By Mark Clark
Central High coach Bobby Wright thought his team was improving over the holidays. The Red Devils won the Southeast Invitational Tournament in Dothan and had just won the first two of its three games in the William Henry Shaw Tournament in Columbus. But then things changed.
Central lost its final game of the Shaw tournament to Spencer High – a game it led by 24 points at halftime and by 16 entering the final quarter. To say the least, Wright was not pleased with his team’s performance in the 64-63 loss to the Greenwaves.
“I was not upset that we lost. I was upset by the way we lost to Spencer. We had a 24-point lead at the half. We even had a 16-point lead going into the fourth quarter. With 29 seconds to play, we had a three-point lead and the ball. I still felt we would win, but then we made some mistakes. After the game, I called for a mandatory meeting on Monday. We stayed in the meeting for an hour and a half. It was a Come-to-Jesus meeting. I told them we did not play like we did against Spencer here at Central High. I think I got my point across to them. I think we will play better now,” Wright said.
The 13-3 Red Devils showed Wright they understood his words when the squad went on the road for its first game of the new year at Lanett High. Central won that contest 67-33.
Central led 13-9 at the end of the first quarter and 27-14 at the half. Lanett never threatened in the second half as the Red Devils outscored the Panthers 40-17,
Tremaine Porter led Central’s scoring efforts with 23 points. Tremere Brown scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Josh Biggs scored 14 points.
The Red Devils then faced another pride of Panthers – Smiths Station High – in its first area game of the season. The Red Devils won the game 77-33.
Central scored 22 points to Smiths Station’s 11 in the first quarter. At the half, Central led 41-21. After three quarters, the Red Devils held a 66-26 lead.
Devonte Mathews and Porter both had 17 points to lead the Red Devils’ offense. Brown had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Radarius Hinnant scored 10 points.
Central finished last week with its third victory, 62-46, over Shaw High. The Red Devils held a slim 11-10 lead after a quarter. At the half, Central led 33-28. In the third quarter, Central outscored Shaw 20-10 to lead 53-38.
Brown led Central with 17 points. Porter had 14 points. Marquez Henry scored 12 points against Shaw and Hinnant had 10 points.
Central played Eufaula this past Tuesday after Citizen Press time. The Red Devils will host Auburn High on Friday in their second area game. Next Tuesday, Central will travel to play Sidney Lanier High in Montgomery.