Talladega High School’s boys basketball team held on to defeat archrival Sylacauga 58-49 on Friday night at Chuck Miller Arena.
Talladega (13-4) saw a 15-point first-quarter lead disappear, but the Tigers made plays late to win.
“We played with great effort,” Talladega head coach Chucky Miller said. “We shut them down in the first quarter, but you knew that they were going to come back.
‘We played really good defense for a while, but we lost our composure. When someone (Shannon Grant) is 6-foot-10, it is hard playing him. He is so big and strong inside. You can’t match up with that.”
The opening period belonged to the Tigers, who jumped out to a 17-3 lead.
The Aggies (13-8), however, were able to battle back, outscoring Talladega 18-10 in the second quarter to slash the lead to 27-21 at intermission.
Sylacauga opened the third period with a 10-4 run to tie the game at 31-all, but the Aggies were unable to move in front, and Talladega took a 38-36 edge into the final eight minutes.
The Tigers opened the final quarter by scoring five quick points, including a 3-pointer by Arron Greene off a Grant turnover to make it 43-36.
Sylacauga responded with a 6-0 spurt capped off by a Crews Proctor 3-pointer to cut the margin to 43-42, but that was as close as the Aggies would get.
The Tigers depended on D’Corian Wilson and Kobe Simmons late. Wilson got things going with a mid-range jumper to increase Talladega’s lead to 45-42.
Simmons provided a spark for the Tigers when he re-entered the game after being forced to miss several minutes after picking up his fourth foul.
Simmons scored three straight points to help Talladega build a 48-42 advantage with 2:56 left.
Sylacauga missed several opportunities to cut into the lead. Grant missed back-to-back layups. He allowed Talladega to tie up the ball low, giving the Tigers the ball because they had the possession arrow.
Green put the game away on a layup set up by a behind-the-back pass from Wilson in transition to increase the lead to nine.
Four to know
- Talladega had three players score in double figures. Simmons led the way with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Wilson recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards. Green chipped in 10 points and five boards.
- Proctor led Sylacauga with 20 points. Grant scored 17.
- Talladega forced 18 turnovers and limited its own to eight.
- The Tigers went 15 of 23 from the free-throw line, while Sylacauga went 4 of 11.
Sylacauga head coach Kent Fullington on the Aggies’ comeback: “I couldn’t be prouder of our effort. We couldn’t simply make a shot, and sometimes that happens. You have to find a way to win games when you can’t make a shot by getting second possessions and getting half-court stops. We were right there with them. The next time we play them will, hopefully, be in the county championship. That will be a fun one.”