Mixson celebrates with the ceremonial cutting down of the nets
Photos by Kyle Thornton
Tigers win area title, host sub-regional Tuesday
By Michael Butler
It might be the best season in Tallassee basketball history, but there is still unfinished business.
"There's a sign that we touch before every game that is to go to Birmingham," senior Tyrek Turner said. "That's been the goal the whole season."
The first step towards that goal begins with the Tigers' first playoff game, a sub-regional matchup vs. Charles Henderson on Tuesday at Tallassee's Stumberg Gymnasium.
"Since last season, coach told us we're goint to get in the gym and work," Turner added. "All this is gearing us to go far."
Head coach Keiven Mixson is in his third year at Tallassee. On Thursday his Tigers won their second area title in three years with a 44-41 comeback victory over Brewbaker Tech.
Prior to the game, Turner was handed a commemorative 1,000-point ball for eclipsing the milestone in his career in the Beauregard game on the first day of the the area tournament.
"It's a big accomplishment," Turner said. "Not too many people from the Tallassee history of basketball have hit a 1,000 points. I feel blessed to hit that. I'd like to thank my teammates, coaches, family members, friends and the whole Tallassee community for supporting me and the team. The love has been so amazing this entire season."
That "love" has never been more prevalent than during the area tourney title game. The raucous crowd got behind the team in a thrilling fourth quarter. Tallassee trailed 37-27 but ended the game on a 17-4 run.
"People got their money's worth," Mixson said. "I looked in the huddle and we had our heads down. We needed somebody to step up. Guess who it was? A guy who's signing a Division I scholarship."
Mixson was referring to Tavarious "Truck" Griffin, another senior, who signed a college football scholarship with Alcorn State on Wednesday. Griffin finished with a game-leading 14 points.
"This whole season, God keeps blessing this team," said Mixson. "Halfway through the year, I worried every time we played a game. LD Bell told me, 'You stress out too much.' I had a friend tell me, 'You've got to enjoy your season. You're having a great season.' I prayed about it. Usually I'd be stressed out. Even when we were down ten, I wasn't panicked."
The win extended Tallassee's home win streak to 25 games. The Tigers last lost on the home floor came in last season's season opener on Nov. 18, 2018 vs. Auburn (48-46).
"I've got six seniors. We're family. I love these kids and what they have done for this program and me. They're going to be in my heart forever. They have been the foundation for this program."
The sub-regional round of the playoffs tips off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 11 with Tallassee (26-4), the Class 5A/Area 4 champs vs. Charles Henderson (17-13), the Class 5A/Area 3 runner-up, who lost to Greenville 61-50 on Thursday. The Trojans beat Tallassee in the sub-regionals last year in Troy 44-38.
1300 WTLS/106.5 FM will broadcast live beginning at 6:30. The game will also be available on the TuneIn app.