Talladega center Camille Buckhanon’s 27-point showing proved too much for Anniston in a 53-43 victory in girls high school basketball action at Chuck Miller Arena on Thursday.
Her performance led the scoring for the Lady Tigers, with 15 of those points coming in the first half of a tightly-contested matchup. Talladega (2-2) held a 24-22 halftime edge before slowly pulling away in the fourth quarter.
“I think we came out with a little bit more energy,” said Talladega head coach Jannie Keith. “We’re still not getting to the point of playing four quarters yet. We come out in the first and second quarter, and we’re just not mentally ready (defensively).
“But see, when we go in the locker room, we can discuss some things and talk about a couple things. We came out with a little more motivation and momentum, so that kind of helped. But we’ve got to get to playing four quarters.”
The Lady Bulldogs (2-2) evened the score at 24-all at the start of the third with a short basket from Keandra Finley, who scored 11 points.
It was the first of only two instances the score would be tied in the second half. Anniston would tie the game at 32-all with 2:05 remaining in the third on a free throw by Miajah Bullock. But Talladega never trailed after the break.
Bullock scored all 10 of Anniston’s fourth-quarter points by driving to the basket and finished the game with a team-high 22 points. Six of those points came in the quarter’s first two minutes and helped pull Anniston to within a point, 40-39.
That was the closest the Lady Bulldogs would get to evening the score.
With a 48-41 lead and 2:30 left to play, Talladega’s Gabby Johnson hit a shot from beyond the arc to give the Lady Tigers a comfortable cushion. The shot capped a stretch where Talladega went on an 11-2 run midway through the quarter.
Johnson finished second in scoring for Talladega with 18 points.
“We expect Gabby to hit those baskets,” Keith said. “Sometimes you’re going to have those nights, but tonight she came through when we needed her to come through because that gave us the stamina to (be) steadfast and know we could move forward. We’re going to get it together. We’re still making some young mistakes, but I have some great players and we’re going to get there.”