Late game magic secures MHS playoff birth

Published 11:12 am Friday, February 9, 2018

Maplesville secured a spot in the sub-regionals with a 66-64 victory against Autaugaville in the Area 5-1A semifinals on Feb. 6.

Autaugaville seemed to be in good shape with a seven-point lead and three minutes to go in the game.

As a result, the Eagles spread the court and went into a delay offense with hopes of running as much clock as possible and leaving Maplesville minimal time for a comeback attempt.

The delay approach ended up backfiring and the Red Devils were able to mount a serious run in the waning moments of the game.

Chaz Morris led Maplesville with 20 points, none bigger than a stretch of five consecutive points that quickly cut the deficit to two with less than a minute left.

Autaugaville missed a pair of free throws and Jackson Abbott took advantage of the situation by receiving a pass from Ajala Robinson and knocking down a corner three-pointer with 20 seconds left to give Maplesville a 65-64 lead.

Robinson followed up the nice feed by taking a charge on the next defensive possession.

Abbott hit one-of-two free throws with 6.4 seconds left to help seal the deal.

Abbott finished with 16 points, while Robinson and Daryl Odom each had 10.

Michael Harris had an influential game on the boards with 12 rebounds.

Now that the Red Devils know they are in the playoffs, the only question remaining is whether they will be playing the sub-regional at home or on the road.

That will all be sorted out with the outcome of the area championship on Feb. 9. If Maplesville defeats Ellwood Christian, it will host the opening round of the playoffs, but a loss would mean the Red Devils have to travel.