Tallulah Falls hoops teams earn Senior Night victories

  • Tullulah Falls
    Tullulah Falls
Body

The Tallulah Falls School basketball teams had a lot more to celebrate than just Senior Night Friday as they captured a pair of victories over the visiting Athens Academy Spartans in Tallulah Falls; the Lady Indians won 40-38 and the Indians won 72-52.

 

Lady Indians 40, Athens Academy 38

Lillie Free scored a team-high 13 points to help lead the Lady Indians past Athens Academy Friday night 40-38.

“It wasn’t our best game of the season by far,” coach Brandy Corbett said. “At the end of the day, it certainly wasn’t a pretty win, but it was a very important win.”

Going into the game, the Lady Indians knew they needed a victory, Corbett added.

“We knew we needed to win the game in order to secure third place … to really have the best draw that we could from this point forward in the tournament,” she said. “I think we were probably a little bit nervous.”

Athens Academy took an early lead in the game and held a 15-12 advantage at the end of the first quarter, but the Lady Indians battled back in the second quarter with a 10-7 run to tie the game at halftime.

During the break, Corbett said she told her team that they needed to forget about the halftime score not being what they wanted it to be.

“I told them, ‘As long as we have one more point than them at the end of the game, it doesn’t matter – we just have to go out and not allow their ability to slow the game down to frustrate us into making errors we don’t make,’” she said. “We did a better job of that in the second half.”

Corbett said the Lady Spartans did a good job of dictating the tempo of the game in the first half, which led to the Lady Indians getting frustrated.

“We’re used to running and not setting up in the half-court,” she said. “We’re used to getting steals and scoring in transition. They did a really good job of making us play to their tempo and that got us a little frustrated.”

Corbett added she was glad to see the frustrations didn’t boil over for her team.

“I’m very proud that they were able to mentally stay in the game,” she said.

Along with Free’s 13 points, Veronaye Charlton scored 10 points, Denika Lightbourne scored nine points and Katy Corbett scored eight points.

Going into their game against Towns County High School in the first round of the region tournament Tuesday, the Lady Indians were ranked No. 16 in the power ratings.

“We’d really like to retain our rank of 16 or higher,” Corbett said. “We need to get this win.”

Having played each other only a week ago, both teams know what to expect from the other, and despite the Lady Indians’ 62-29 victory in that game Jan. 28, Corbett said Towns County would be ready.

“Coach Brian Hunnicutt does a great job with them and he’ll have them ready to play,” she said. “We best bring our best game again [Tuesday].”

Results from Tuesday’s game were unknown by The Northeast Georgian’s press deadline, but will be in the Weekend edition of The Northeast Georgian.

 

Indians 72, Athens Academy 52

Lopsided second- and third-quarter scores in favor of the Indians powered them through to a 72-52 victory over Athens Academy Friday.

“I think Friday was probably the best we’ve played from start to finish all year,” coach Cody Coleman said. “It was really exciting to see some of the pieces that we’ve been working on come together.”

The Indians trailed 18-13 at the end of the first quarter, but jumped into the driver’s seat with an 18-5 second-quarter run to lead 31-23 at the break.

The Indians’ hot-shooting continued in the third quarter, as they outscored the Spartans 23-14, then ended the game with an 18-15 run in the fourth quarter.

As a team, Tallulah Falls shot 8-of-18 (44.4%) from behind the arc.

“Anytime you can shoot a high percentage from the field, it makes things go easier,” Coleman said. “We shot it well, but it wasn’t just us throwing up shots. We played within the system, which is something we’ve been preaching.”

The Indians also dominated the points in the paint, outscoring the Spartans 34-12.

“I was very proud of our guys for battling on the inside like we did,” Coleman said, adding Athens Academy has a dominant inside presence – Deion Colzie – the Indians were able to control. “They have a kid who’s 6-foot-5 and committed to play wide receiver at Notre Dame. He’s very athletic, big and long, and it was awesome to see us get down there and battle in the paint with him.”

Matthew Weidner led the Indians in scoring with 26 points, adding six rebounds and one assist; Hayden Johnson finished with 24 points, four rebounds, five assists, three deflections and two steals; Reeves Cody finished with six points, three rebounds, five assists, five deflections and three steals; David Woods finished with five points; Devonte Allen finished with four points and eight rebounds; Juan Bachiller finished with two points; Winston Davis finished with two points and two rebounds; Simeon Respress finished with two points and three rebounds; and Sammy Davis finished with one point, three assists and two steals.

On Tuesday, the Indians traveled to Commerce to play Riverside High School in the region tournament. Going into the game, Coleman said he reminded his players what they have ahead of them.

“There’s a lot of basketball left in front of us to be played,” he said. “This is why we’ve put all this hard work in – from the summer workouts, preseason practices and more – all that work has gone into [Tuesday] and the region tournament. We’re just excited to get out there, play and leave it all on the court.”

Results from Tuesday’s game were unknown by The Northeast Georgian’s press deadline, but will be in the Weekend edition of The Northeast Georgian.