TC Central advances

Faith Johnson scored 13 points against Victory Christian on Tuesday.

HOWELL’S COVE -- Talladega County Central High School’s girls basketball team cruised past Victory Christian 68-24 in the semifinals of the Class 1A, Area 9 tournament Tuesday.

The fifth-ranked Lady Fighting Tigers (23-8) will take on rival Winterboro on Friday at 6 p.m. in the championship game. The Lady Bulldogs defeated Ragland 57-33 in the other semifinal.

“We were hoping to get off to a fast start tonight with it being the first round of the area,” TC Central head coach Robert Duncan said. “We came out with a lot of energy and we got a fast start.

“We got a couple of early turnovers to get our offense going. Our defense transitioned to offense, and we were able to overwhelm them there in that first half. We had a couple of girls to shoot the ball well.

“We look forward to the championship round on Friday.”

TC Central put the game out of reach early, jumping out to a 22-5 lead. Jamiya Whitson scored 11 of her 13 points in the opening period, including three 3-pointers.

The lead ballooned to 46-5 going into intermission. Faith Johnson scored seven of her 13 points in the second period. Devona Gover did all of her scoring the first half. The junior scored six of her 11 points in the second stanza.

Duncan said in a game like this, he wants to see his team maintain a high level of energy, especially on defense.

“You can’t get lax against any opponent, that’s when injuries come up and things of that nature,” he said. “I was glad that we came out with good energy and a positive attitude all the way around.

“I think it was a long wait for the girls from after school to 6 p.m., but they really came out with a lot of energy. They got up and down the floor; we had a lot of defensive energy. I like our chances going into the championship game.”  

Margaret Frey led the way for Victory Christian with 14 points.

Frey and the Lady Lions defeated Alabama School for the Deaf 40-32 Monday night to advance to the semifinals.

Victory Christian finished the season 5-15.

Meanwhile, the Lady Fighting Tigers will take on Winterboro for the fourth time this season. TC Central has won all three meetings, including a 62-36 win over the Lady Bulldogs in the Talladega County Tournament in January.