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Staff photo by Patrick MacCoon / Baylor senior Gehrig Ebel drives to the basket during Friday's loss to Briarcrest Christian in a TSSAA Division II-AA state semifinal at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

Updated with more information at 7 p.m. on March 6, 2020.

NASHVILLE — Marcellus Brigham scored 26 points to lead the Briarcrest Christian boys' basketball team to a 61-41 win over Baylor in a TSSAA Division II-AA state semifinal Friday at Lipscomb University.

The 6-foot-6 Brigham rarely missed, shooting 10-of-13 from the field to help set up the Saints' chance to repeat as state champions.

Baylor senior Grant Johnson ended his high school career by making four 3-pointers for the Red Raiders (16-10), who finished their season with a third straight trip to the state semifinals. The quest for the program's first TSSAA state title was extended for at least another year, as was the case for Baylor's girls with their semifinal loss to Ensworth earlier in the day.

After junior star Nick Kurtz hit two free throws to cut Baylor's deficit to 19-14 with 2:28 remaining in the first half, Briarcrest (25-5) produced a game-changing 15-0 run. Brigham capped that surge by drilling a midrange fadeaway shot to give the Saints a 34-14 lead with 6:42 left in the third quarter.

Kurtz finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Red Raiders, who also got 11 points from sophomore Al Peciulis.

Briarcrest junior phenom Kennedy Chandler, who has scholarship offers from Duke, Michigan and Tennessee among many other college programs, finished with 19 points and four assists.

The Saints advanced to Saturday's 8:30 p.m. EST title game against Knoxville Catholic (24-4), a 75-60 semifinal winner Friday against Christian Brothers (19-11).

Contact Patrick MacCoon at pmaccoon@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.

 

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