So close

Tiona Roberson scored 12 points and snagged nine rebounds Friday.

Talladega High School’s girls basketball team cruised past rival Sylacauga 58-22 at Chuck Miller Arena on Friday night.

Sophomore power forward Cymarion Scales scored 10 of her team-leading 16 points for the Lady Tigers in the first half and finished the contest with 14 rebounds for a double-double.

“We’ve been trying to find a better effort and we played with a better effort tonight,” Talladega head coach Ryan Dawson said. “I think that was the key to us getting the lead and (keeping) the lead. We had a lot of great effort and we got good rebounding from Scales.”

Talladega built a 19-6 advantage through one quarter and extended its lead to 35-15 going into halftime.

The Lady Aggies trailed 52-18 going into the final stanza, but they continued to battle, holding the Lady Tigers to six points as the clock wound down. Alabama High School Athletic Association rules permit a running clock if a team has a lead of 30 or more points in the final quarter.

Sylacauga head coach Derrick Crawford said the Lady Aggies lost a key piece of their team when De’Liyah Smith suffered a torn ACL in a Nov. 27 game against Anniston (a 51-9 loss). He added the team’s past five losses have been blowouts, but he has appreciated the effort on the court.

“We’re still a work in progress,” Crawford said. “The kids are working hard every day, and I’m proud of the way they’re working. This team will (make) an impact again next year, but we’re not going to wait until next year. We’re going to continue to work every day and we’re going to get better.”

Three to know

- Talladega’s Tiona Roberson fell a board short of a double-double. The junior point guard finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.

- The Lady Tigers committed 25 fouls, more than triple the infractions against the Lady Aggies (eight), but Sylacauga failed to capitalize on its opportunities at the free-throw line (12 of 36).

- Sylacauga junior Aurielle Turner finished with 12 points.

Who said

- Dawson on expectations as the team progresses: “Being that we’re a young team, we want to get better day by day. This right here helps us, because winning helps us. We also learn from losing because we’re a young team and we don’t have any seniors.”

- Crawford on having a young team and finding someone to fill Smith’s role: “This team will get better. We’re going to narrow it down and find … eight or nine girls that can play … We’re going to line up and play.”

Up next

- Talladega will host Anniston on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

- Sylacauga (0-10) will battle Lincoln at home Tuesday at 6 p.m.