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Caleb Turrentine / The Tribune Tallassee’s Tyrek Turner lines up a free throw attempt during Tuesday’s game against Auburn.

Tallassee officially hit the court for basketball season last week and Tyrek Turner helped the Tigers get off to a fast start. 

Turner wanted to start his senior season of with a bang and he did just that, recording back-to-back double-doubles in victories over Elmore County and Loachapoka. He is the Elmore County Player of the Week.

“I was very excited to get back on the court and show what I could do,” Turner said. “I’m just trying to enjoy every game. This is my last year so these are the moments I can’t get back.”

Turner wasted very little time in finding a groove on the offensive end in the opener against the Panthers. He was the clear focal point for the Tigers as he scored 11 points to push Tallassee to a 17-5 lead after the opening quarter.

The Tigers got contributions from elsewhere for the remainder of the game but Turner continued to be a mismatch for Elmore County’s post defenders. Turner finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

“We were really just looking to put on a show for the fans,” Turner said. “We felt good about it but we still have a few things to work on. We have been really sloppy so we have to keep working on some of those mistakes.”

Tallassee (2-0) got a chance to work on those mistakes two days later when the Tigers traveled to Loachpoka. Turner was held to just two field goals in the first half as the Indians were staying with Tallassee, trailing 21-17 at the break.

However, Turner showed up in a big way in the second half and finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for another double-double. He made 7 of 11 free throw attempts to help the Tigers pull away in the second half, winning 55-41.

“Every game I want to go out there and have at least double digit points and double digit rebounds,” Turner said. “I just want to do everything I can to help my team win.”

Despite the big performances, Turner has higher expectations for himself for the remainder of the season. He said the coaches know his potential and they know he can play better than he has in the first two games.

“I think that’s a great thing to see him put those numbers up and still not play his best,” Tallassee coach Keivin Mixson said. “He’s averaging 20 and 10 but when we looked at the tape, he really should be doing more. And he can take that criticism so I think his numbers are going to go up even more.”

Mixson had a few different areas in mind for how Turner can improve but one of the biggest ones was passing out of the post when double teams come. Loachapoka was collapsing multiple players on Turner in the post and Mixson said Turner was doing a good job of drawing a foul or finding the pass but he wants to see more patience and more consistency.

“We still have a lot to work on but I think I’m just always more critical as a coach,” Mixson said. “But we didn’t play well and we’re still 2-0.”

Turner said he knows the coaching staff has high expectations for him but he appreciates the feedback because it’s the only way he is going to improve.

“I just have to continue to listen to coach Mixson when he tells me I need to work on something,” Turner said. “He helps me every step of the way. I want to get better at all of the things that are going to help us make a run this year.”

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.