AHS escapes, beats Jaguars

Published 11:17 pm Friday, February 5, 2010

Andalusia almost blew a 13-point lead Friday night, but pulled through in the end to defeat Hillcrest-Evergreen 63-58 in the first round of the Class 4A, Area 3 tournament at Andalusia.

As Andalusia coach Richard Robertson sauntered into his office in the locker room, he said the game could have been better.

“It wasn’t too pretty at all,” he said. “Everybody thinks I’m talking when I talk, but we struggled and have been all year. But, fortunately we struggled to survive again and that’s not going to keep on happening.

“We’re proud of the win, but right now it’s play to survive,” he said.

After getting a 30-17 lead at the beginning of the second half, Hillcrest began to claw its way back.

The Jaguars scored seven unanswered points to cut into Andalusia’s lead with 2:40 left in the third quarter to bring the game within two points at 40-38 going into the fourth quarter.

“I knew they were going to make a run at us,” Robertson said. “I knew that. They’ve got one of the best basketball players we’ve played against all year. (Hillcrest-Evergreen’s Deandre Lyon is) the best one we’ve played against. He stays within his limitations. He’s a good basketball player. He gave us all kinds of fits.”

In the end, it all came down to free throws for each team.

Lyon drew a foul early in the fourth quarter and went to the line for two points. He made one to tie the game up at 42 points each.

With a 46-44 lead and 6:27 left in the contest, the Jaguars took a time out to regroup.

Andalusia’s Derrick King was then fouled and made it a one-point game with less than six minutes left in the contest.

O’Brien Curry then stepped to the line after drawing a foul to tie the game back up at 46-46 with 4:57 left on the clock.

After that, Andalusia took control of the game, after Curry made an essential put back on a missed free throw from Jacard Townsend to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 52-46.

Curry later gave an answer to a rebound, making a jumper to increase his team’s lead back up to 54-48 with three minutes to go.

Lyon brought it back to a two-possession game, making two free throws with 2:46 left on the clock at 54-50.

Then, Andalusia’s Quayshaun Denson and Curry made two jump shots to give their team a 58-50 edge over the Jaguars.

The Jaguars battled back with less than a minute to bring the game to a one-possession game on a three-point shot.

Derrick King was then fouled and he made the final two points of the game.

Curry led Andalusia with 19 points and Quayshaun Denson added 13. King had 10.

Lyon led Hillcrest-Evergreen with 21 points.

At the beginning of the game, Andalusia shot out to a 10-0 lead with more than five minutes left in the first quarter and managed to outscore Hillcrest-Evergreen, 18-8.

At halftime, the Bulldogs (23-4) gained a 12-point lead on successful jumpers from inside the paint.

Andalusia was 14-of-29 at the free throw line Friday night.

In earlier area action Friday night, Thomasville defeated Clarke County, 52-38.

The Bulldogs will play Thomasville Monday night in the area finals at 7.