Green’s 26-point performance led Saks to a 63-62 win over Piedmont on Friday in the Class 3A, Area 10 area tournament. The Wildcats (13-7) will play tournament-host Weaver in the finals Monday at 7 p.m.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” Green said. “We’re playing in their house, which is a little bitty gym, and they’re going to have most of the seats.”
On Friday, the game was a little more personal for Green than for most of his teammates.
While he has played for Saks the past two seasons, Green was a Piedmont Bulldog for the three seasons before that. There was also extra motivation for the rest of the team, which remembered when Piedmont defeated Saks on its own floor in last season’s area tournament after the Bulldogs went 0-6 in area play.
“Last year was one of the most disappointing losses I think I’ve ever had just because I didn’t think we really competed,” Saks coach Jonathan Miller said. “This year, we didn’t play great, but I thought tonight we competed better and played well in the fourth quarter and came out with the win.”
Putting emotion aside, Green made the biggest outcome in the game, despite not scoring in the first quarter and only had four points at the second.
The first half belonged to Piedmont, which led 35-27 at the break. The Bulldogs (15-11) headed to the locker room after knocking down 7 of 14 from 3-point range, including their first six in the game.
“We just didn’t stop them all night,” Miller said. “It was a game in which we were going to have to outscore them. We just found a way to win coming down the stretch in the fourth.”
Green’s hot shooting didn’t start until Saks trailed 43-34. His scoring spree began with nine straight points that cut Piedmont’s lead to two.
Saks was unable to capitalize in the third quarter and trailed 57-50 in the middle of the fourth before Green caught fire again. This time, he was not going to be denied the lead.
Green scored the next 13 points for Saks while it held Piedmont to a mere bucket. Green’s second three-pointer of the run gave Saks a 60-59 lead with 1:14 left. Piedmont was unable to overcome a four-point deficit after Tre Smith added two free throws in the next minute.
“I thought I was hot so I kept shooting until I missed,” Green said. “Then I had to rely on my teammates.”
Saks’ Monty Young scored 12 points, while Daniel Heard added 10 and Darion Coleman had eight. Denard Spears led Piedmont with 23 points, while Darnell Jackson and Caleb Adams each added 11.
Weaver boys 65, White Plains 55: Although Weaver struggled at the free throw line for most of the game, the Bearcats were able to get past White Plains by hitting important foul shots at the end.
Weaver will play Saks in the Class 3A, Area 10 championship game on Monday at 7 p.m.
“This is probably one of the toughest areas that you can imagine,” Weaver coach Daryl Hamby said. “From Saks to Piedmont to White Plains, two good teams got eliminated tonight. It’s sad because they’re very good teams, but we’re just happy to be playing Monday.”
After White Plains led a majority of the game, and took a 45-41 lead into the fourth quarter, Weaver stopped shooting jump shots and started penetrating the lane.
“That’s what our game plan is,” Hamby said. “We try to run and use our speed and hope it takes over in the fourth quarter. It just worked out for us tonight.”
Chris English led the way for Weaver, scoring 33 points. Shon’D McKinney added 10. White Plains received 11 points from Eli Hightower and 10 from Murphy Doss.
Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star.