Gadsden City boys clinch area title
Fri. January 17, 2014 at 11:58 p.m. | By Nick Johnston Sports Writer
Gadsden City’s Darrian Ethridge passes between Clay-Chalkville’s Kenneth Cotton, left, and Sean Burrell on Friday. (Photo by Nick Johnston | Gadsden Times)
It’s just what they do.
The Gadsden City Titans won the Class 6A, Area 9 championship Friday night with a 57-51 win over Clay-Chalkville.
It’s the seventh area title in school history for the Titans (15-5, 6-0), and it means they will get to host the area tournament next month.
“That’s expected,” Gadsden City coach Reginald Huff said. “We work with the spirit of excellence. We feel like it’s a waste of time to just come in and play basketball. We come in here to try to win championships.”
Chris Turk led the Titans with 23 points and eight rebounds, picking up the slack for what was an offensive struggle for the Titans. Starters Josh Juddine, Tevin Wise and Chris Dudley — three of the Titans’ leading scorers — were held to a combined eight points.
Zack Oglesby came off the bench to score 10 points and pull down eight rebounds, while Jashaad Garrett added nine points and 10 boards.
“It shows how balanced our team is,” Huff said. “Gotta give credit to the kids for believing in each other and working hard to try to accomplish this goal.”
Gadsden City led by as many as 12 points in the opening two quarters and settled for a 34-24 halftime lead.
Clay-Chalkville (17-7, 4-2) made its move in the third quarter, though. Three straight 3-pointers — two from Hasan Abdullah the other from Kenneth Cotton — pulled the Cougars within one point, trailing 42-41 at the 1:24 mark.
But Turk made a layup before Garrett busted a 3-pointer with just 1 second on the clock to give the Titans a 47-41 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
“It’s character,” Huff said of withstanding the Cougar run and never relinquishing the lead. “They didn’t quit, and that shows the character of a team. That means a lot.”
Clay-Chalkville never got closer than five the rest of the way.
Abdullah and Brian Clark both had 13 points for the Cougars. Cotton added 12 points.