Area teams ranked in ASWA poll

Published 12:37 am Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Andalusia Bulldogs (3-0) climbed to the No. 3 spot in the latest Alabama Sports Writers’ Association poll.

Both of the varsity teams at Pleasant Home were in the top 10 in Class 1A. The Eagles were ranked No. 6 and the Lady Eagles ranked No. 4. Andalusia’s girls were ranked No. 10 in Class 4A.

The Bulldogs started out the season knocking off Elba in a 90-59 win and then turning around to beat Enterprise at the buzzer last Friday night 74-73. Over the weekend, Andalusia traveled to Montgomery to play Trinity and won, 67-26.

Head coach Richard Robertson said the new ranking for the team is good, but he is going to take it “one at a time.”

“All that’s going to do is put a bull’s-eye on our backs,” Robertson said in a telephone interview. “Everybody’s going to be shooting at us and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We appreciate it, but we’re going to take it one at a time.”

Robertson said he thinks the reason why his team is ranked No. 3 in the ASWA poll is because of the overall recognition.

“We stayed ranked the whole year last year,” he said. “But at the end of the season we lost five out of the last seven. We need that recognition. That’s for the school, the town and community and that could help us sell some tickets, too.

“I’d rather be ranked than not ranked,” he said. “The thing is when we’ve been up so long that when we win some, everybody figures we’re the same Andalusia team we’ve always been. That’s what I’ve been trying to get back to. I was telling the guys (Tuesday) morning, we won the state championship in 1996 and got beat in 1995. We won 57 ball games out of 65, so I want to get back to those days.”

As to whether he thinks his team has the ability to stay ranked this year, Robertson said the team is capable of achieving much more.

“Ability wise if we put everything together we could have that team, but we’ve got to be basketball smart and we haven’t been doing it all the time,” Robertson said. “ In the Enterprise game last year we had a 17-point lead and lost it on the last shot. All we had to do was to eat up five or six seconds and we win. We were up 17 and we think we’ve got to play free style basketball and you’re trying to do things to please the crowd and that’s not necessary.

“We scored 38 points at Trinity. The second half I went to an offense and defense to run the clock out. We only scored 29 and they only scored 17. We’ve got enough points, just run the clock out. That’s one thing I’m trying to get them to understand. We’re not the NBA and we don’t have a shot clock, but if you just eat up the time and run the clock out, you’ll get the win.”