Defense was the name of the game for Reeltown’s boys basketball team in its host tournament consolation game Friday afternoon.
After dropping their first game of the Reeltown Holiday Tournament on Thursday, the Rebels came out wanting to defend their home court and they did just that against Talladega County Central. They held the Tigers to only 35 points and did just enough offensively to eke out a 45-35 win.
“It always feels good to get a win at home,” Reeltown coach Jonathan Gardner said. “We’ll take it any way we can.”
The game was nip and tuck through most of the first three and half quarters before the Rebels finally found their shot. Leading just 33-31 midway through the final frame, Reeltown (2-3) got a couple of key 3-pointers from Carlos Trejos and Tre Tre Hughley. The pair of longballs sandwiched a coast-to-coast basket from Scooter Brooks. He took a rebound and motored down the court to lay one in.
The eight-point run gave the Rebels their first double-digit lead of the game. Although a lot of Hughley’s shots weren’t falling, he continued to be a floor general for the Rebels late.
“I told Te Tre we needed to get the ball in his hands no matter what,” Gardner said. “We go as he goes. I just told him to keep shooting; I knew eventually he would hit.”
But it was really Reeltown’s defensive prowess in the second half that helped hold off Talladega County Central.
Neither teams did much scoring in the first half as the Rebels took a narrow 18-15 edge into the locker room, but they moved to a full-court press in the third quarter that really seemed to throw the Tigers off their game. TCC committed nine turnovers in the third quarter alone.
“We just need to press the ball to get us going because we were being a little lazy (in the first half),” Gardner said. “Maybe it was because it was an early game; we didn’t have our legs up under us. So we needed to keep the tempo up to get things going.”
Logan Hunt was a big factor in the win for Reeltown. He tied Trejo for a team-leading 10 points and he also did a lot of work on the boards, finishing with nine rebounds.
“Logan is coming along,” Gardner said. “Game by game, he’s coming back into basketball shape.”
Hughley finished with nine points and five steals and Brooks contributed eight points and six rebounds. Reeltown had seven different players score at least two points.
The Rebels were working without Eric Shaw, who Gardner said was having some shoulder troubles. Gardner elected to give Shaw a rest but expects him to be back after the break.
Despite having only two wins to their name, the Rebels still feel good about where they stand especially with having such limited practice time after football season.
“We’re getting better and better,” Gardner said. “We just want to win the area and go from there.”