E.A. Sports Today

Talladega trips Titans

Fourth quarter timeout allowed Tigers to change defense, change game

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — Midway through the fourth quarter of a game still very much in doubt, Gadsden City did Talladega coach Chuck Miller a big favor. The Titans called a time out.

The stoppage allowed the Tigers to catch their breath and more importantly change their defense for the stretch run.

They scrapped the zone for full-court pressure and it proved to be the difference as the Tigers rallied to beat Gadsden City 76-66 in the final game of the Holiday Hoops Challenge at Jacksonville State.

“I was pretty close to calling one myself,” Miller said. “We dug ourselves a hole … we had to get out of it.”

The Tigers (9-2) just pulled within 60-57 when Titans coach Reginald Huff called time with 3:41 left in hopes of nipping a rising momentum swing following a Desmond Green put back.

Back out on the floor with defense in mind, it took the Tigers only 38 seconds to retake the lead. Green made a steal that D’Angelo Scales converted into a layup, Marius Echols had one of his three fourth-quarter blocked shots and turned it into the go-ahead basket, then made a steal and fed Green for another basket.

It was part of a bigger 20-1 run that brought the game home. The Tigers came up with an active 17 steals in the game.

“We had to step up the defense,” Echols said. “The defense leads to offense, that’s what Coach always tells us, so we had to step it up.”

It wasn’t only the defense that stepped up. D’Angelo Scales’ teammates told him he had to and he did in the second half with 19 of his game-high 23 points. He had nine consecutive points at the end of that 20-1 run.

“My teammates told me I had to play good,” Scales said. “They told me to get with it.”

Josh Madden had 19 points for the Tigers, while Green finished with 11. Chris Dudley led Gadsden City with 22 points.

Cover photo: Talladega guard Desmond Green flies past Gadsden City’s Josh Juddine (1) and Jacob Hyde for a fourth-quarter put back that prompted the time-out that changed Saturday’s game.

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