Every time Westside-Augusta’s AuMauri Tillman saw another Providence Christian 3-pointer go through the net, it made him more determined to dig in.
The approach worked as the senior scored 36 points and had seven rebounds, three assists and two steals to lead the Patriots to an 89-81 overtime victory over Providence Christian and enable Westside to defend its state championship.
Westside trailed by 11 points in the third quarter in the midst of a 14-2 run by Providence Christian. That’s when Tillman decided it was time to step up.
“When we got down by 11, it’s like what my dad tells me. That’s when the dogs get to come out,” Tillman said.
And Tillman was the dog. He scored his team’s next nine points and keyed a rally which eventually helped Westside tie the game at 58.
The game was tied at 71 at the end of regulation and that’s when Tillman and senior Khalon Hudson, the Region 4 Player of the Year, took over. Hudson put Westside ahead to stay with a basket that made it 77-76.
Hudson also came up with a crucial loose ball following a missed free that allowed the Patriots to hold on.
“We’re a veteran ballclub,” coach Jerry Hunter said. “We understand the lessons we’ve learned. We didn’t want to be the team with the best players, we wanted to be the team that was playing the best.”
Westside (24-7) got 21 points and 13 rebounds from Hudson, who also had five steals, three assists and one block. Jalexs Ewing contributed 18 points and four rebounds and DeMarco Middleton scored 11 points.
Providence Christian (27-5) was 17-for-34 on its 3-pointers. Samuel Thacker, the Region 8 Player of the Year and school’s all-time 3-point shooting leader, scored 22 points, going 7-for-12 on 3s, with three assists.
Devin McClain had 21 points, including five treys, with eight rebounds and four assists. Kam Carryl scored 16 with six assists and two steals and Thomas Malcom scored 12.
Jalexs Ewing 18, DeMarco Middleton 11, AuMauri Tillman 36, Xavier Goss, Khalon Hudson 21, Jarius Adkinson, Aldrion Jones, Dontrell Jackson 1, Bobby Blackwell 2.
Providence Christian (81)
Kam Carryl 16, Thomas Malcom 12, Samuel Thacker 22, Chandler Dunn 8, Devin McClain 21, Caleb Lee, Matthew Miller, Ephraim Rowell, Lawson Stephens, Luke Krakoviak, Dre Booker 2.
Westside - 16-16-22-17-18 -- 89
Providence Christian -- 15-21-22-13-10 --81
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