BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Pinson Valley sophomore guard Ga’quincy McKinstry sank a layup and three free throws in the final 1:24 of the fourth quarter Wednesday to lift the Indians past Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 54-51.
The win advances Pinson Valley to its first trip to the 6A state championship game in school history. Pinson Valley’s football team won the state title in 2017 and 2018.
It was the Indians’ defense in the final seconds that provided just enough pressure to make the Patriots’ final shot at buzzer just miss its mark. Pinson Valley (23-9) will face defending state champion Carver-Montgomery (23-10) in the finals Saturday at 2:15 p.m. at Legacy Arena.
McKinstry finished with 18 points, had two steals, three rebounds and was 7-of-7 at the free-throw line for the game. The Indians of Coach Darrell Barber were 11-of-13 as a team. Kam Woods had 13 points, Marques McConico added 11 and Geordon Pollard contributed 10 points in the balanced offensive effort. Horace Wilson also had a game-high 12 rebounds and Pollard had eight.
Hillcrest (28-8), which set a school record for wins this season, was paced by Ja’Lon Johnson’s 27 points and five rebounds. Christian Jones chipped in 13 points for Coach Scott Suttle’s Patriots.