Tigers area tourney champs again, sub-regional this week
By Michael Butler
The third time was the charm. Tallassee lost a couple of close ones to Pike Road during the regular season - most notably a buzzer beater on Jan. 26 which gave the Patriots the top seed for the area tournament. On Friday, the tables turned in a 66-56 overtime win. The Tigers are the Class 5A/Area 5 champs.
With less than two minutes remaining in regulation, it appeared the Pike Road was on its way to the season sweep. Somebody forgot to tell the Tigers. Tallassee scored the next seven points to force overtime knotting at 53-53.
Tallassee outscored Pike Road in its own gym 20-3 down the stretch to give Keiven Mixson his third area tournament title in four years as head coach.
"Really a remarkable accomplishment for our program and players to win another area championship and on the road against a great team," Mixson said. "We played a tough schedule early to get us ready for this. Our players at Tallassee have a special gift that not a lot of teams have. When they are behind they don’t get down. They continue to battle and fight and it paid off tonight.
"Down seven with 1:45, I would say most teams would have lost hope and given up but not our players. Just a great quality to have for not just sports but life."
It might have seemed like deja vu. Last year, the Tigers had another comeback in the area title win over Brewbaker Tech. In 2020 at Stumberg Gym, Tallassee trailed 37-27 but ended the game on a 17-4 run winning 44-41.
Area Tournament Champions
Photo courtesy of Tiger Nation
Jamicah Humphery was named tournament MVP. Humphery had 35 points, six rebounds and six assists. Fellow teammates Jalyn Daniels and Tae Collins made the all-tourney team. Daniels had 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Collins added a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Clayten Gough also had eight rebounds.
Tallassee (10-6) will be host Area 8 runner-up Talladega on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the sub-regional. Talladega (17-4) lost in the area tourney finals to Sylacauga 66-32 after beating Clay Central in the opener 72-27. Talladega was ranked No. 3 in the final ASWA Class 5A poll.
The Tallassee girls ended their season with a loss to No. 1 seed Pike Road last Tuesday 60-31.
THS Boys Area Tournament Results (2018-'21):
2018 (at Dadeville)
Tallassee 61, Alabama Christian 53
Championship: Tallassee 53, Dadeville 46
2019 (at Brebaker Tech)
Tallassee 48, Valley 44
Championship: Brewbaker Tech 65, Tallassee 54
2020 (at Tallassee)
Tallassee 57, Beauregard 46
Championship: Tallassee 44, Brebaker Tech 41
2021 (at Pike Road)
Tallassee 2, Brewbaker Tech 0 (Forfeit)
Championship: Tallassee 66, Pike Road 56 (Overtime)