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Varsity teams win openers

By Michael Butler

The 2022 Tallassee High School basketball season tipped off on Nov. 15 with victories for the varsity boys and girls teams over BTW-Magnet. The girls won 56-30. The boys won 51-43.

For LD Bell, it was his first win in his debut as the varsity girls coach. Bell works with coach Keiven Mixson on the boys staff as well. He is also the head coach of the Tallassee boys junior varsity team. In addition, Bell continues to coach young athletes in recreational sports.

"Anything you have a passion in you'll do," Bell said. "I'm definitely invested in the youth in all sports. If I'm coaching girls in first, second and third grade, they're already running the system they're going to run in high school. We get a jump on everybody that we're playing."

Bell, Easterling, Crawford

Spirit Crawford led all scorers with 18 points in Tuesday's win. Cheyann Easterling added 15.

Crawford, a senior, has not been on the winning side of a game like the one last Tuesday.

"I think that was the biggest win," said Crawford, who has been with the program for five years. "Coach Bell wants to change the environment of the team."

Easterling is an eighth grader, who started on the varsity as a seventh grader last year.

"We're learning more about basketball," Easterling said. "I'm excited to move forward."

Crawford added that she wants to win the area championship and see the girls team photo on the wall of champions at Stumberg Gym.

"We've got a good group of young girls," Mixson added. "This is going to be a learning season. We're going to teach and help get them where they need to be."

The boys team got 15 points and six rebounds from Rowen Thornton in the opening night triumph. James Bender had six points and seven steals.

"It was a sloppy game. I'm proud of our guys because we haven't had our football guys. Everybody expects we're just going to win every year. It's hard to win," said Mixson, who has had four winning seasons in his first four years. "This year's team is mainly guys who play football. Their secondary sport is basketball. We've got athletes. We've just got to focus on details."

The boys (1-1) dropped their first road game at Stanhope Elmore 74-63 on Friday. Tim Washington was the leading scorer with 17. Kaden Slay had nine points and 11 rebounds.

The girls fell at LAMP on Wednesday 43-33. Crawford led the Tigers with 12 points. Kam Tate had 10.

"We were down 22 and got it down to six points with two minutes left," said Bell. "We missed a few layups. That was crucial."

At Stanhope, the girls fell to 1-2 with a 62-30 defeat. Tate had nine points and five rebounds. Crawford scored seven. Jhakhia Anderson put in six points with six rebounds and two blocks.

"The girls fought hard," Bell added. "It's a learning process."

Each team is off for the Thanksgiving break. The Tigers return to action on Nov. 28 at Auburn.

Tallassee's varsity boys at practice
Photo by Kyle Thornton