WAP finishes second in tournament

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

CARROLLTON &045; When the basketball season reaches its half way mark, most teams would have realized its potential or what kind of team they have. The West Alabama Prep Titans have matured, though they are still very young, and have gained the respect of its regional opponents. West Alabama came out of the Pickens Academy Tournament over the weekend with a second place finish.

The first game for the Titans was against Sumter Academy Eagles, whom they defeated 79-70. The WAP offense came out shooting as both teams started with an up-tempo flow of the game. WAP netted 25 points in the opening quarter to take a five-point lead. The second quarter was evenly played, as the Eagles threw full and half court presses at the Titans to stay close. The score at the half found WAP still up 43-39.

The Titans began to struggle with the press of Sumter Academy, as the Eagles began inching closer, eventually tying the game, then keeping the deficit to just two points going into the fourth quarter.

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In the final eight minutes of the game, WAP found way to break the Sumter Academy press and out scored the Eagles 21-14 in the quarter. They pulled away early while holding them to 14 points.

WAP.s junior Terrance Irby finished the game with a triple-double. He scored 35 points, including nine three-pointers, dished out 11 assists, and pulled down 10 rebounds. Sophomore DeSean Collins netted a season high 16 points. Kris Kimbrough, a freshman, added 15 points, also a season high.

Sumter’s Joseph Reed kept his team in the game with 27 points. Stevie Ray added 15 points and Mark Geiger chipped in 12 points.

The second game turned to be rough going for the Titans. WAP bowed to the host, the Pickens Academy Pirates, 51-45.

Game two of the tourney was played at a different pace than the first game for WAP. Pickens played a box-and-one defense to slow Irby. The defense worked, but the Titans were able to find other scorers in the first half. WAP led most of the first half, in spite of multiple ties and lead changes. The Titans took a 23-20 half time advantage into the locker room. The Pirates out score West Alabama 13-9 in the third as the Titan shooters went cold. The game still remained close in the fourth quarter until that miraculous shot from half court with 1:15 left to play. The Titans missed on their next possession, which forced them to foul and send Pickens to the line. They made enough free throws to keep the game out of reach for WAP.

Irby still managed to score 23 points, in spite of foul trouble. Irby and Kimbrough made the all-tournament team.