Playoffs begin tonight

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Let the games begin. The 2004 Alabama High School Athletic Association basketball playoffs begin tonight with girls sub-regional play. Four teams from Covington County have earned spots in sub-regional games.

Andalusia vs. Choctaw County

The Andalusia Bulldogs will host a Class 4A sub-regional game at 7 p.m. tonight when the Lady Bulldogs play Choctaw County.

Andalusia (19-6) earned the right to host a sub-regional game by winning the Class 4A, Area 1 Tournament last week.

A year ago, the Lady Bulldogs defeated Choctaw County on the road in sub-regional action. The Lady Bulldogs will no doubt face a fired up Choctaw County team looking for revenge after being eliminated by Andalusia last season.

Andalusia Head Coach Marshall Locke said he expects a good team to get off the bus when Choctaw County arrives for the game.

"They're a pretty good little team," Locke said. "They have a good post player and a good shooting guard."

He said Southern Choctaw lost two players off last season's squad, including a current member of the LBW Community College Lady Saints in guard Amanda Dubose.

The difference in the game could be the home court advantage. Locke said he hopes the student body and Andalusia basketball fans come out and continue to support the Lady Bulldogs like they did during last week's area tournament.

Opp at Ashford

The Opp Lady Bobcats travel to Ashford for a sub-regional game tonight against a team that advanced all the way to the Final Four last season. The game is slated to begin at 7 p.m.

Opp Head Coach Michael Smithart said the Lady Bobcats (13-12) defeated Ashford earlier this season, but he expects to see a different caliber team tonight.

"We beat them by 14 or 15 points at the New Brockton Thanksgiving Tournament, but they had a couple of players out," Smithart said. "They are a lot better than when we played them around Thanksgiving.

"You are talking about a team that went to the Final Four last year and they didn't lose many players off that team," he added.

Straughn at Barbour County

The Straughn Lady Tigers travel to Barbour County for a sub-regional game with action set to begin at 7 p.m.

Straughn (20-8) will see a team similar to that of the Abbeville Lady Yellow Jackets tonight in Barbour County.

"They like to run," Straughn Head Coach Rodney Drish said. "They have a big girl inside named Reba Ross and she can push the ball up the court.

"They like to use a pressure defense and run an up-tempo offense like Abbeville," he added. "We can't run with them. We have to slow it down."

Florala at Fruitdale

The Florala Lady Wildcats (16-12) travel to Fruitdale today for a 7 p.m. sub-regional game.

Florala Head Coach Pat Maddox said Fruitdale does not look good on film and he thinks the Lady Wildcats should win and advance to the regionals in Mobile.

"I have one tape on them and they really don't look that good," Maddox said. "We're ready to go. We want to get down there and then get on to Mobile.

"We feel like we are as good as anybody," he added.

He said the Lady Wildcats have had a great season and have enjoyed a big turn around after going 6-16 last season.