Charlie Wilson sparked a 22-point fourth quarter, and the Pine Forest High boys basketball team held off Fairhope (Ala.), 55-43, in the semifinals of the Tate Christmas Tournament on Friday night.
Wilson, a 6-foot-6 forward, scored a team-high 18 points, 14 of which came in the final eight minutes to help hold off a scrappy Pirates squad.
"We just got lucky," said Pine Forest coach Brad Grant, whose Eagles will play for the tournament title against Mars Hill (Ala.) Bible School at 7:30 tonight. "We did not play well, but I give credit to Fairhope because they came out and played us hard. We just looked like we were asleep for most of the game."
Except for Wilson.
With just a 33-24 lead at the end of the third quarter, the senior did all he could to make sure the Eagles held on for the win, scoring seven of his team's first nine points in the final period. Wilson's effort helped Pine Forest extend its lead to 42-29 with 6:05 left in the game.
But the Pirates then went on an 8-2 run to cut the Eagles' lead to 46-41. That's when Wilson got to work again.
He drew a foul while making a layup and converted the ensuing free throw for a three-point play with 1:40 left on the clock. Wilson then made two consecutive dunks to pull the Eagles away for the win.
"Charlie had a fantastic game," said Grant, whose Eagles are 12-0. "But we were making too many mental mistakes tonight. I give credit to Fairhope, too, because they came out and got after us."
"Sometimes, you've got to win a game from a spurt," Grant added. "We had a fantastic spurt in the fourth quarter. So that's what you've got to do sometimes."
Tate rally comes up short
Tate rallied in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough to get the Aggies (4-8) past Mars Hill Bible School in a 56-49 loss.
The Aggies now will play in the tournament's third-place game against Fairhope at 6 p.m. today.
Twain Williams led Tate, scoring a team-high 18 points.
Tate Christmas Tournament
PINE FOREST 55, FAIRHOPE 43
Pine Forest...13 9 11 22 -- 55
Fairhope...8 5 9 19 -- 43
Pine Forest (12-0) -- Charlie Wilson 18, Shamar Johnson 9, Dante Young 5, Ladamian Robbins 6, Davevon Finkliy 2, Reggie McKelvey 5, Deonya Walton 2, DeMarcus Glover 6.
MARS HILL 56, TATE 49
MARS HILL...15 19 12 10 -- 56
Tate...11 11 11 16 -- 49
Tate (4-8) -- Twain Williams 18, Deon'te Nicholson 7, Tyler Hudson 4, Travis Walton 8, Luke Dykes 4, Tanner Moore-Hudgens 5.