Calera advances to regional

A key for Calera&8217;s success in Friday&8217;s sub-regional 86-69 victory over Gordo was the performance from the team&8217;s bench.

&8220;Our bench played well. We had all five of our starters with two fouls in the first half and if the game is manageable, we typically hold our starters out until the second half,&8221; head coach Robert Burdette said. &8220;We were able to do that because the guys off the bench were able to stretch the lead out.&8221;

The Eagles opened the game down 7-0, but hung around to pull ahead by two possessions before taking a 41-32 lead into halftime.

One of the guys who stepped up most for the Eagles, off the bench, was D.J. Snell, who scored 18 in the game.

&8220;He took care of the basketball and was aggressive offensively. He was able to give us some scoring from the point guard position that we haven’t had much of this year,&8221; Burdette said.

Leading the way for the Eagles was Kaderious Lacey, who posted a 9-of-13 performance from the floor for 23 points. He also added eight rebounds.

&8220;He just gives us that guy in the post that we can throw it into. We can always count on him to score for us or make something happen,&8221; Burdette said.

Kyle Nichols added 15 points for the Eagles.

The win sends Burdette and his Eagles to the Class 3A Central Regional at Alabama State University in Montgomery, where they will meet Greensboro at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

&8220;They&8217;re long and athletic,&8221; Burdette said. &8220;Except for their size, they are really a carbon copy of us. They like to press and move the ball up the court, so we know what to expect.&8221;

With three state titles under his belt since taking over the reigns at Calera, Burdette would like to capture his first in Class 3A, but is not looking past his first game on Thursday.

&8220;There may be one or two teams out there that may upset someone. When you get down to this time of the year and look past someone, then you&8217;re going to be going to watch them play in the next game. Greensboro is the only one we&8217;re looking at right now,&8221; Burdette said.

With a win Thursday, the Eagles will advance to their first 3A regional final on Saturday at 11:40 a.m. to meet either Montgomery Academy or Aliceville.