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Jayln Daniels
Photo by Kyle Thornton

Hoops teams end seasons

By Michael Butler

Tallassee's varsity boys and girls basketball teams have completed their 2021-22 seasons losing opening-round Class 5A/Area 5 tournament games at Pike Road.

One game was played. The other was recorded as a forfeit.

The THS girls were prepared to face top-seed Pike Road but did not have enough players to dress out. The game was canceled.

"(It) definitely wasn't the season we were wanting but we started with three girls wanting to play and slowly gained more interest," first-year coach Brooke Watson said. "The two seniors, Janiya Johnson and Jy McKinnon, were the reason for us staying in all of the games we played this season.

"This program has to grow from the middle school program up. The female athletes have to want to put in the work ethic and train to be better in order to be successful. I hope this program has a future of female athletes that want to compete and give it all they have. I encourage the community to work together and support these young ladies in the years to come."

The Tiger boys were the No. 3 seed and needed a win over No. 2 seed Brewbaker Tech but fell short 49-42.

This is the first time in Coach Keiven Mixson's five-year tenure that Tallassee (10-9) failed to reach the post-season. In four seasons, Tallassee has three area titles and one runner-up finish under Mixson.

"We had a lot of adversity this season with Covid and injuries, but that's all part of the game," said Mixson. "I was out during a crucial part of area play with Covid. And, we did not play one area game this season with all of our players, so we were out of sync for much of area play. I can't complain because this is the first year that injuries and sickness have hurt us."

Tallassee led 10-6 after a quarter but trailed 22-20 at the half. Brew Tech built at nine-point lead heading into the final period, but Tallassee drew to within one, 43-42, with 1:41 remaining in the game. The Rams closed with a 6-0 run to advance.

Jalyn Daniels led Tallassee with 13 points. The senior reached the 1,000-point milestone in scoring for his career on Senior Night vs. BTW-Magnate a week prior.

"Jalyn is the best player I've seen this year," Mixson said. "His mental toughness separates him from everyone else. He averaged 23 points per game which will be hard to replace. We are losing some great seniors. The good news is we played a lot of young players, but you never know year to year what the future holds. We'll see."

Senior Night Photos by Kyle Thornton