AHS wins Invitational
Some wins are pretty and some are ugly.
Andalusia coach Richard Robertson said it was the latter for his Bulldogs on Saturday night, as they won the Andalusia Invitational Tournament championship by narrowly defeating UMS-Wright, 32-30.
“(The win) was not pretty, but we’ll take it,” Robertson said.
Andalusia claimed its 23rd tournament championship, the most of any team that has participated in the tournament since its inception in 1967.
Andalusia (10-1) struggled against UMS-Wright early in the final matchup of the tournament.
UMS-Wright outscored Andalusia 6-4 in the first quarter. By halftime, Andalusia put up 13 points compared to UMS-Wright’s eight to lead by three points at 17-14.
Robertson said UMS-Wright carried out its plan against his team with ease.
“Their plan was to make us play this way and that’s what they did,” Robertson said. “They’re smart. They knew that they were out-personneled and outmanned.
“They came in here and played three ball games and the most they have scored was 45 points,” he said. “They are playing smart basketball. They knew that they were out-personneled by Luverne and us. They beat Enterprise 36-34 and Luverne 45-42. We beat them 32-30. They know they have to keep the score low to win because they don’t have an inside game.”
In the third quarter, Andalusia’s Derrick King and Justin Dooley got early steals and added four points to their team’s score.
Andalusia led 29-19 entering the fourth quarter, but UMS-Wright put a scare in the home team’s fans by outscoring Andalusia 11-3 in the final eight minutes. Down the stretch, Andalusia was able to control the clock and get the win.
“We knew we had to run the clock,” Robertson said.
Robertson said one thing that he can take away from the tournament is that “there is still a lot of work” that needs to be done.
“When you play somebody like this — this is the way it’s going to be from here on in — from here on in, it’s going to be a challenge every time,” he said. “The thing about it is that in two more weeks, everybody will be even (in area play). We’ve been working over one month and some have been working two to three weeks.”
In the game, Andalusia was 4-of-9 at the free throw line.
Andalusia Invitational Most Valuable Player Jacard Townsend led his team with eight points.
UMS-Wright’s Parker Shearer led his team with 13.
In earlier action Saturday night, Enterprise beat Opp 66-37, and Luverne defeated Florala, 50-29.
Opp’s Gavin Free led with 20 points, while Florala’s Lavoris Ball scored 12 points and Zac Fleming had nine.
Andalusia will travel to play Pike County tonight with the B-team starting at 4:30.
Andalusia — Jacard Townsend (MVP), Quayshaun Denson and O’Brien Curry; Opp — Gavin Free; Florala — Zac Fleming; Luverne — Walter Barber, Robert Freeman and Brandon McGhee; Enterprise — Rhett Harrelson; UMS-Wright — Brooks Hudson, John Shearer and Andrew Zieman.