MOBILE — When the Andalusia Bulldogs play a close game, they do it with style.
With 4:08 left in the fourth quarter and down 60-56, the Bulldogs capitalized on Dallas County’s turnovers and missed shot selections to earn a 71-65 semi-final victory in the Class 4A South Regional tournament at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Center Thursday afternoon.
“We’re proud to be still playing and to be playing for the regional championship,” Andalusia coach Richard Robertson said. “Like I told them (Thursday), I have never coached a team in this (semi-final) game and lost it, but I have in the championship game. “I told them also that we weren’t worried about anybody but Dallas County.”
Andalusia’s Jacard Townsend started the winning drive Thursday with a lay up. On Dallas County’s next possession, Marcus Kelley turned the ball over to Andalusia’s Derrick King.
King then hit a successful jumper with 2:40 left to tie the game up at 60-60.
The Bulldogs (25-5) took a quick 30-second timeout to regroup.
Dallas County (23-6) scored on its next possession on a turnover from Andalusia.
Andalusia’s O’Brien Curry then sunk a lay up to tie the game up again at 62-62. Curry led the Bulldogs Thursday with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bulldogs then went on a 7-0 run with 2:02 left on the clock to give them the momentum needed to win.
Dallas County’s Corey Shaw scored his team’s last three points with 34 seconds left in the contest.
“It was two good teams that battled it out for 32 minutes, but somebody had to lose,” Dallas County coach Willie Moore said. “I just hate it was us.”
Despite the end result, Andalusia almost lost a 14-point lead midway through the third quarter, but it managed to stay in a 50-46 lead entering the fourth quarter.
“My biggest goal is to not let us learn at the point of failure,” Robertson said. “This has happened a number of times. Five times we’ve lost this year and we’ve lost games in situations similar to (Thursday). We know we have a tough order in Brewbaker Tech, but we welcome the opportunity.”
Andalusia surged ahead in the first quarter outscoring Dallas County, 17-10.
In the second, Dallas County added 16 and Andalusia had 14, where the Hornets trailed 31-26.
Derrick King, Justin Dooley and Jacard Townsend all had nine points each for Andalusia.
The Bulldogs were 14-of-24 from the charity stripe and shot 54.9 percent from the field.
Frank Crews led Dallas County with 24 points. DeAndre McIntyre added 16 and Corey Shaw had eight.
The Bulldogs will play Brewbaker Tech in the Class 4A South Regional championship game on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Mitchell Center.