Barbour County beats Andy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 29, 2009

OZARK — Andalusia had the pace it wanted in the first half of Saturday’s showdown against Barbour County at the Ozark Civic Center.

The Jaguars, though, changed it in the second half, turning up the heat defensively and pounding the ball inside to speed up the pace.

Class 2A Barbour County capitalized on those changes to pull away to a 49-40 win over the Class 4A third-ranked Bulldogs at the Dothan Eagle/Dothan Progress Holiday Prep Classic.

This was the second straight year the Bulldogs (12-2) lost the Holiday Prep Classic opener.

“We didn’t play well,” Andalusia coach Richard Robertson said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Barbour County. We didn’t perform well.

“Our trouble was we didn’t execute,” he said. “I’ve been on them all year. Like I told them at practice (Monday), the good thing about Saturday is that we live to play again. All we can do now is see how we can respond to adversity.”

Barbour County coach Raymond White said it was a “good” win for his team.

“It is good to continue to win,” White said. “It is a six-game winning streak for us. That is our second time (coaching against each other). He (Robertson) won the first one and I am blessed to win the second one.”

Robertson has always been known to stress a patient half-court offense.

His Bulldogs perfected it Saturday in the first half and Barbour County played a similar style, as the teams were tied 14-14 at halftime.

Barbour County’s White made a decision to have his Jaguars come out pressing and more aggressive defensively in the second half.

It paid off in picking up the tempo and creating more offensive opportunities. After taking only 18 shots in the first half and making just six, Barbour County had 14 shots in the third quarter and made nine, scoring 21 points.

“In the second half, they beat us 35-26,” Robertson said. “That’s the difference. The first half we threw out the window.

“I hope our players learn that you’ve got to be ready to play every time you go out,” he said. “We’re playing against perfection. I’ve always preached that to my teams. Every one of these guys should know what we’re playing for. You’ve got to be ready to play each and every time.”

The more up-tempo game helped Barbour County break away to a 35-25 lead after the third quarter.

The Jaguars built the lead to 16 early in the fourth quarter at 43-27, but Andalusia, behind O’Brien Curry, sliced into the lead.

Curry accounted for six points in a 10-1 run that cut it to 44-37 with 4:14 left.

The Jaguars, though, went to a deliberate motion offense to take time of the clock. Twice they took a minute off while working the ball around.

The two series wiped off precious chances for Andalusia, which had only five possessions the final four minutes — two of which ended in turnovers.

Eight players scored for Barbour County. Tawain Whigham led the way with 10 points, including two 3-pointers.

Curry was the bulk of the Andalusia offense, scoring 20 of the 40 points.

Saturday, Andalusia will travel to play Clarke County in its first area game of the season. Tip off for the B-team is at 4:30 p.m.

Andalusia Star-News editor Andrew Garner contributed to this story.