It started to feel less like Montgomery and more like Tallassee as the final seconds ticked off the clock at Brewbaker Tech. The Tigers rolled into the same gym where they suffered a 53-point loss last season and turned the tables with a 53-47 victory in Class 5A Area 4 boys basketball action.
Tallassee (21-4, 4-1) took the lead in the final minute of the third quarter and never looked back as it clinched the top seed in the area tournament. Tyrek Turner and Tae Collins put the exclamation point on the victory with a pair of dunks in the last two minutes, sending the visiting supporters into a frenzy.
“I love that support,” Collins said. “I thought I was going to miss it at first but it felt good. Those were two big points so I didn’t want to miss.”
Collins hit two 3-pointers in the third quarter, including one with 46 seconds to go to give the Tigers the lead for good. He finished with eight points, eight rebounds and five assists.
“We have had a lot of big wins but this one is probably in the top two or three and maybe No. 1,” Tallassee coach Keiven Mixson said. “Brew Tech is a powerhouse in basketball. That’s special and it tells us where we’re at. We can compete with anybody on any given night.”
Tallassee had to battle back from early foul trouble with three starters and an injury scare to Jamicah Humphery but the Tigers had several role players step up. Jamar May scored five points and Sandarius Hughley added a layup in the second quarter for the bench’s only seven points but it helped Tallassee stay level heading into the break.
“We’re not going to go very far with seven guys,” Mixson said. “If we can go nine or 10, we’re going to have a chance to compete and keep guys fresh. That hurt us last year.”
It did not take long for Tallassee to get in the swing of things in the second half as it immediately fed the ball in the post to Turner, who got his first field goal in the opening minute of the third quarter. Turner finished with 10 points.
Humphery knocked down two 3-pointers in the first half but he was forced to the bench after suffering an apparent cut around his left eye. It didn’t keep him out for long and he finished with a game-high 13 points, including four late free throws to help keep the Tigers in front.
“I felt good at halftime when I knew he didn’t have a good half,” Mixson said. “I knew Tyrek would be fresh off the bench and Jamicah was going to get hot because he always does.”
While the offense was slow to get started, Tallassee’s defense showed up ready to play and it never let up. The Tigers held Brew Tech to its lowest point total since November and finished with four steals and five blocks as a team.
“It was incredible,” Mixson said. “Our guys are playing their tails off. We have played some good defense in the last three years but tonight was even better.”
Tallassee has already equaled its win total from last year with three games left in the regular season. However, their focus now shifts to the postseason.
“This is unbelievable,” Collins said. “This stuff makes us closer — not just in basketball but it makes us more of a family. We’re trying to go all the way.”