By Matthew Martin/Sports Correspondent
The Gadsden City’s boys and girls basketball teams both turned in dominating performances against Pell City last Tuesday (Jan. 8) at GCHS.
Combining the Pell City boys’ and girls’ total points would have still come up short, with the Titan boys earning a 55-18 win, while the girls posted a 52-17 victory.
In the girls game, Pell City was able to keep the game close for a quarter before the Titans overpowered the Panthers.
“We are always looking for ways to improve,” Gadsden City girls coach Jeremy Brooks said. “It was a good win. We were able to get the girls a lot of playing time. It was an overall solid team effort.”
The first quarter was the only period where Brooks had to sweat, as Pell City and Gadsden City went back and forth before the Titans (16-3, 3-0) were able to pull away. Gadsden City led 13-7 at the end of the quarter.
An impressive aspect to the blowout win was the fourth quarter. Brooks talked about getting all the players more playing time than a normal game might allow, but even emptying the bench late in the game, the Titans did not miss the starters.
In the final period, Gadsden City did not allow a point. The score after three quarters was 46-17, and while the Titans did not score much, its defense shut down the Panthers.
Gadsden City led 27-13 at the half.
The Titans have played a tough schedule, but even with difficult games, Brooks said the team’s toughness has been evident, producing four wins from which Gadsden City had to claw back from double-digit deficits.
Tuesday’s game was a needed breather.
“We got off to a pretty early lead in the game and took control and kept it the rest of the game,” Brooks said.
The Titans were led by Dajia Williams’ 12 points, followed by Takara Blount’s 11 points and six steals. Brooke Burns added nine points and five assists. Hannah Harris scored eight points.
Pell City was led by Raegan Merryman’s 10 points.
The boys’ game was almost a repeat of the girls’ game – but in reverse.
The Titans (7-8) did not allow a point in the first quarter, racing out to a 13-0 lead heading into the second period.
Pell City did not score until there was 6:31 left in the first half. A single free throw made the score 20-1.
“We’re trying to build chemistry and get this thing back on the right track,” Gadsden City boys coach Reginald Huff said. “We needed a game like this to test the guys’ strength and discipline on executing on what we are trying to establish. I thought they did a really good job tonight, and I am proud of them.”
The Panthers did not make their first field goal until the 4:27 mark of the second quarter, at which time the Titans led 25-5.
Gadsden City led 30-12 at the half.
“The guys played hard; they fought,” Huff said. “We’re getting better. We’re taking baby steps to get where we need to be. This is a young team. We have everybody coming back; everybody back next year, so we’re excited about that, too.”
The teams played with a continuous clock for most of the second half, with the Titans leading 47-18 heading into the final quarter.
Gadsden City was led by Rakim Lubin’s 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Chris Dudley added 10 points.
Tracy Rhodes scored nine points and Terrence Thompson scored six.
Tray Smothers had three assists and two steals for the Titans.
For Pell City, Tim Barr scored six points and Jailen Green added five points.
“It wasn’t a great team to execute against, but at least we had a chance to do it against someone who didn’t know what we were trying to do (as opposed to practice),” Huff said. “That meant a lot. It was definitely good for confidence. We needed a confidence builder.”