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Tyrek Turner vs. Sipsey Valley last season. Photo by Graham Dunn

Basketball boys look for area title follow-up

By Michael Butler

In coach Keiven Mixson's first year in Tallassee, he led the Tigers to an area tournament championship. You might say he set the bar high.

Last year's team ended the regular season on a high note with nine straight wins before falling in the sub-regional at Stumber Gym to Sipsey Valley. THS was 15-12 overall.

"When I got here last year, our football players didn't practice. I didn't have them in the summer much," Mixson said. "I finally got them back and they started practicing, we could only put so much in. Man-to-man defense is what I give credit to. We held teams to 48 points per game. We're hoping to build on that."

Mixson noted some of the keys for this season; improved free throw and outside shooting with more physicality.

"Last year we shot 45 percent from the free throw line. I don't see how we can do any worse. We've worked long hours on our free throws. We used a shooting machine all summer. We need to be a better outside shooting team. Sipsey Valley was a little more physical than we were. That was a point of emphasis too this summer, to get bigger and stronger.

"We have a young point guard. He's a sophomore, Jamicah Humphery. He's very talented. We lost Travon Skipper. One of the things I keep telling this team is to look at the characteristics of any championship team; Alabama, the Patriots, the Red Sox. One of the characteristics is leadership. We lost our leader from last year. Travon was the best player in the area last year. He was our leader. When it was time to practice, he would call everybody to make sure everybody was there. He held everybody accountable. So, if we want to get to where we want to go we've got to have leadership."

Tallassee moves back into Class 5A this season and Mixson expects the competition to be tough.

"We've got our work cut out for us with Brew Tech. Brew Tech is a baskeball school. They're very good. We have to deal with Valley and Beauregard who are very athletic. We played Beauregard last year. Moving to 5A is a challenge.

The Tigers tip off the season with Class 7A Auburn on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at Stumberg Gymnasium. The junior varsity game starts at 4:30 and will be followed by the varsity girls and boys games.

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