Villa Rica trailed Allatoona by 13 points in the third quarter and by 10 at the end of it 42-32. In the fourth they were bidding for the upset. Yassar El’Amin drove for a deuce that brought the Wildcats to within five at 44-39 with 3:10 to play. Rodney Hill came to life scoring seven points in the quarter. Hill scored off an offensive rebound followed by a corner three-pointer, after Allatoona missed the front end of the one-and-one, tying the game at 48 with 16 seconds remaining. Hill finished with 10 points.
“They tried to spread us and go one on one up top and shooting the ball hoping for the foul. (Rodney Hill) got loose and got hot…(Marcus Miller) and (Hill) are two of their best shooters and (Hill) hit a big shot, heck of a job,” Allatoona head coach Markus Hood said.
Allatoona’s Daniel Fowler was fouled near mid court with 10 seconds to play sending the senior to the foul line for the one-and-one. Dorsey rebounded the missed free throw, gave it to El’Amin who had it stolen by Fowler and he put in a soft lay-up as the horn sounded. An uproar from the Villa Rica faithful drowned out the horn looking for a foul on the steal, the Allatoona faithful cheered in victory. The lead official quickly signaled to the scorers table that the basket counted and the game was over, 50-48 Allatoona.
“We had two trapping. Ephriam has the best hands of anybody I’ve ever coached, Daniel turned him went right into him got the steal and Daniel made a heck of a play,” Hood said. “We knew there were out of timeouts at that moment. We showed the toughness, we won the ballgame, we didn’t lose this ballgame and that’s very important for us to know. We won a tough game against a tough team.”
Fowler finished with a team-high 13 points, Ephraim Tshimanga added 8, Bradley Brevet 7 while Shamar Griffin and Malik Cornelius had six each for Allatoona. The Buccaneers shot 69% from the foul line.
Josh Lay led Villa Rica (20-7) with 14 going 8-for-9 from the free throw line. Yassar El’Amin tallied 10 going 6-for-9 from the line. Lay and El’Amin combined to shoot 18 of Villa Rica’s 20 free throws. Marcus Miller finished with nine points.
Allatoona (26-1) advances to the region championship game where they will play South Paulding (22-4). South Paulding has won for of their last five and defeated Hiram in the region semifinals. The Spartans fell to the Buccaneers during their only regular season meeting in December 55-43.