TC Central comes from behind to defeat Munford
by ERICH HILKERT
CHILDERSBURG – The Talladega County Central Fighting Tigers didn’t allow history to repeat itself in their 54-48 win over Munford in the first round of the 2013 Talladega County Basketball Tournament on Wednesday. In their last meeting TC Central missed free throws down the stretch in their loss to Munford last week. This time around it was Munford that struggled as they only made six of their last 13 free throws.

TC Central head coach Damien Dorsey said making free throws is what made the difference in Wednesday night’s game.

“I stressed it all year basically and it’s finally come to fruition,” he said. “They’re buying into free throws knowing we lost to this team a week ago, because of free throws. So, we hit them this time and we beat them.”

It was the fifth meeting this season between the two teams. While Munford won the overall series, Dorsey was pleased his team won the final matchup, a sign of his team’s improvement through the course of the season.

“The key to the victory was the guys playing together, practicing, we had two hard days of practice,” Dorsey said. “I’m talking we scrimmaged every day. We played two games in two days. I made them play actual games and it showed. They competed and we were finally able to conquer. This is our fifth time playing Munford, so we’re 2-3 against them. So, we’re happy for them.”

The game was literally back and forth with the largest lead being Munford’s eight –point advantage of 26-18 held at halftime.

By the end of the third quarter, the two teams had exchanged ten lead changes or ties with Munford still clinging to a narrow 36-34 lead. The fourth quarter belonged to TC Central. New addition center Lamar Suttle scored four points to start the quarter and took a charge from Monteo Garrett that was followed by a Crystyle Stockdale hit a 3-pointer that shifted the momentum to TC Central with the score at 41-36.

However, Stockdale’s biggest shot was yet to come. With TC Central holding a precarious 49-48 lead, Stockdale drove to the basket, pulled up and hit an off balance jumper to give TC Central a 51-48 lead with 59.9 seconds left in the game.

“That was the biggest shot of the game, because it put us up three,” Dorsey said. “I’ve been on him hard all year, because he likes to shoot, but I want to make him a point guard. He’s buying into what I’m talking about, knowing when to shoot and knowing when to pass and he knew to shoot then and he made it. He’s got a ton of confidence and I love it.”

Stockdale gave most of the credit to his teammates.

“If my teammate wouldn’t have set that screen, I would have never got by, but I saw an open space and I took it,” Stockdale said. “You’ve got to take the size advantage. I’m little too, but he’s a little bit smaller than me and I took advantage. Clutch play helped us win the game. Our defense helped at the end and we won.”

Tervarus Garrett hit two free throws and Julius Player made a free throw to leave the final score at 54-48.

Tweety Richardson led Munford in scoring with 17 points, while Tavon Lawson finished with eight points.

For TC Central, Tervarus Garrett was the leading scorer with 17 points. Stockdale had 12 points, while Suttle also had 12 points.

“We just got him back because at the beginning of the year he couldn’t even try out or run,” Dorsey said of Suttle. “He hurt himself and he finally got cleared and now he’s here. He helped us out greatly. We’re going to see more of him. He’s trying to get into condition. He’s only been practicing with us for three practices. So, he’s just trying to get into condition. I played him in spurts, got the lead and then I put my other regular rotation back in. These guys understand we’ve got a good team if they can understand to play together, everybody has a role and do their role, we can make some noise.”
© 2013