After falling behind in the third, the Tigers used a 9-2 fourth quarter run to seal the win.
Talladega now has three wins in four games with rival Sylacauga this year.
“There were so many ups and downs in that game,” said Talladega head coach Chucky Miller. “It was like a roller-coaster. (We) played very good, intense basketball in the fourth quarter. Everybody that played did a great job for us. That game could have gone either way.”
Stedman Scott led the Tigers with 18 points. Trey Riggins had 10, and tournament MVP Jacob Twymon had eight points.
Donterious Riggins had 16 points and five rebounds to lead Sylacauga.
Kowan Burk had 10 points and seven rebounds. Quan Threatt also had 10 points.
“It was a strange game,” said Sylacauga head coach Josh Golden. “I felt like for most of the game we were in control, but (Talladega) made a couple of runs. It was an evenly matched game. I thought we played well enough to win, but we didn’t hit shots tonight. We had a bunch of looks that weren’t even contested that good shooters just missed.”
At the 7:35 mark of the fourth quarter, Justin Browning was whistled for a technical foul following a push, and Scott put Talladega up 41-39 by sinking three of his four free throws. Browning fouled out on the play, and Sylacauga lost the lead for good.
“Obviously that had a big effect on the game,” Golden said. “I’m not saying we would have won the game if that wouldn’t have happened, but I sure do like our chances a lot more. It was unfortunate that it happened.”
As area champs, Talladega will host Booker T. Washington Friday night in the Sub-Regionals.
“They always have great size and they have an excellent coach,” Miller said. “They will give us a very physical game. They’ll take it to us.”
Valley, which defeated BTW Monday night, will host Sylacauga.
“I know they’re pretty athletic,” Golden said. “We have a team that has a bunch of seniors on it and they want to keep on playing. We have to get over this one and realize this isn’t the end of our season. We just lost to a good basketball team at their place. I’m not disappointed tonight. I think we played hard.”
Christian Hutchinson got the scoring going with a jumper, and Sylacauga responded with a 3-pointer from Chris Oden.
Sylacauga took a 10-5 lead following Threatt’s trey, but Talladega evened things up with Twymon’s triple three possessions later.
Sylacauga built its lead up to 14-11 at the end of the quarter, but Talladega took the lead with a 12-4 run in the second.
Trey Riggins hit a 3-pointer at the 3-minute mark to cut the Aggie lead down to 20-19, and a fast-break layup from Twymon tied the game at 22 moments later.
Twymon’s two-handed jam in the closing minute gave the Tigers the lead and Dominic Johnson closed the first half scoring, putting Talladega up 28-24.
The Aggies regained the lead with an 11-2 third quarter run.
Eight of the 11 points came from the hot hand of Donterious Riggins. His 3-pointer midway through the quarter gave Sylacauga a 35-30 lead and prompted a timeout from Miller.
“He had a great tournament,” Golden said when asked about his guard’s play. “He’s a very good basketball player. If we can get everybody clicking on the same night we’re going to be very tough to beat. Donterious has been playing very well lately.”
The Tigers used free throws to get within three points at 37-34 toward the end of the quarter. They held a brief lead at 38-37 before Donterious Riggins hit a buzzer-beating jumper to put Sylacauga up by one.
Five points from Craig Cunningham following the technical foul put the Aggies back up at 44-41. Javarius Lawson’s 3-pointer at the 3:30 mark sparked a 9-2 Talladega run, and the Aggies could not recover from the 54-48 deficit.
Trey Riggins, Hutchinson, Scott were named to the All-Tournament team for Talladega. Donterrious Riggins, Threatt and Kowan Burke made the list for Sylacauga.
Contact Wesley Sinor at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @SinorDHsports.