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Bulldogs go winless at tourney

The Andalusia Bulldogs have a losing record at 2-3 after dropping two games at the Choctaw Tip-Off Tournament and nobody is more upset about that than Andalusia Head Coach Richard Robertson.

The main reason for Robertson's disappointment is the manner in which the Bulldogs lost their last two games to Niceville and Choctaw.

"Fundamentals and mental mistakes - that is what cost us," Robertson said. "If we were the typical Andalusia team and had done everything like we're supposed to, we would have won them all.

"When an Andalusia team scores 69 points it is supposed to win by 15," he added.

Robertson said he did not want to take anything away from the teams that beat the Bulldogs because they were both good teams. He did, however, point out that there are expectations for the Andalusia Bulldogs every basketball season.

The teams the Bulldogs lost to at the Choctaw Tip-Off might have been better teams, but Robertson said he wants to win the games his teams are supposed to lose even more than the ones in which the Bulldogs are favored.

The Choctaw club that defeated the Bulldogs has five players back from a team that competed for the state championship in Florida's highest classification and Andalusia still had an opportunity to win.

"Against Choctaw we had a 10-point lead and we blew that and lost by eight," Robertson said. "Against Niceville, we had a 15-point lead in the first half and end up getting beat by one point in overtime.

"We missed lay-ups and close in shots that would have won the ball game," he added. "We are getting the best shots you can get in basketball."

He said he needs the players to understand and buy into the system that is Andalusia High School basketball and to quit making mental mistakes.

"The thing that killed us is turnovers and that's what it has been all season," Robertson said.

The most upsetting aspect for Robertson is that he sees talent in his players and an opportunity to live up to the expectations that come with donning the cardinal-and-white Andalusia uniform.

"We got the makings of having a decent basketball team," Robertson said.

In the first game of the Choctaw Tip-Off, the Bulldogs fell to Niceville by a final score of 70-69 in overtime after holding a 34-27 lead at the halftime intermission.

The Bulldogs went 0-for-2 from the free-throw line in the overtime period and missed five free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter.

Alvin Daniels was the leading scorer in the loss with 27 points for the Bulldogs. Andrae Wright had 15 points, Terrance Smith had 13 and Keli Junior had 12 for Andalusia. Jamaal Heavens had two points in the loss.

In the second game of the tournament, Andalusia fell to Choctaw by a final score of 56-48 after holding a 24-16 lead at the half.

Andalusia's lead was cut to 40-39 in the third quarter and disappeared in the fourth period as Choctaw went on to record the win.

Poor free-throw shooting once again hurt the Bulldogs in the second half converting just 3-of-9 from the charity stripe after making just 1-of-5 in the first half.

Lance Evans was the leading scorer for the Bulldogs with 14 points. Andrae Wright also had double digits in scoring for Andalusia with 12. Terrance Smith, Jamaal Heavens and Alvin Daniels had six points each for Andalusia in the loss. Michael Cauley added three points and D'Rick Jackson had one point.

The Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday when they open up area play against the Hillcrest Jaguars in Evergreen. The B-team game is slated to tip off the action at 4:30 p.m. followed by the varsity girls' game and then the varsity boys' game.

The Lady Bulldogs began play in the Choctaw Tip-Off on Thursday night against Woodham High School.

The result of the game was not available at presstime.

The Lady Bulldogs play again today in the Choctaw Tip-Off Tournament in Ft. Walton, Fla.