Sylacauga hoping for third straight County Basketball Tournament title
by LAVONTE YOUNG
SYLACAUGA- The Sylacauga Aggies are going into the 2013 Talladega County Basketball Tournament looking to three peat. The Aggies defeated Talladega the past two seasons to win the crown. Senior guard Tazz Marbury knows that his team has a huge target on their backs going into the tournament.

“We feel like we have something to prove,” Marbury said. “Everybody wants to compare us to last year’s team. We just want to make our mark on Sylacauga too.”

Winning the tournament is one of the many goals the Aggies (16-6) look to achieve in the final months of basketball left in the season.

“We want to win the County Tournament,” Sylacauga head coach Josh Golden said. “We have won it two years in a row. We want the county tournament championship to stay right here in Sylacauga and in order to do that we are going to have to beat some really good teams. When we seeded it we were the No. 3 seed and that’s when we did it last week. If we did it today, we would be the No.1 seed, but that is not how we do it. Even though we have the best overall record we are still the three seed, which means if we are able to beat Winterboro we will play the winner of Childersburg and Fayetteville. That will potentially give us another match up with Childersburg and if we win that the No.1 seed in Talladega. We have the potential of seeing our two biggest rivals potentially. We could see Childersburg for the fifth time and Talladega for the third time. We know that we are seeing them again in the area tournament, so that’s four times. To sum all that up, we are going to have a tough road if we are going to win it.”

Since losing to Childersburg on Dec. 15, Sylacauga has been playing a brand of basketball that’s fit for making a run into the postseason. The Aggies have won eight of their last nine games. Defense has been their calling card, as they have held seven of their last nine opponents under 50 points.

Senior TJ Green has played a major role in Sylacauga success. In Friday’s game against archrival Childersburg, Green recorded 13 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks and two charges.

“We have just been putting an emphasis on rebounding and playing better defense,” Green said. “It is all coming together and getting a good feel. We are playing better defense than when we first started.”

This season, the Aggies have heard a lot of comparisons from last season’s team that made it to the Final Four. Green feels like this team is starting to develop their own identity.

“They were good and you can’t knock that,” Green said. “They were a Final Four team and we were a part of that team. We are just coming back and trying to lead our team even further.”

© 2013