• 66°

‘Dogs need defense

MOBILE — Andalusia coach Richard Robertson said the “key” in today’s Class 4A South Regional championship game against No. 2 Brewbaker Tech is defense.

“We’ve got to stay even and in front,” Robertson said. “If we get behind, then we’ll have to chase them.”

No. 6 Andalusia defeated Dallas County Thursday in the regional semi-final round, 71-65, to advance to the finals against Brewbaker Tech.

In an earlier game on Thursday, Brewbaker Tech defeated Andalusia foe Thomasville, 48-39.

Robertson said the Rams are a “senior-oriented” team with 11 on their side. But, there’s one senior the Bulldogs haven’t had the opportunity to play against.

Brewbaker Tech’s Keylon Harrell also had a total of eight rebounds in his game against Thomasville. He was 7-of-15 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. He also led with 22 points.

“He’s (Harrell) the difference,” Robertson said.

Before Andalusia played Dallas County on Thursday, Robertson got the chance to watch a little bit of the Brewbaker Tech-Thomasville game.

Robertson said he was following how the Rams responded to Thomasville’s defense.

“Thomasville didn’t have as good a game as they have been having,” he said. “That could have been us if we had won (the area championship). As it worked out, we probably got the best draw.”

Andalusia (25-5) has played against Brewbaker Tech before. In 2009, the Bulldogs defeated the Rams 77-71 in the South Regional tournament in Troy in the semi-final round. They won that game with the help of former players Nico Johnson and Leslie James, whose inside game was the difference maker.

This year, Andalusia doesn’t have the help of Johnson or James, but the players know what’s at stake.

“Our guys know what’s at stake and it’s going to be two good ball teams playing each other. That’s the way it’s got to be,” Robertson said. “Somebody is going to advance (to the state tournament in Birmingham) and somebody is going home. What we’re doing is trying to advance.

“The key for us is if we ever had anything to play for — we’ve got it now,” he said. “You’ve got to win it on the court and it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past. We’ve got to play well enough to win. We appreciate the support we’ve been giving and I know it’s a long way down there. We’re going to give it the best shot we’ve got and hope that’s good enough.”