HOT SPRINGS — Winning one state title is hard enough.
At Bay, though, it’s getting to be a regular thing.
“Tradition never runs out of eligibility,” said Yellowjackets coach Brad Brannen after Bay downed Emerson, 61-55, on Friday night for the Class 1A Boys’ state championship. “We just wanted to win another state championship.”
It wasn’t something he talked about a lot to his team.
“They knew it,” Brannen said.
This one didn’t come easily, though. Going into the final quarter, Emerson led 45-43 in a game that had been tied seven times and saw four lead changes.
The final lead change came with 4:24 to play on a pair of free throws by Tyler Pritchett that gave the Yellowjackets a 49-47 lead.
At the time, few thought it would hold up. The game was tied once more at 51-51 on a layup by the Pirates’ Tavion Revels with 2:33 left, but then Bay started pulling away.
A 3-pointer by Pritchett, who led all scorers in the game with 30 points, was followed by a pair of free throws from Taylor Layne and it was a 5-point lead, 56-51, with 1:01 left.
From there, two free throws from Robert McFadden and 3-of-4 at the line by Layne opened a 60-53 lead with 13 seconds left.
Layne finished with 14 points and Robert McFadden had 9.
Revels led Emerson with 25 points and Kenneth Collins added 13.