The Cleburne County Tigers closed out the 2013-14 basketball season with two strong performances in their final three games. In the semifinal round of Class 4A, Area 10 tournament at Anniston on Feb. 7, Cleburne County challenged Munford with a tight zone defense, held the Lions to about 20 percent shooting from outside the arc and won 63-51. The Tigers led at every break. It was 13-10 after the first quarter, 34-25 at halftime and 46-35 after three quarters. Munford needed to score from outside but netted just four 3-point attempts.
Max Prichard and Christian Henson led Cleburne County in scoring with 20 points and 18 points respectively. Twelve of Prichard’s 20 came in the second quarter, helping the Tigers to their halftime advantage. Cameron Kerr tallied seven points. Brandon Horn and Tyler Berry each scored six points. Jeremiah McLeroy, Matthew Morrow and Griffin Turner had two points apiece.
The victory over Munford guaranteed Cleburne County an appearance in sub-regional action for the first time in 10 years or more.
In the Area 10 tournament title game on Feb. 10, regular-season champion Anniston won 86-34. Henson scored nine points, Kerr eight and Prichard six. Morrow scored three points. Horn, Isaiah Ware and Jeremiah Blake each scored two points. Turner and Blake Pointer made one free throw each.
At the conclusion of the Area 10 tournament, the regular season all-area team was announced. Prichard, Henson, Morrow and Kerr were Cleburne County’s members of the all-area team.
The Tigers showed their resiliency when they played toe to toe against heavily favored Area 11 champion Hokes Bluff at Hokes Bluff on Feb. 14 in a sub-region contest before falling 44-40.
The Eagles (27-5), featuring 7-foot-plus Isaac Haas at center, led just 10-7 after one quarter. It was 20-18 Hokes Bluff late in the half until the Eagles scored four quick points just before halftime for a 24-18 lead at the break.
In the third quarter, Hokes Bluff outscored Cleburne County 11-5. Trailing 35-23, the Tigers rallied behind Prichard and Morrow in the final eight minutes as Hokes Bluff struggled at the free throw line. Prichard had eight points, two baskets and 4-for-4 shooting at the line, in the fourth. Morrow netted a 3-point basket and a 2-pointer on consecutive possessions.
Prichard scored 20 points overall, including two treys. Morrow finished with seven points, Henson six, Kerr five and McLeroy two.
The loss at Hokes Bluff closed Cleburne County’s season at 10-17.