Andalusia is Troy-bound

Published 11:59 pm Friday, February 13, 2009

No. 1 Andalusia sent visiting UMS-Wright back to Mobile Friday night, winning its sub-region game 53-30 and earning its spot at the South Regional tournament at Troy next week.

Andalusia’s O’Brien Curry led in scoring for the Bulldogs (24-2) Friday with 15 points, most of which were off rebounds. Nico Johnson added 13.

Andalusia coach Richard Robertson said his team must win from here on out and limit their mistakes.

“(Friday night’s game) wasn’t pretty,” Robertson said. “We made a bunch of mistakes. At this stage right now, we’ve got to get off that court with the lead. We’re still making too many mistakes.

“We persevered and we played better defense (Friday night),” he said.

UMS-Wright’s Andrew Zieman started the game for his team by putting up three jump shots to go up on Andalusia, 6-0, with 5:43 left in the first.

“(UMS-Wright) coach (Anthony) Clark does a good job and I knew if we stayed close we couldn’t give up as many outside shots as they usually make,” Robertson said. “That was the big plan was to put a damper on Nos. 4 (Zieman), 20 (Brooks Hudson) and 21 (Parker Shearer).”

UMS-Wright’s lead did not last long as Andalusia’s Brandon Sims threw in a 3-pointer followed by a slam dunk from Curry to set the tempo for the rest of the quarter.

“We had a spurt there and we didn’t get off to a good start in the first quarter,” Robertson said. “Midway of the first quarter, we took control of the game and that was our plan was not to let them get into control where they can make us play their game. We ran our delay game instead of running theirs.”

Andalusia led 19-10 going into the second quarter and increased that lead by 12 on jump shots and layups, while UMS-Wright scored only six points.

The game clearly went Andalusia’s way as they held UMS-Wright to just five points in the third quarter.

Robertson said the goal in the third quarter was to “run the clock.”

“That was our plan was to run the clock,” he said. “We had a 15-point lead at the half and we wanted to maintain that lead and use the fourth quarter and run the clock and put them in the position where they had to play defense on us.

“We shot some layups and missed some and that’s got to be corrected. You still have got to finish and we didn’t do it.”

Andalusia senior guard Leslie James also thinks there are mistakes that need correcting.

“I think we did well and we still have a lot of mistakes to correct,” James said. “We’ve got to work on taking our time and dealing with the pressure (for the regional tournament).”

Andalusia led 39-21 going into the final quarter of the game, and UMS-Wright could not come back, only adding nine additional points to close out the game. Andalusia scored 14 points in the final quarter.

Robertson said he was proud to get the win, but there is a long way to go.

“When this night is over, there are only going to be 16 schools left in each class. Like I told them, that doesn’t mean a thing,” he said. “You can be No. 16 and you can be No. 8 and No. 5, but you’ve got to be in the top four to do what we’re trying to do. That’s every team’s goal in the state and only one will get it accomplished in each classification. That’s what I’m trying to get them to understand. We’ve got to play perfect.”

Andalusia will play in the Class 4A South Regional tournament at Troy University on Thurs., Feb. 19, against Brewbaker Tech (25-4).

Tip off at Trojan Arena is at 10:30 a.m.