Tucker’s time: Cedar Bluff’s sixth man sparks Tigers past Gaylesville

Cedar Bluff’s Caleb Tucker spots up for the 3-pointer against Gaylesville on Monday. Photo by Shannon Fagan.

By Shannon Fagan, WEIS Sports Director

GAYLESVILLE – When Johnny Amison feels his boys basketball team needs an ignition, he turns to senior forward Caleb Tucker to provide it.

Tucker did just that on Monday for the Cedar Bluff Tigers at Gaylesville. He came off the bench and scored a game-high 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Tigers to a 73-47 area victory.

“I give it to my team. They hit me when I’m open and I just make the open shots,” Tucker said. “I just try to come in and play my role. My role is to play defense and shoot, and I try to crash the boards.”

“He’s our sixth man,” Amison said. “Normally when he comes in he brings us a spark. He rebounds, shoots, plays defense. He does it all. You can’t ask for any better.”

Gaylesville head coach Kolby Brannon said Tucker “killed us.”

“He did it to us last time at Cedar Bluff (in a 55-48 decision),” Brannon said. “Our big guy (Braden Sharp) is out right now with an ankle injury. Our bench is already very thin anyway and now it’s that much thinner. Our bench did a good job. They played hard, but their scoring off their bench was much better than the scoring off our bench. We just couldn’t clear that hurdle to get back in it.”

Cedar Bluff (10-7, 5-1) held a 12-9 advantage at the end of the first quarter, then behind 13 points from Tucker, the Tigers extended their lead to 34-18 at halftime. The Trojans (4-17, 2-5) managed to cut their deficit down to nine at 39-30 with 3:28 remaining in the third quarter on a rebound and basket by Karrson Ray. He was also fouled on the play but couldn’t convert the ensuing free throw.

From that point, Cedar Bluff closed out the quarter on an 8-4 run to take a 47-34 advantage heading into the fourth. The Tigers outscored Gaylesville 26-13 in the fourth for the final.

“In the games we’ve had recently we’ve hit that big 3 to get us over that hump. It just didn’t happen tonight,” Brannon said. “Every time we’d get to that point, they’d make a shot or we’d go two or three empty possessions. We couldn’t make it with a stop and then make them (shots). We just couldn’t clear that hurdle to get back in it.”

MJ Adams added 16 points for the Tigers, including a pair of 3-pointers. Eli McFry managed 10 points. Bucky Leek finished with six points.

Tanner Eads led the Trojans with 15 points. Kyler Bradley delivered nine points. Collin Hendon had eight points. Kuper Bradley and JJ Yarbrough both scored six points.

“I thought our guys did pretty well,” Amison said. “We boxed out. We rebounded. I think we controlled the glass pretty well. We did pretty good.”

The two teams will play each other again on Thursday in the Cherokee County Tournament at 8 p.m. at the Gadsden State-Cherokee Arena.


Cedar Bluff 58, Gaylesville 23

GAYLESVILLE – Cedar Bluff shook off a sluggish start to earn a 58-23 area girls basketball win over Gaylesville on Monday.

Kylie Vadon led the Lady Tigers with 15 points. Caley Bruce contributed 10 points. Rylie Walker connected on three fourth-quarter 3-pointers and finished with nine points. Janaya Higgins had six points. Za’Niya Kyle and Kindal Grace both finished with five points.

Shonda Epps topped the Lady Trojans with 12 points.

Cedar Bluff led 12-10 at the end of the first quarter and 25-15 at halftime. The Lady Tigers built a 36-22 advantage after three quarters and went on a 22-1 run in the fourth for the final.

Cedar Bluff’s Kylie Vadon drives in for a basket against Gaylesville on Monday. Photo by Shannon Fagan.
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