With the win Talladega advances to the AHSAA Class 5A Central Regional on the campus of Alabama State.
“We had a great effort from all the guys tonight,” Talladega head coach Chucky Miller said. “They were really focused. We turned up our defensive pressure tonight especially in the third quarter. All the kids played good. It was the last home game for the seniors and they were really fire up about that. The main thing is that we moved on to the next step.”
With the win the Tigers earn their first 30-win season since 1973, which was Miller’s 10th grade season at Talladega.
“It is a great accomplishment,” Miller said. “They have worked hard. We have been in it for four months now and they give me a solid effort everyday.”
BTW got off to a quick start against the Tigers.
Christian Hutchinson scored on a 3-point play to give Talladega a 3-2 lead. Stedman Scott tied the game up at 5-5 on a layup off the assist of Trey Riggins. Senior Jacob Twymon picked up two quick fouls and had to go to the bench at the 4:50 mark in the first quarter.
K’James Sanders nailed a 3-pointer to give BTW an 8-5 lead. Javarius Lawson sparked 17-2 run for Talladega. Lawson got things started with a 3-pointer of his own to tie the game up at 8. After Riggins hit a pair of free throws, Lawson got a steal and pulled up for a 3-pointer to make it 13-8.
Scott’s layup off a drop step toward the baseline gave Talladega a 16-10 lead. Lawson layup off the assists of Tyler Duncan pass from under BTW’s goal gave Talladega a 20-10 lead.
The Golden Eagles turned the ball over 13 times in the first quarter and they trailed 24-10 going into the second quarter.
Twymon reentered the game for Talladega in the second quarter and immediately made an impact. He threw down a two-handed dunk off a lob pass from Lawson to give Talladega a 27-13 lead. Talladega ended the quarter on a 16-5 run.
Hutchinson scored a layup off the assist from Riggins to give Talladega a 29-17 lead.
Scott scored five straight for the Tigers to increase their lead to 34-20. Hutchinson scored fours straight points, including a layup he to took coast to coast to give Talladega a 38-20 lead. Lawson connected on a 3-pointer to make it 41-22.
The Tigers closed the half with back to back layups off of turnovers to take a 45-22 lead into intermission.
The Golden Eagles turned the ball over 28 times in the first half.
“We were just trying to pick up the pace,” Miller said. “We knew [Samuel Sparks] was a good ball handler. I just didn’t know how the other ones were and we were going to make more than one person try to handle the ball. That was our game plan tonight and it worked.”
The Tigers put on a show for their home crowd in the third quarter. Twymon got things started with a two-handed slam. The senior then skied over a couple of BTW defenders for a putback.
On Talladega’s next trip down the court Riggins penetrated the Golden Eagles defense and found Twymon for a 3-pointer to make it 56-28. Hutchinson then got into the action with a dunk off a lob pass from Twymon to make it 62-30.
Twymon then buried another triple to make it 65-30. Twymon then found Hutchinson on a lob pass on a fast break for a dunk.
Talladega had five players to score in double digits. Lawson led the way with 17 points, Twymon and Hutchinson scored 14 points apiece. Dominick Johnson and Scott chipped in with 10 points apiece.
The will take on Pleasant Grove-Bryant on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Acadome on the campus of Alabama State University.
“We have been there a number of times,” Miller said. “You have to come play your game. You have to stay with what got you there. You don’t need to change much. You have to go in there and give yourself a chance to win.”
Contact LaVonte Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at LYoung_DHSports.