Wetumpka took its recent scare against Stanhope Elmore personally, rebounding Monday to win the Class 6A, Area 7 title going away in a 67-42 victory over Thompson.
“The guys took it to heart,” Wetumpka coach Ed Rogers said of Friday’s comeback win over the Mustangs. “The guys knew we had the best team, and when Stanhope led us the whole game, they took it personal. I saw it all day — they never prepared themselves all year like they did today. Every time you would see them they had the game on their minds.”
The Indians (19-5) and Warriors (13-14) were tied at 11 after the first period, Wetumpka built an eight-point lead at halftime, then dominated after that.
Rogers said his team gave one of its best defensive efforts all year.
“We knew watching Thompson on film that we had to contest their shots,” Rogers said. “When they set screens, we fought through them and that frustrated them. The last time we played them, we didn’t fight through the screens.”
Senior Rod Jones echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“We worked on stopping the back screen they were doing, and we just knew how to stop their offense and play good defense,” Jones said. “I think Coach Rogers has done a great job and is the reason we are here, and I’m glad to have him as a coach.”
De’arris Buycks led the Indians with 16 points, and Jaleel Beeman added 12.
Rogers said the team won’t spend much time celebrating but will start preparing for its subregional game Friday at home against Pelham.
Rogers said the Indians will immediately begin work on a game plan, but he’s confident in his team’s progress.
“The way we played defense tonight, I don’t care who we play,” Rogers said. “With that type of intensity, challenging every shot, making free throws when it counts and maintaining the lead that we got early in the game, the team has learned a lot throughout the season, and it paid dividends tonight.”