Titans beat Grissom for area title, advance to regionals

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By Stan Veitch/Sports Correspondent

After Grissom’s Jordaan Ranbus connected on a 3-point shot to open Saturday’s (Feb. 13) Class 7A, Area 7 championship game, Gadsden City High scored the next 10 points, starting a trend for the night.

The trend being run after run by both teams. Gadsden City eventually won by a 70-61 margin. The 3-0 score was the only lead of the game for Grissom.

“We’re a team of runs,” Titan coach Reginald Huff said. “We score in bunches. Grissom does a good job, and this was our fourth time to play them this year. It’s tough to play against a team that knows you that well. They’re a very well-coached team.

“Our guys are just resilient. They knew we had to keep playing hard and working hard. When you play hard, good things happen.”

There is no sub-region playoff in Class 7A, so with the win, Gadsden City advances to the Northeast Regional Tournament at Jacksonville State. The Titans play No. 5 Mountain Brook at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday (Feb. 18). Grissom will meet No. 1 Spain Park at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

After the No. 4 Titans’ (22-7) opening run was interrupted by a Stephen Copeland free throw, the No. 5 Tigers netted eight of the next 16 points, leaving Gadsden City ahead by a 16-9 margin at the quarter break.

Grissom went on to score 11 of the next 18, but the Titans finished the half with a flurry to hold a 33-22 lead at intermission.

The Tigers came out hot after intermission, scoring the first five points of the seconds half and closing the gap to 46-42 by the end of the third quarter.

However, Gadsden City tallied the first eight points of the fourth quarter, then hung on for the win, even though Grissom got within four a couple of times.

“We’re battle-tested,” Huff said. “We played a very tough schedule. When you prepare for battle, you expect things like that to happen and it doesn’t surprise you. You just keep your composure [and] stay poised. This group of seniors we have, they’re very poised.”

Three-pointers were a big part of both teams offense. Gadsden City hit eight 3s and the Tigers netted four. Kalin Johnson hit four for the Titans and Jarrett Kaplan poured in three for Grissom, scoring 10 points.

The Titans were led by Johnson’s 24 points. Shond-KIdd McKinney Kidd tossed in 20 points. Deonte Jones scored nine and pulled down 11 rebounds. Darnell Mooney also scored nine points along with eight boards and seven assists.

Jordan Rodriquez scored 15 for Grissom, while KyShawn Scarborough and Ranbus each netted 13.

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