TC Central's Damien Staples. (Daily Home)
TALLADEGA — The TC Central Fighting Tigers survived to defeat Winterboro 76-74 on Monday in the first round the Talladega County Basketball Tournament.
“We are still working on becoming a complete team,” TC Central head coach David Wright said. “We have all the tools and weapons. We just have to work on being a complete team that knows that is a good pass, that’s a safe pass. You have to close out here and make sure you are on top this guy. It is just the little things, if we tweak the little things we can be well on our way to becoming a great team and that is what we are working for.”
Tevin Garrett’s lay up with 1:54 left in the game gave TC Central a 75-71 lead and proved to be the game- winning basket.
Winterboro cut the TC lead to two points on a layup by Cardri Duncan with 1:11 remaining. Duncan had a chance to tie the game up on two occasions late in the game. The sophomore missed a pair of free throws with 39.8 left in the game. With 11.4 left in the game Duncan split a pair of free throws to cut the lead down to 75-74.
The Bulldogs sent Damien Staples to the free throw line 03.5 left in the game. Staples’ first free throw rolled around the rim before dropping to make it 76-74.
He missed the second free throw, which gave Winterboro a chance to tie or win the ball. After a timeout Winterboro threw the inbound pass to TC Central’s Chasen Anderson to seal the victory.
“We got out to a horrible start,” Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith said. “We didn’t have a good practice (Sunday). I anticipated that we weren’t going to get off to a good start. TCC is a team that you don’t have to give any more hope and motivation about the rivalry. Our kids and our program had to get back where we play consistent ball and start stepping up to the challenge against your rivals for five quarters. We definitely got the first quarter and that hurt us at the end of the game. We made a lot of silly fouls and TC got some crucial rebounds. They really did it on Friday it was just a different result.”
The Fighting Tigers opened the game on a 12-0 run. Nic Leonard got the Bulldogs on the board with a jumper to make it 12-2 with 4:23 left in the first quarter.
Crystle Stockdale hit a lay up to make it 14-2 with 2:50 left in the quarter. Leonard scored seven points to spark a 12-6 run to end the quarter. Staples hit back-to-back baskets to make it 26-14 going into the second quarter.
Winterboro opened the second on a 12-4 run to cut TC Central lead down to 30-26. The Fighting Tigers went on a 9-2 run to take a 39-32 lead with 41.7 left before half time.
Kendarious Swain rolled his ankle after being fouled with 18.3 left in the half and didn’t return to the game.
Stockdale hit both free throws in place of Swain to make it 41-32. Damien Simmons hit a 3-pointer to make it 41-38 going into halftime.
Garrett led the way for TC with 24 points. Staples scored 18 points, while Steven McElvin and Stockdale scored eight points apiece for TC Central.
Leonard scored 15 points for Winterboro. Justin Garrett scored 12 points, while Josh Taylor and Curtavious Gray scored eight points apiece.
TC Central will take on the winner of Sylacauga-B.B.Comer on Friday at 6 p.m.
Read more:The Daily Home - TC Central edges Winterboro 76 74