Playing well at the right time is key in basketball, and Gadsden City may be playing its best ball of the season as of now.
The Titans knocked off Grissom 57-52 to win the Class 7A, Area 7 boys high school basketball tournament at Hewitt-Trussville High School on Saturday.
“It’s great to get it on my senior year, for the senior class,” Gadsden City point guard Jaylen Cole said. “It’s big with us going to Jacksonville. We are looking to keep rolling. We are hot, so we have to keep going.”
Gadsden City (14-12) now has won of six of its last eight games, including wins over No. 1 seed Hewitt-Trussville and No. 2 seed Grissom in the area tournament this week.
Gadsden City coach Reginald Huff wants to see his team carry that momentum over into the Northeast Regional at Jacksonville State University on Thursday against Huffman.
“The regular season is made to prepare you for the postseason,” Huff said. “This is a tournament sport. No matter what you did in the regular season is now behind you. We’ve played some good, tough competition.
“There’s nothing we are going to see from here to Birmingham that’s going to be any tougher than what we’ve already seen.”
The Titans held a big lead for most of the first half and third quarter, but never could totally put the Tigers away until late.
Gadsden City led by as many nine points in the first quarter, but Grissom trimmed its deficit to 16-12 at the end of the period.
The Titans then saw their lead grow to 14 points in the second before the Tigers narriwed the score to 30-21 at the half.
The same thing happened in the third quarter, as Gadsden City went up by 15 points, but Grissom answered by ending the period with a 10-0 run to shrink the Titans’ lead to 39-34.
The Titans were attacking the basket to grab their big lead, but then started to run time off the clock. That’s when Grissom started to make its comeback.
“I think a lot of it was us trying to prepare for something down the road as well tonight,” Huff said. “Pulling the ball out and trying to run some offense and patience instead of being on the attack all night. It benefitted this ball game because it ate a lot of clock.”
Grissom’s Dakota Myers hit a three at the midway point of the final quarter to pull Grissom within 41-38. He had a chance to tie it from the same spot not too long afterwards following a Gadsden City turnover, but his shot was off the mark.
That was as close as the Tigers got, although it remained close until the buzzer sounded because of missed free throws by the Titans. Gadsden City missed five of eight free throws in the final minute.
“We didn’t make free throws down the stretch,” Huff said. “That was key. We got to work on our free throws and start knocking those down in key situations. I think we are going to make a good run and we are going to be a great Cinderfella team. Not a Cinderella team, but a Cinderfella team.”
Tournament MVP Cole led the Titans with 23 points. Dee Pearson had six points and 10 assists. Mykel Woods grabbed 11 rebounds despite battling foul trouble and fouling out late. Kam Burnett had 11 points. Darien Hollis added eight points and nine rebounds.
Article from The Gadsden Times