HUNTSVILLE – Columbia’s 12-point advantage over Muscle Shoals in the fourth quarter of the Class 6A, Area 15 tournament championship looked almost insurmountable.
But Muscle Shoals’ pressure defense stepped up and sparked a late rally that culminated in a 67-63 overtime win over top-ranked Columbia.
The win means the Trojans will host its sub-regional game Tuesday night against Decatur.
Mark Sears led the Trojans’ offensive attack with 23 points including several key buckets in the closing minutes of regulation. Mikey McIntosh added 16 points and Ty Smith chipped in 10.
Muscle Shoals led 32-25 at the half, but the Trojans were unable to get shots to fall in the third quarter and Columbia took the lead and pushed its advantage to 52-40 with just over five minutes left in the game.
But Muscle Shoals – who had lost to the Eagles in overtime in their regular season meeting in Huntsville – kept chipping away at the lead to force the extra four minutes.
The Trojans quickly took control in overtime to take the area championship.