The Handley Tigers saw their season come to an end last Tuesday in a 64-55 subregional loss on the road at Montevallo.
It’s the first time since 2014 that Handley has failed to reach the regional round of the state tournament.
Handley went cold from three-point land for the second consecutive game, and that proved to be a major factor in the loss to Montevallo.
The Tigers went just 1-for-11 from beyond the arc Tuesday after they hit just two three-pointers in their area championship loss to Booker T. Washington the previous Friday.
Handley trailed 30-23 at halftime Tuesday, but rallied to cut the lead to three points in the third quarter before Montevallo re-cushioned its lead and kept Handley at arm’s length the rest of the night.
Handley seniors Corey Bell and Devontae Houston put forth solid outings in what turned out to be their final game in a Handley uniform. Bell led the Tigers with 17 points and 9 rebounds, and Houston added 10 points and five boards.
Dylan Brooks finished with 16 points and five rebounds as well.
The Handley program appears to be on solid footing for the immediate future despite the graduation of Bell, Houston and bench contributor Thomas McCray.
Starters Christian Jones, Graham Martin, Dylan Brooks and Josh Smith are all juniors and should return to form the core of next year’s team, along with bench players Jalen Herren and Tae Snead.
Handley finishes the 2019-20 season with a record of 21-10. It’s the third time in four years under head coach Blake Smalley that Handley has reached the 20-win mark, and the one year they didn’t win 20 games (2017-18) they won 19.