E.A. Sports Today

Dynamic duo

Johnson, Buckhanon bounce back from a slow Tuesday night to power Talladega girls past Coosa Central

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

TALLADEGA – When Gabby Johnson and Camille Buckhanon play together the way they did Wednesday afternoon, the results are predictably, well …

“Awesome,” Talladega coach Jannie Keith said after the Lady Tigers took out Coosa Central 72-59. “When I’ve got number 11 (Johnson) and 45 clicking on the same (page), it’s hard to beat.”

Johnson and Buckhanon scored nearly all of the Lady Tigers’ points in the game. Johnson, a senior guard, went for 37 and junior post Buckhanon scored 26.

It was a sharp contrast to the night before when they really only showed out in the third quarter after some encouragement at halftime.

The pair scored only five points in the first half Tuesday against Clay Central. Johnson broke out in the third quarter with 19 points and Buckhanon had 10, but only 11 in the game and never really looked like her dominant self.

There was no waiting until the second half against the Lady Cougars. Johnson and Buckhanon scored all but two of Talladega’s points in the first half and all of its points in the second quarter.

Johnson had 12 points in the first quarter, 23 points at halftime. Buckhanon had seven in the first quarter, 17 in the first half.

“It’s always a great thing when you can have a comeback, like Clemson on Alabama; it’s always a comeback,” Keith said.

Johnson said it is something “amazing to see” when both players are on top of their game at the same time, which Keith suggested has been in roughly half their games this season. And they are so effective together because they’ve played together since middle school.

“We’re just (a) dynamic duo, we just connect, we just have that bond,” Buckhanon said. “When we play together we know what each other can do. We just dish it off to each other.”

For her part Buckhanon admitted Tuesday night “wasn’t a good game” for her and she was eager to make up for it.

“I know my teammates really needed me so I said I was going to step up today and that’s what I did,” she said. “Tonight I was ready to play. Tonight I was prepared to win, prepared to help my teammates get this W.”

Talladega 72, Coosa Central 59
Shania Tuck 6 1-1 16, Adriarina Flowers 2 0-0 4, Ryesha Whetstone 5 2-3 12, Malia Kelly 5 0-0 15, Saymia Tuck 0 0-0 0, Eunique McKinney 3 1-2 7, Shaelenzia Suttles 2 1-4 5. Totals 23 5-10 59.

TALLADEGA – Tiona Roberson 0 1-2 1, Gabby Johnson 15 3-4 37, Mahogany Hartley 0 0-2 0, Kylia Stamps 1 0-0 2, Deja Porter 0 0-0 0, Nakira Truss 3 0-0 6, Camille Buckhanon 11 4-7 26. Totals 30 8-13 72.

Coosa Central 12 19 13 15 — 59
Talladega 21 21 13 17 — 72

3-point goals: Coosa Central 8 (Sh. Tuck 3, Kelly 5); Talladega 4 (Johnson 4). Fouled out: Roberson. Total fouls: Coosa Central 15, Talladega 13. Officials: Holmes, Roberts, Oden.

On the cover, Gabby Johnson (L) and Camille Buckhanon combined for 63 points in Talladega’s victory Wednesday.

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