“It is good to get win No. 600, “ Talladega head coach Chucky Miller said. ”It shows that we put in a lot of effort. I have had a lot of good players, assistant coaches, administrators, and people helping me everywhere. It is not a one-person show. Basketball is a team game and I’ve had a lot of excellent players throughout the years.”
Miller is the 15th member of the 600 win club according to the Alabama High School Basketball History.com. Miller joins his dad, Chuck Miller on the historic club. The elder Miller won 702 games in his career, 680 of his wins came at Talladega.
“I can remember when my father got it in I believe in 1983 at Oxford High School,” Miller said. ”I was there watching that game that night. I had no idea 30 years later I would be doing that too. It is a big honor. Like I said, the teams here at Talladega have given me 100 percent every night. I believe fans like to see our style of ball.”
Miller picked up 290 of his wins in 20 years of coaching at Walter Wellborn High School in Calhoun County. Miller returned to his Alma Mater in 2000. Since that time he’s won county coach of the year honors as well as county tournament titles, and area titles. He led the Tigers to the AHSAA Class 5A Final Four twice- in 2006 and in 2009. Now that Miller reached the milestone, he wants his team to focus on the task at hand-trying to win the county crown.
“I don’t believe any of the kids knew about it,” Miller said. “They heard about it, but kids are in the moment here. It is good to get it, so the season can be focused. I knew it would come some time, but you play enough games you will get some wins. I thought our team tonight after we settled down after the first quarter ran the court good. Our speed was the difference tonight. We had a lot more speed than Lincoln.”
Lincoln came out and played Talladega tough in the first quarter. Tredarian Gamble and Dee Johnson helped the Golden Bears to an early 10-9 advance. Gamble scored eight first quarter points. Johnson only scored two points, but it was memorable. Johnson received a pass in the low post and he was able to get just enough of his hand over Tyler Haynes for a dunk. Talladega took a 13-10 lead into the second quarter.
However, Talladega turned up their defensive intensity in the second quarter and put the game away. The Tigers took a 40-19 lead into halftime.
Talladega will take on TC Central in the semifinals on Friday night at 6 p.m. TC Central head coach Damien Dorsey played for Miller when he coached at Walter Wellborn.
“Coach Dorsey was one of my top 10 players that I ever coached in my life,” Miller said. “He played for me at Wellborn High School. He made All-State for me. Coach Dorsey always gave 100 percent at practice every play. He made all the other players that weren’t as talented, they had to try with every ounce of their ability to be in his ballpark. I know what Coach Dorsey does and the intensity that he is going to bring. TC the other night, it was a close ball game at half. I believe they enjoy playing us and we enjoy playing them, because that is just down the road. Over the last 13 years, we’ve had some of our greatest games against TC and it has gone both ways.”