‘Cats stop TalladegaPublished 1:17pm Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Behind a 11-0 fourth-quarter run, the Benjamin Russell Wildcats took down the Talladega Tigers 66-58 to remain undefeated on the season.
Guard Ronnie Stacy led the Wildcats (8-0) with 23 points and 10 boards.
He added five steals and seven assists.
Before the final period started, the Wildcats were down 45-44 to Talladega, which came into the contest with an unblemished 10-0 record.
“It was a back and forth game,” said BRHS boys basketball coach Jeff Hines. “That run stretched it out for us at the end and kind of put it out of reach. But Talladega has a pretty dadgum good team, and it was out third game in four days, and we were mentally and physically fatigued. However, we have to give Talladega credit because they had a lot to do with how we played. We pretty much had to grind through to victory.”
Q. Johnson scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had four steals.
Dijon Leonard and Rod Hunter each scored 10 points and combined for 10 steals (Hunter had seven).
“Dijon and Rod have been playing very well for us as of late,” Hines said.
Hines said the team’s resiliency and return to its formula for success was the difference in the game.
“I thought we played about as good of basketball as we had played all season versus Dadeville in the Pepsi Classic,” Hines said. “But we fumbled a lot of passes out of bounds. That comes from a lack of concentration, which tends to happen when you’re fatigued. We also got away from our press defense. We were able to get back to our press in the second half, and I think that was a bit of a shock to (Talladega). I was disappointed in our half-court defense and our rebounding in the first half, but those two things were crucial for us in the second. I’m proud of how we played as we were able to withstand adversity and come out with a win.”
The win was not without a casualty however, as Stacy suffered a minor injury to his meniscus.
The senior guard has underwent surgery to repair the damage and is expected to return later in the season.
“He’s going to be all right,” Hines said. “We’re looking at three to six weeks in terms of recovery. I’ve been calculating it and knowing how hard he’s going to work to get back, he should return while we’re in the middle of area play.”
The Wildcats will return to action on Thursday, when they head to Childersburg for a makeup game.
Following that, BRHS will remain on the road as they travel to take on cross-county rival Dadeville on Friday.