Central Coosa guaranteed its spot in the postseason once again.
Behind a double-double by Quin Brooks and a little halftime pep-talk by coach Richard Bell, the Cougars doubled up on Fayetteville 70-35 Tuesday night. Central came out fast and sloppy to start the game. Despite a 21-13 lead after the first frame, things slowed down for the Cougars in the second period and they couldn’t hit a basket. At the half, Central led 32-25 but Bell needed to coach up his young guards.
“We had to get a little organized there,” Bell said. “Most of my guards are 10th graders and sometimes, you play down instead of just going for the win. They have been out there the whole season. We had to get onto them hard at the half but it was good for them.”
Going into the half Bell decided something needed to change. Guard Dequalon Thomas had only 4 points and Brooks had 10.
“Usually Thomas has about 20 points a game but his shot wasn’t going in tonight and we decided to go with the second option inside,” Bell said. “Quin and (Tacoryon Sandlin) do a lot of post up work with coach (Brett) Thomas. We knew they were small so we decided to go inside.”
And the plan worked. Brooks would post up, take the pass and roll to the basket. Brooks scored 16 points in the third period before going to the bench with 27 points and 16 rebounds. Sandlin had 8 points and 13 rebounds in the game. Thomas did get 10 points in the game before going to the bench.
The third period performance meant Bell could get some time on players on the bench.
“Those other guys practice a lot and we want to get them in when we can to get some experience because it's going to start getting a lot harder,” Bell said.
Coosa is no 9-1 and its only loss is to Benjamin Russell. The win means Central will play in a sub-regional game to hopefully avenge a home loss to Ariton, ending last season way earlier than the state championship the team accomplished the year before.
Coosa will host the final game of the area tournament at 6 p.m. Friday as it hosts Vincent. Vincent defeated B.B. Comer 59-50 Tuesday to get to the finals. Coosa won the two previous meetings this season 54-45 and 51-48.