Makings of an experienced team

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Andalusia's Alison Daniels dribbles down the court at practice. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Looking over practice Monday afternoon, Andalusia girls basketball coach Bennie Shellhouse said he believes he has the “makings” of a team that will make another appearance in the Final Four.

“I’d like to return to the final four,” Shellhouse said. “We’ve got the makings of a good team, it’s just whether or not we do what we’re asked to do, and perform like we’re supposed to.

“I felt like all along last year, we’re one of the top two teams in the state. We just never reached that potential.”

Shellhouse is entering his third season as the head girls basketball coach. In his two seasons as coach, he has a 50-10 record.

Last season, the Lady Bulldogs ended their state run hopes at the Class 4A South Regional tournament, where they lost to Brewbaker Tech in the first round. Andalusia finished the season 24-6.

This year, Andalusia has three returning starters in juniors Alexis Horton (point guard), Shi’Amber Townsend (center) and Alectricia Barnes (guard). The whole team is made up of seven juniors and three sophomores. On the outside, look for junior Emily Dooley to make some shots at the perimeter, Shellhouse said.

“We’ve got a lot of girls returning with a lot of experience and playing time,” he said. “We’ll run a lot of pressure defense.”

Shellhouse added that he’ll more than likely start in zone, and slowly transition to man-to-man defense as the season progresses.

One thing that is still weighing on Shellhouse’s mind is finding a replacement for Amber Anderson and Erica King, who graduated last year. Anderson led in rebounds, and King was at guard.

“Rebounding is going to be a big key for us,” Shellhouse said. “Replacing Amber is going to be a big key for us. Alison Daniels and Latrexius Trawick will help out in that position this year.”

Joining Andalusia in Class 4A, Area 3 are county rival Straughn, Ashford and Headland.

The Lady Bulldogs’ first game will be this Thursday, as they play host to Luverne. The girls start after the B-team. The B-team starts at 4:30 p.m.