Lady Bulldogs win in OT
Getting into foul trouble can hurt some teams, but for the Andalusia Lady Bulldogs, it helped them seal a 52-50 overtime win Tuesday over Straughn at the Red Level Christmas Invitational tournament.
Andalusia’s Alexis Horton picked up three fouls early in the first quarter and had to return to the bench.
But when his team was down 15-3 at the start of the second quarter, Andalusia coach Bennie Shellhouse took a chance and put Horton back in the game. She then helped lead her team on a 13-0 run.
“We got us a little spark there,” Shellhouse said. “I just told them to play loose man and try to stay in front of them.”
Horton later tied the game at 22 points apiece on a jumper with 20 seconds remaining in the first half.
Straughn led 23-22 at the break.
“Andalusia turned their pressure up,” Straughn coach Scott Kinsaul said about Andalusia’s 13-point run. “Their guards were real quick. They made the plays. The first quarter we made the plays and they didn’t.”
The Lady Bulldogs made another short 8-2 rally in the third quarter to take a 30-25 lead over Straughn.
Straughn then added a quick six points compared to Andalusia’s two to bring the game to within one point.
The game was tied again at 36 points apiece at the end of the third quarter.
The game remained tight throughout the fourth quarter, with each team matching jumpers and 3-pointers.
Shellhouse made an adjustment late in the contest, adding Amber Anderson and Shi’Amber Townsend as post players. He said that made the difference in the end.
“With our two guards on the bench and three bench players (in the game), that’s great for us to come out and get the win,” Shellhouse said. “That is the best I have seen Straughn play in several years. They played with a lot of heart and a lot of intensity. Coach Kinsaul did a great job to get them prepared.”
With 36.9 seconds left in the contest, Horton was fouled and Straughn then called a time out to regroup.
Horton made one free throw to give her team a 46-45 lead.
After the free throw, Townsend quickly drew a foul with 17.5 seconds left in regulation.
Straughn called another time out and Townsend made her one free throw to make it 48-46.
On Straughn’s next possession, Andalusia’s Erica King fouled out of the game to send Kimberly Teel to the free throw line.
She made both free throws to tie the game at 48-48.
To send it into overtime, Kayla Teel missed two clutch free throws with no time left on the clock — both hit the left side of the rim and bounced out.
“It’s just not a good call,” Shellhouse said about the last-second foul. “I knew (Teel) was tired because she had to handle the ball. The first one when she missed it I was okay, but then I didn’t look at the second one.”
In overtime, Townsend made two quick jumpers to bring her team to a four-point 52-28 lead.
Kayla Teel scored the last two points on a jumper for her team.
“You’ve got to give Andalusia a lot of credit,” Kinsaul said. “They made a lot of plays there at the end. They were behind and we just played our hearts out. I was proud of them. Andalusia’s a good basketball team. They are the best team we’ve played so far this year. We had a chance to win and we’ll win it the next time.”
Alexis Horton led with 26 points and Shi’Amber Townsend had 13 points.
Straughn’s Tiffany Freeney led with 16 points and Kayla Teel had 14.
Andalusia will play Brantley on Thursday night at 6.
Straughn will play the loser of the Brantley-Highland Home game Thursday at 3 p.m.
In other action Tuesday, the Red Level Lady Tigers lost to Elba, 39-13.
The Red Level-Highland Home game was not completed as of press time Tuesday. Look for complete coverage of the game in the Thursday edition of the Andalusia Star-News.