“I believe it is one of the longest running tournaments in the state,” Talladega head coach Chucky Miller said. “ I believe it started in 1973 or 1974, because I played in the first one. I believe it has been every year since the new high school has been there and that was in 1973. It is just a good tournament. It is right here to get you back into shape for the second part of the year. Usually, all of our county folks love to come out to the tournament."
The tournament features: TC Central, Winterboro, Munford and host team Talladega.
“We have TC that wanted to get back into the tournament,” Miller said. “Until they got out of it four years ago, they were in the tournament every year. I know their fan base loves this tournament, because I hear about it at least once a week from somebody. They wanted back into the tournament and I think that will help their program get better. Munford game has improved over the years. They have been in the Regional tournament the last two years. They like playing in these big atmosphere games to get them ready for the end of the season. When I first got here we beat Winterboro by one point three times in one season. Winterboro and us have had some great games over the course of the last 12-13 years. They love to play in this atmosphere too. I believe playing in this tournament makes everybody better.”
The Tigers (11-5) have won four of their last six games, which include wins over Sylacauga, Munford and Benjamin Russell. Miller believes the depth of his team has played a role in their success in the first half of the season.
“We are playing pretty well now,” Miller said. “A lot of ours are getting experience through the year and we have gotten a lot of playing time for everybody. All of our players are contributing to our season this year. We have a very balanced team. A different person shines every night for us.”
Several players have been impressive in the Tigers first 16 games of the season.
“Ahmad Gooden has been playing really well on the inside,” Miller said. “He is close to averaging a double-double. He averages 11 points and nine rebounds per game. If we give him a rebound or two a game he will average a double-double. He has been tough on the inside. All of our guards have been playing really well lately. Justin Kelly has been one of our leading scorers for most of the season. He is a very exciting player when he comes in. He can shoot outside and he is very good taking the ball to the basket. He has improved his game a lot in his first season. Trey Riggins he had a double-double in the last game. He got a double-double with rebounds, so my point guard led us with 11 rebounds. That is always a good sign. He is doing an excellent job with ball handling, but most of our kids are doing a good job right now."
The tournament tips off at 6 p.m. with TC Central taking on Munford. Winterboro takes on Talladega at 7:30 p.m.
Contact LaVonte Young at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @LYoung_DHSports.