Talladega looks to contain Central's Big 3
by Erich Hilkert
Feb 17, 2014 | 887 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Talladega has only lost two games this season (29-2), but they will put their season on the line this morning as they face Central Tuscaloosa (20-7) at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome at Alabama State University with tipoff scheduled for 10:30 a.m.

The Tigers defeated B.T. Washington in impressive fashion Friday, 83-59.

“Our team was real focused at the sub regional,” Miller said. “At this time of year, there’s a lot on the line so you’ve got to come ready to play. We had such a good first quarter that that set the tempo for the rest of the game. I believe we’ve had an outstanding year. We’ve grown together as a team. I think we’re playing some of our best ball right now at the end of the year.”

The Falcons defeated seventh-ranked Sumter Central to advance to the Central regional game against Talladega. They also beat fifth-ranked Paul Bryant 73-71 earlier this season.

Central Tuscaloosa’s ‘Big Three’ includes: Jevaris Richey, Eddie Harris and Jay’lin Beard.

Richey is the team’s leading scorer averaging more than 20 points per game. Miller believes Richey is one of the best guards he’s seen in several years.

“Richey is such a shooter,” Miller said. “He’s got over 80 3-pointers, but what he does best is drive to the basket. So, you’re going to have to play him honest. He’s just a true guard in every sense of the word. He’s a three-year starter; he’s an All-State caliber player. We’re going to have to try to contain him to have a chance.”

Harris has also put up strong numbers. He led the team in scoring with 19 points in their recent area championship loss to Paul Bryant.

“With our size, where we play with a lot of guards and not really much height or shot blocking, we’ve really got to concentrate on defense to set the tone for the game,” Miller said. “Stopping No. 00 (Richey) and 12 (Eddie Harris), their two top guards, is going to be a problem for us. But we’re anxious to attack the problem.”

Beard had a number of double-doubles while playing in the post this season.

Talladega’s team depth might pay dividends at this stage of the season.

“We’re going about eight to nine deep,” he said. “The other night against B.T. Washington, we had some injuries and some foul trouble and we had to go with guys like Kendarius Smith, Josh Wilson, and Deangelo Pointer. They played great ball games because we had a couple of our guys go down with some minor injuries during the game but nothing to keep them out (Friday).”

Miller believes ultimately execution will be the key for both teams. Whichever team manages to persevere through the shifts of momentum will win the game.

Miller is hoping to see as much support as possible from the fans to get behind and help the team.

“I’m looking for good student support,” he said. “I believe we’re going to pack some buses to bring down there and try to give us a little home court advantage against Central Tuscaloosa. I know both of us are pretty far from Montgomery. We’re anxious to play (Friday). We’re looking forward to it.”