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Caleb Turrentine / The Tribune Tallassee’s Tae Collins (3) attempts to dribble through defenders.

The Tallassee and Elmore County basketball teams have already played against each other once this season and the rematches were unavoidable as the boys teams squared off in the Tallassee Lions Club 2019 Basketball Tournament championship while the girls teams met in the third-place game last Tuesday. The schools split the two games with the Tallassee boys defeating the Panthers and the Elmore County girls beating the Tigers, duplicating the results from the season opener.

In the boys tournament, Tallassee opened with a 71-39 victory over Booker T. Washington. Jamicah Humphrey led the Tigers with 20 points.

The Panthers (2-5) fought back from a double-digit deficit to knock off Alabama Christian, 49-47, in the first round. Payton Stephenson scored seven of his team-high 13 points in the fourth quarter while Dylan Willis added 12 points to help complete the comeback.

In the championship, the Tigers (6-0) turned up the intensity on defense and limited Elmore County to just two points in the first quarter before running away with a 66-29 win. Humphrey led all players with 15 points while Sandarius Hughley also added 12 points to go along with four rebounds. Tavarious Griffin packed the stat sheet, finishing with six points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Stephenson was limited to just five points in the championship. Garrett Allen led ECHS with eight points but the Panthers could not overcome 25 total turnovers.

Humphrey took home the tournament’s MVP honors while Griffin and Hughley joined him on the all-tournament team. Stephenson was also named to the all-tournament team along with teammate Cole Boothe who averaged 6.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. 

In the girls tournament, Elmore County and Tallassee both fell in the first round to set up a consolation game last Tuesday. 

The Tigers got 16 points from Sinclair Cole in the opener but lost 34-25 to Montgomery Catholic.

Elmore County (5-2) also did not jump out of the gates well, shooting just 23 percent from the floor in a 43-31 loss to ACA. CK Bolton finished with seven points but no other player finished with more than two made field goals.

The Panthers responded well, especially on defense as they limited Tallassee to eight points in the first half of the third-place game. The Tigers (1-5) fought back and forced overtime with late free throws by Lindan Oliver. but Elmore County outscored its opponents by four, winning 40-36.

Kelley Green led the Panthers with 11 points to go along with four rebounds and two steals. Bolton was held to one made shot but she led the team with six free throws to finish with 8 points.

Tallassee was led by Oliver, who finished with 13 points, and Brooke Royster who scored 12 points and was named to the all-tournament team.

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.