(WTVM) - A thrilling finish to the Central Regional Final has the Auburn High Tigers punching their ticket to Birmingham.
Mississippi State commit Garrison Brooks's bucket with seven seconds remaining gave the Tigers a 50-49 win over region rival Central.
Down by one with 11.5 seconds to go, the Tigers inbounded the ball to their star center, who laid in the go-ahead bucket. Central had one last shot at the buzzer, but it fell short, giving Auburn the win and a trip to the Final 4.
When the final buzzer sounded, nothing but joy for Brooks and his Tiger teammates.
"Honestly I couldn't get to my mom, my teammates grabbed me so I really wanted to go hug my mom and grandma, but I wasn't able to it was just so much excitement for our team," Brooks said.
It was a back and forth affair. Auburn led 16-13 after one, but after losing the lead in the 2nd, they trailed until the 4th quarter. They were able to tie things up, and after surrendering a three from Central's Demarkus Lampley, they came back to take the lead 48-47 with less than two minutes to go.
Central would add a bucket from De'Anthony Miles to retake the lead, but Brooks had the final say with the go-ahead basket to make it 50-49.
Brooks led all scorers with 15 points. Teammates Preston Cook and Christian Brandt were tied for second on the team with 12.
Lampley led Central with 12 points.
Auburn will play Vestavia Hills in the State Semifinals on Thursday, March 2 in Birmingham.