By Erik Harris, sports editor
GADSDEN — The Springville boys basketball team reached the finals of the Gaston Christmas Tournament, but suffered its first loss of the season 58-55 to Boaz last Wednesday.
The Tigers (13-1) rallied back with 24 points in the fourth quarter, but came up 3 points shy in the end. Boaz entered the final frame leading 44-29.
Senior forward Ben Bianchi led the late push and finished with a game-high 29 points in the tournament championship loss. Larry Winston sank three of his six 3-point attempts to add 12 points for Springville.
The Pirates separated with a 22-point second quarter, which put them on the right side of a 33-21 halftime score. As a team, Boaz shot 51% from the field thanks in large part to two 16-point efforts from Keaton Kennedy and Chadan Hamilton.
Springville earned a spot in the finals following a 55-50 semifinal victory over Scottsboro last Tuesday.
It was another efficient outing for Bianchi, who worked inside for 19 points on a 7-for-9 shooting effort. Chase Higgins and Jake Goolsby delivered eight points apiece for the Tigers.
Springville outrebounded Scottsboro 38-24 and rallied back from a 35-21 halftime deficit to score the semifinal win.