logan was pulling a 3 in rhythm and emptying it. When he does, it’s hard to tell him not to shoot it. – Tolbert on Pierce.
“He’s absolutely playing to his potential. He’s been important to us, especially in the last two or three weeks of the season. He understands what he is capable of doing. He’s so athletic. He’s able to challenge the guys on the perimeter. He moves well enough to defend the little guys and he can hit low. He is one of our keys. – Tolbert on Keshock.
The next step? Spanish Fort will play at 11:30 am Monday at UAB in the Class 6A State Semifinals.