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ALL SMILES: Valley forward Javien Tucker smiiles while surveying the court during Tuesday’s win against Tallassee. Photo by Rashad Miilligan

8-10 Valley boys open area play with upset over 15-3 Tallassee in 50-44 win

VALLEY — Poise was the key in Valley’s 50-44 win over Tallassee on Tuesday night.

The Rams were trailing for most of the second half and in the fourth quarter when the players gave boys head basketball coach Marshon Harper a simple message.

“We were down four or five points, and the kids looked at me and said, ‘we’re not going to lose this game,’” Harper said. “They played some exceptional defense tonight. That’s how you play defense. They just did a good job.”

In the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, Valley kept its composure while Tallassee seemingly did the opposite. The Rams got back into the game and re-took the lead from the free throw line. A Tallassee miss shot or turnover eventually resulted in a Tallassee player fouling a Valley athlete attempting to finish near the rim.

Frustrations from Tallassee side began to mount, as one referee called all 10 players from both teams into a brief meeting on the floor with 1:30 remaining to make sure the players still had their emotions under control. Valley, however, stayed the course and sunk the important free throws down the stretch. 

“I’m very proud of them,” Harper said. “I told them that we’ve already played the first half of the season. We were making the mistakes, we were trying to correct them, and now this is the second half of the season. I told them ‘you’re not a freshman anymore. You’re a sophomore now.’ This is the second half of the season and they stepped up big. It was an unbelievable jump from the freshmen. The sophomores stepped up, the juniors and the seniors because we only have two seniors on the team. Everybody stepped up, it was a great team effort.”

Jacquez Trammell led the way with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist. 

Kintavious Dozier finished with 12 points, 4 rebounds, a steal and an assist, Markavious Atkinson added 6 points, 6 rebounds and one steal. Jaden Hamlin, Jaevin Tucker, T.J. Winston and K.D. Hutchinson also contributed for Valley in the win.

The Rams will travel to Beauregard on Thursday before returning home to host rival Lanett on Friday.

“The coaching staff and I talked about it today,” Harper said. “We played Tallassee today. We play Beauregard on Thursday. If we can beat Tallassee and beat Beauregard, we’re going to go in there on Friday, play our tails off and whatever happens, happens.”