Albany High’s Jordan Young (32) shoots over Dougherty’s Ricardo Sloan (14) Saturday night at the Albany Civic Center. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)
ALBANY — The facial expression of Albany High boys basketball coach Archie Chatmon didn’t have the look of pressure.
But the Albany coach felt some.
He told his players before Saturday night’s game against rival Dougherty that they needed to win the game. After Friday’s loss to Cairo, the Indians could not afford another region setback.
Albany responded to Chatmon’s pregame speech. Behind a career night from Jordan Young, the Indians ran away from upstart Dougherty and claimed a 69-47 victory at the Albany Civic Center.
Young was one of three Albany players in double figures, finishing with 16 points. However, it was a 13 rebound effort that had Chatmon smiling.
“I can’t say enough about Jordan Young’s performance,” Chatmon said. “We had to have that (Saturday).”
The Albany coach said he’s been concerned with his team’s performance since the U-Save-It Christmas Tournament. The Indians went 2-1, but Chatmon said they’ve slid backward.
“We challenged our guys to hit the boards (Saturday),” he said. “They jumped around and played like they needed to do. (Saturday’s) effort is the kind of performance we need on the boards if we are going to get back in this thing.”
Dougherty led early but could not sustain the same intensity it started the game with. Albany took the lead late in the first period, then put the game on cruise control in the third quarter when it built leads as high as 20 points.
Ty Hayes, who coached his third game after taking over for former Dougherty coach Donald Poole who announced his retirement two weeks ago, wasn’t happy with the Trojans’ performance.
“This was the first night that I wasn’t impressed with these guys,” Hayes said. “The first two games last week, we didn’t get the win but I thought the guys played hard. (Saturday), they didn’t play like that for whatever reason. We missed a lot of shots and I know that changed the game a lot. But they’ve got to keep working hard.”
The Indians (9-4, 5-3 Region 1-AAAA) entered Saturday’s game in a three-way tie for third-place with Crisp County and Monroe. Albany visits Crisp on Tuesday, then plays host to Dougherty in a rematch Friday night.
“I told our guys we could not afford to lose this one,” Chatmon said. “These guys responded, and it was refreshing to see that.”
Dezmond Newberry added 11 points for the Indians, while Malik Dungee-Ali finished with 10 points.
Dougherty (3-8, 2-5) got 16 points from Shunwaski Wheeler, while Charles Porter and Montrell Sisroe tossed in 10 points each.