NE Regional: Oden's game-winner lifts Brewer girls back to Final Four (video)
by Mark Edwards
Feb 21, 2014 | 2924 views |  0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brewer's Emily Oden takes a shot from a Arab double team Friday during the AHSAA Northeast Regional 5A girls final at Pete Mathews Coliseum on the campus of Jacksonville State University.  (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Brewer's Emily Oden takes a shot from a Arab double team Friday during the AHSAA Northeast Regional 5A girls final at Pete Mathews Coliseum on the campus of Jacksonville State University. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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Brewer senior guard Emily Oden sank a game-winning basket with 3.6 seconds left to lift the Patriots to a Class 5A Northeast Regional girls championship and fourth straight trip to the Final Four.

Oden's basket clinched a 50-49 win Friday over Arab, which had beaten Brewer twice this season and seemed on the verge of doing it a third time.

Brewer coach Ricky Allen called it "poetic justice" that Oden was at the center of the celebration. A thin, quiet 5-foot-6 role player who is considered one of the best students at Brewer High, Oden usually stays in the background as plenty of the attention goes to two-time all-state center Riley Northway.

"EO is one of the best young ladies, period," Allen said. "She has waited her turn, and when her turn came, she did it."

Northway, who picked up a regional MVP award for the fourth straight year, got her fourth foul with 3:53 to play in the third quarter. She went to the bench, and almost immediately after returning, she got her fifth with 4:36 to play.

With Northway sitting on the sideline, Oden finished with 10 points, including six in the final 2:22.

Brewer was up 48-45 with 1:00 to play before Arab scored consecutive baskets for a 49-48 advantage. As 6.7 seconds remained, Brewer had the ball out of bounds underneath its own basket.

With senior Cheyenne McLemore inbounding the ball, Allen had given her orders to look for senior forward Savana Flack first, junior forward Malerie Drinkard second and whatever guard was open in the corner third. Naturally, Arab shut off the first two options, leaving Oden open in the corner. McLemore bounced the ball to her, and with Allen yelling for her to go to the hoop, Oden drove the baseline and let loose a 10-foot shot that hit the rim and went through the basket.

"There was a lot going on," a smiling Oden said, "but I was listening to Coach Allen."

Flack finished with 14 points for Brewer (28-7), as Northway had 12 points and six rebounds. Shelby Beam had 13 for Arab (20-12) before fouling out.

Brewer will play in the 5A state semifinals Thursday at noon against Sylacauga (27-3) at the BJCC Arena.

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Video of Oden's basket, taken from the opposite baseline:

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