E.A. Sports Today

Tigers shoot down Cubs

Talladega hits six deep 3-pointers in first quarter, never looks back in ending Alexandria’s season and punching its ticket to Northeast Regional

Talladega’s Chaztin Tanner hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter on his way to 25 points against Alexandria Tuesday night. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

TALLADEGA – Just because the 3-point line is painted 19 feet, 9 inches from the basket doesn’t mean you have to shoot it from there.

For Chucky Miller’s shooting guards at Talladega, the line is merely a suggestion.

The Tigers hit seven 3-pointers Tuesday night in their 83-53 dismantling of Alexandria in the Class 5A Northeast subregional. They now play Arab in their Northeast Regional opener Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

The way the Tigers hit the 3 in the first quarter it just seemed like there were many more than that. Most of them – especially the ones from Chaztin Tanner – were well behind the line that separates the 2s from the 3s.

The Tigers were 6-for-10 from 3-point range in the first quarter – three by Tanner – to open a 28-17 lead from which they never looked back. Their first basket of the game was a 3-pointer and four of their last five buckets of the quarter were from beyond the arc – well beyond the arc.

“We tend to take the deeper 3,” Miller said. “A lot of teams guard right at the line, but if you’re back two or three steps, it gives you a split second to get your feet set. I used to shoot that shot and it was just two points then, but sometimes you feel better just because it’s a step or two back.

“Kids work on that range now. It’s not like it used to be. When the 3 came in everybody would just go that far from that line.”

Tanner got the chance to up his game because Ashton Duncan, the Tigers’ other shooting machine, got in early foul trouble. Tanner (13), Fred Dickerson (8) and Tyrese Scales combined for 26 points in the first quarter. Not surprisingly, they were the ones with the six 3-pointers in the quarter.

Alexandria tried to muster a counter-attack and got 11 points from Dalton Dodd in the quarter, but the Cubs didn’t have enough firepower to offset the Tigers’ early sniping.

“They hit six 3s right there in the first quarter and it got us behind the eight-ball quickly,” Cubs Jason Johnson said. “We would make a little run and then have a couple turnovers to make it get back up to near 20; we just couldn’t get anything going offensively.

“When you’re hitting like they were you’re feeling pretty good, you got a little extra energy on defense. It was just a combination of those couple things that made it tough for us to compete. We just didn’t shoot the ball well enough to stay in the game.”

Tanner finished with a game-high 25 points. Dickerson had 18 points, four steals and three assists. Kobe Simmons had 12 points and seven rebounds.

“At practice I gather myself and just let it ride; the more I shoot, the more comfortable I get with my shot,” Tanner said. “Once we hit one shot, it pumps the crowd up and we get ourselves going.”

Dodd scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds in his final high school game for Alexandria. Landan Williams had 12 points and Joe Tucker had 11.

“This has been a great year; it’s been my best year playing with this team, I loved every minute of it,” Dodd said. “We faced a really good team right out of the gate to try to make the regionals and they just hit the shots and we weren’t really hitting the shots today. It seems like every time we play a good shooting team they’re always on against us.”

CLASS 5A BOYS
Talladega 83, Alexandria 59
ALEXANDRIA –
Joe Tucker 5 0-0 11, Adam Young 1 0-0 3, Jake Weathington 3 0-1 7, Dru Davis 2 0-0 5, Grayson Chaffin 0 0-0 0, Dalton Dodd 7 4-4 19, Romeo Dye 1 0-0 2, Jared Ponder 0 0-0 0, Kahlil Francis 0 0-0 0, Jalen Borders 0 0-0 0, Josh Tucker 0 0-0 0, Landan Williams 4 4-5 12. Totals 23 8-10 59.

TALLADEGA – Fred Dickerson 7 2-3 18, Chaztin Tanner 7 8-8 25, Tyrese Scales 4 0-0 9, Jaquon Chatham 0 0-0 0, Ashton Duncan 3 0-0 7, Decourious Wilson 0 0-1 0, Rontavious Barclay 0 0-0 0, Jay Patterson 2 0-0 4, J.Q. Wilson 4 0-0 8, Kobe Simmons 5 2-2 12. Totals 32 12-14 83.

Alexandria 17 15 8 19 — 59
Talladega 28 18 13 24 — 83

3-point goals: Alexandria 5 (Jo. Tucker, Young, Weathington, Davis, Dodd); Talladega 7 (Dickerson 2, Tanner 3, Scales, Duncan). Total fouls: Alexandria 16, Talladega 18. Officials: Wood, B. Williams, H. Williams.

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