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Thomasville beats Andalusia with free throws

Thomasville defeated Andalusia Monday night 36-34 to claim the Class 4A, Area 3 championship.

For the Tigers, shooting 13-of-17 from the free throw line was the main difference in their win over the Bulldogs.

Andalusia didn’t do so well in that area of the game, ending the night 0-of-16 from the free throw line.

“That was the difference — most definitely,” Thomasville coach David Butts said about his team’s free throw play. “(Andalusia) missed them and we made some down the stretch and we’ve been missing them all year. It’s kind of ironic that we made them and they missed them down the stretch.”

Tevin Pope led Thomasville with 12 points and was 6-of-7 from the line. Jamarcus Blackmon added 11.

Thomasville led 10-6 after the first quarter, but the Bulldogs took the lead at the break, leading 22-15.The Bulldogs (23-5) kept their lead until the 1:39 mark when Blackmon scored a lay up on breakaway to help his team take a 27-26 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Andalusia regained its composure at the start of the fourth quarter shooting a quick four points compared to Thomasville’s one.

“Some phases of our game have been letting us down all year long,” Andalusia coach Richard Robertson said. “People think I’m just playing. I told (my players) that it was going to catch up to us and it did.

“We didn’t execute our offense,” he said. “We made bad decisions. You call the play as plain as daylight and you look out there and they’re doing something totally different. ‘I thought we were this.’ ‘I thought we were that.’

“We had opportunities, but Thomasville outplayed us,” he said. “Coach Butts did a good job.”

Slowly but surely, the Tigers capitalized on getting fouled, making 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the last three-and-a-half minutes of the contest.

Blackmon tied the game up at 32 points apiece with a 1-and-1.

At the 49.2 mark, Blackmon scored again on a lay up from outside the paint to take a 34-32 lead.

Andalusia then took a timeout and regrouped.

After getting fouled on a two-point play, Jacard Townsend was at the free throw line, but missed his two.

On Thomasville’s last possession of the game, Pope managed a successful off-balance jumper to seal the win for the Tigers.

In the end, Butts said the adjustments in the second half helped his team pull off the win.

“The main adjustment for us was to box out and play defense,” he said. “We went to a lot more zone to help us out. We were missing two of our top eight guys and they found a way to win (Monday night).”

But, Andalusia had one more trick up its sleeve with Townsend at the free throw line. He missed his first and forced his second to bounce off the glass for a shot at a tip in, but to no avail, the ball never made it in.

Jacard Townsend led Andalusia with 10 points.

Andalusia will travel to Mobile Friday night to play UMS-Wright in the Class 4A South Sub-Regional tournament. Tip off is at 7.