Talladega High School’s girls basketball team used a strong fourth quarter to defeat Pike Road 49-42 in the Class 5A sub-regional game Monday night.
With the win, the Tigers advance to the Southeast Regional. Talladega will travel to take on the winner of Carroll/Andalusia on Thursday.
“I am very excited,” Talladega head coach Rebbeca Williams said. “We have a saying an ugly win is better than a pretty loss. We are excited to be able to advance. I know last year they lost in the sub-regional game, so we have been harping on getting that home game (in sub-regionals) so we can control what is going to happen next.”
The game was tied 33-33 at the end of the third. Talladega picked up on the pressure on the defensive end as they were able to force several turnovers.
Talladega also had players to step up offensively in the final eight minutes. Takierra Swain scored five of her 12 points in the fourth.
Trinity Webb also got going as she scored nine of her game-high 23 points with her team needing her the most.
“I basically told the girls that it is 0-0 now,” Williams said. “At that point, it was about who wanted it more. We knew that No. 21 (Shaniya Lampley) was about to foul out. She was getting a lot of easy shots up under the basket. I also asked the bookkeeper what Trinity’s stats and I told her. She was like, ‘I didn’t know that I didn’t have that many points.’ From that point on we just knew it was going to be one of those things of who was going to outwork who.”
Pike County head coach Todd Reynolds said his team’s inexperience played a role in them coming up short in the fourth.
“We were playing with eighth graders and they are going to make an eighth grader mistake down the stretch,” Reynolds said. “The pressure got to them. We did a good job for three and a half quarters, but not down the stretch.”
Talladega led 10-8 at the end of one and they took a 24-20 into halftime.
“I am just trying to keep the tradition here,” Williams said. “ Talladega is known for girls and boys basketball. We are a basketball school. Jannie Keith did a great job with basketball. Ryan Dawson came in and did a great job. I went into halftime and I asked Ryan what do I need to fix because we could not get going. That’s what I love about here because everybody works together. We are really one team in the boys and girls basketball program. We don’t mind taking pointers and helping each other out.”