|Mixson during the Tigers' win over Beauregard last week
Photo by Kyle Thornton
Basketball boys in sub-regional this week
By Michael Butler
Tallassee will attempt to reach its third regional in four years with a sub-regional playoff game at Clay Central on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m.
The Tigers (11-9) are the Class 5A/Area 7 runner-up. Clay Central (18-5) is the champion of Class 5A/Area 8.
The Volunteers have won 13 straight games, including an 81-63 victory in the area championship over Sylacauga - a team that had beaten them in the previous two meetings. Central's last loss came against Sylacauga on Jan. 6.
Tallassee fell to Valley in the third meeting between the programs this season, 75-48 on Thursday. THS clinched a playoff berth - the fifth in six seasons under coach Keiven Mixson - with a 67-54 win over Beauregard on Tuesday of last week.
"(It was) a great win against Beauregard to get into playoffs," said Mixson. "To play for an area championship is a great experience for our team. Valley is a complete team. I will not be surprised to see them in championship."
Now on to Lineville.
"We're going to have to play very physical," Mixson noted. "They've got a bunch of football players who are very strong."
Central of Clay County is known more for its football - having won two state championships under Danny Horn since the conglomeration of Clay County and Lineville. Horn won six more state titles at Clay County. He also had 55 straight wins from 1994-97, akin to Tallassee's 57-game unbeaten streak in the same sport in the 1940s.
Tallassee and Clay Central are regular rivals in football but have never met on the basketball court.
"It's a good matchup," said Mixson. "We've won some games on the road this year. We've played some really good teams. We've been in a lot of big games in my six years. This is as big as they come. We've got to be able to execute."
The winner advances to play the winner of the Marbury/Brewbaker Tech in the Central Regional at the Bill Harris Arena at Birmingham's CrossPlex.
"To squeak out a win would be huge for the program," Mixson added. "There's nothing like going to the region. If you want to be seen, there will be a lot of coaches at region. It's an incredible experience."
THS Boys Area Tournament Results (2018-'23):
2018 (at Dadeville)
Tallassee 61, Alabama Christian 53
Championship: Tallassee 53, Dadeville 46
2019 (at Brewbaker 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)
2022 (at Pike Road)
Brewbaker Tech 49, Tallassee 42
2023 (at Valley)
Tallassee 67, Beauregard 54
Championship: Valley 75, Tallassee 48