Lady Bulldogs battle for 41-35 win over Thomasville Saturday

Published 11:59 pm Monday, February 23, 2009

TROY — Andalusia freshman point guard Alexis Horton helped lead her team to the Class 4A South Regional championship Saturday, as the Lady Bulldogs defeated Thomasville 41-35.

Horton led her team in scoring with 21 points.

“I feel great (about going to the state finals),” Horton said. “I never imagined I would be (South Regional) MVP and the star key player at the top.”

The Lady Bulldogs will face Anniston tomorrow at the Class 4A state semifinals in Birmingham at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex at noon.

Andalusia (25-3) trailed 11-7 going into the second quarter Saturday, but regained a 24-18 lead going into halftime.

The Lady Bulldogs outscored Thomasville 10-6 in the third quarter, but the Lady Tigers (18-6) came back and put in 11 points compared to Andalusia’s seven in the final quarter.

Thomas-ville cut Andalusia’s lead to 34-31 with 5:52 left in the game, but the Lady Bulldogs buckled down defensively and only allowed four more points in the remainder of the quarter.

“I thought we played with great defensive intensity and got a lot of steals and tipped balls,” Andalusia coach Bennie Shellhouse said. “We made it tough for them to handle the ball down on the floor. I just felt like we played good defense (Saturday). We rebounded better and pushed the tempo of the game up a little bit.”

Shellhouse said he was confident his team was going to win with Horton on the court.

“We knew they were going to play us man,” he said. “We felt good about our chances about Alexis running the top.

“She likes to break them down,” he said. “We knew she was going to be a key factor for us.”

Shellhouse said his team has remarkable chemistry and a positive attitude.

“God has blessed us with a great group of girls,” Shellhouse said. “Their attitude is good and they have worked hard. I just thank God for blessing and helping us be where we are right now.”

Thomasville boys coach David Butts had to be the substitute girls coach Saturday because head coach Curtis Lane was in the hospital for health reasons.

“I thought the girls played really hard even with the circumstances they have been dealing with the last couple of days,” Butts said. “We just didn’t make some shots.”