Tigers on a tearPublished 11:11am Tuesday, January 22, 2013
By Ed Bailey
As the season begins to wind down, the Dadeville Tigers boys basketball team are in playoff form.
After a 63-42 shellacking of Central-Coosa this past Friday, Dadeville took down Calera this past Saturday 80-73 to push its overall record to 15-5 and remain unbeaten in area play.
The team has won seven straight contests, with its last setback coming versus LaFayette in the finals of DHS’ after-Christmas tournament.
Dadeville defeated LaFayette on the road in a rematch to begin its winning streak.
“We’re coming together as a team,” DHS’ boys basketball head coach Rodney Taylor said. “We’re able to take on physical teams and respond to them. We’re playing well and with confidence.”
Taylor has said that teams who are able to play a physical brand of basketball against the Tigers have historically vexed Dadeville, but the team’s recent play has been more than impressive.
“To beat Calera, a team that plays that kind of physical, aggressive basketball, has probably been our most impressive win so far,” Taylor said. “They’ve beaten us the last two years, and each time we led at the half. This year we led again, but we came out and stretched that lead to double digits. They (Calera) responded, but we didn’t fall away.”
Thanks to the Tigers’ strong play, Dadeville can clinch home-court advantage in the area tournament if the Tigers beat Handley High School on the road.
DHS defeated Handley 53-48 in their last meeting.
“We’re equal,” Taylor said when comparing his team to Handley’s. “When you face a team that’s athletic and well-coached, it’s going to be a challenge.”
Taylor said that the team’s leaders have been instrumental in the win streak but the reason the team is performing at such a high level is because of the Tigers’ unsung heroes.
“Of course we’re led by (Terry) Toler, Malik Tolbert and Jessie Foster,” he said. “Those are our three main scorers, but we also have Anfernee Jennings in the post. Tony Holloway is still learning the game, but he’s contributing. Tomas Foster and Devonte Pogue have contributed with the little things: the hustle points and effort plays. For us to be where we are, it takes all of us to play together.”
Dadeville has six straight road games left to end the schedule before area tournament play begins.
Following Handley, DHS faces Beauregard before paying a visit to Benjamin Russell this Saturday.
“It’s a hard way to end the season, but it’s a process,” Taylor said. “The main thing is that we keep get better, no matter what the scoreboard says. Hopefully we continue to play well so we can make a decent run at the playoffs and then Birmingham.”