CHILDERSBURG -- Childersburg High School’s boys basketball team bested Talladega County Central 44-15 in summer exhibition action Monday.
The Tigers defeated Anniston 36-21 and fell to Handley 41-38 to finish 2-1 at the playdate. Each game featured two 17-minute halves with a running clock outside of the final two minutes, and each team received one timeout per game.
“We started out slow (against TC Central),” Childersburg head coach Johnny Johnson said. “We’ve got to improve and start coming out fast. I thought we shot the ball well … We’re trying to get better defensively and we’ve got some young guys who played last year that played a lot.
“I like what we’re doing with the summer. I like that the guys have come to work every day doing the things we need to try to improve before the fall season gets here. Any time you get play basketball during the summer, you get your work in, which is good for us.”
In 2017-18, the Tigers won the Class 4A, Area 9 title, but Childersburg fell to an emotion-fueled Holt squad 56-46 in a South Central Regional semifinal in Montgomery.
Johnson said the team will have to build on its successes without a group of recently-graduated seniors that included TK Kenebrew, Isaiah Jones and Jelan Kidd.
“Emmanuel Traylor is a guy that played inside for us last year,” Johnson said. “I’m looking at Desmond Pearson to come through, RJ Wyckoff … I’ve got about four guys I’m looking at, but it’s going to be hard to replace TK Kenebrew because he did so much on the boards for us. We’ve got four guys who are really going to come through for us this year.”
The Tigers are 4-6 nearing the halfway point of their summer playdates.
“I mostly hope that we get out (of these games) that our kids learn how to play fast, we improve on our ball skills and just get better as a team,” Johnson said.”
TC Central head coach Acardia Garrett said his team needed to improve its shooting after facing the Tigers.
“We shot about 21 percent from the field,” he said. “I don’t care where you are. If you don’t make the shots, it’s not going to end well for you.
“I’m pleading with the guys that I want more effort. … And we’ve got to stop dropping our heads once we get down … We’ve just got to get better at that.”
Garrett said his team has its own pieces it needs to replace going into the fall, but he’s not concerned with the win-loss record from the summer games.
“We’re trying to get to where we need to be to be a good 1A basketball team,” Garrett said. “We’re trying to put them in spots where they can play the best competition all summer and trying to let them know that the summer competition is about getting better, not so much about wins and losses. It’s about us improving, taking what we’ve got out there and learning how to get better.”
Players and coaches from the Fighting Tigers got some good looks at county and area rival Winterboro, which experienced some slow starts in both halves of a 43-26 loss to Holt.
The Ironmen went on a 16-0 run that lasted roughly 10 minutes after the Bulldogs hit an early 3-pointer. Entering the second half with a 22-12 lead, Holt held Winterboro to just two points in 12 ½ minutes before the Bulldogs put together a 12-point surge to close out the game.
Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith said while he liked the performance he received from his starters against Holt, he added he’s looking for more from his reserves.
“The purpose of the summer is you’ve got to build your bench,” he said. “I like the run that we made. We made a lot of mental mistakes not recognizing what’s going on and we’re going to have to correct that because I don’t expect to play five guys the entire game. That’s the purpose of the summer. Sometimes you can’t get caught up in wins and losses.”
The Bulldogs also played Anniston at the playdate and lost 42-26.