AHS girls to rely on ‘experience’ tonight

Published 12:01 am Thursday, February 10, 2011

Andalusia’s girls varsity basketball team will use its playoff experience tonight, as the Lady Bulldogs play host to Ashford in the semifinals of the Class 4A, Area 3 tournament.

“We’ve got a lot of experience in the playoffs, and that’ll work in our favor,” AHS girls coach Bennie Shellhouse said. “I think the girls know how serious being the top seed is in the area.

“I think they’ll play hard to get that home sub-regional game,” he said.

The Lady Bulldogs (22-4) will play the Lady Yellow Jackets, who they beat 62-27 on Jan. 21 at home.

Andalusia has primarily been focusing on conditioning during the first part of the week, Shellhouse said.

“We haven’t played a lot of games where we haven’t worked on our conditioning a whole lot,” he said. “We’ve been working on our running, and pushing the ball up the floor, and a lot of fundamentals and handling the ball.”

Additionally, if the Lady Bulldogs beat Ashford tonight, they will tie the 1988 girls team for winning 18 straight games in one season. They won their 17th straight against rival Opp last Friday night.

The girls area tournament will end Saturday night, when the finals will be played at 7 p.m.

If Andalusia’s girls reach the finals and win the area title, then they will hold a new record of winning 19 straight games.

Shellhouse said the girls haven’t really thought about the potential record-setting weekend.

“We haven’t talked about it,” he said. “I don’t think they’re even that impressed with their record of doing it. I think they really have more in their eyesight than this and that record.

“I think they’d really like to go 22-23 games,” he said. “I don’t even think they’re even thinking about the record.”

Winning the first game against Ashford is essential, Shellhouse said.

“We want to make sure we get this first one, that’s the most important one,” Shellhouse said. “We beat them handedly the first two times, and sometimes it’s hard to motivate them to play hard.

“We’re just hoping that we can continue to try to not just win, but have a mentality about you that you put your opponent away, and not just beat them,” he said. “That’s probably the biggest thing we’ve talked about (this week). We just want to make sure we put them away.”

Tip off tonight against Ashford is at 7 p.m., and Straughn will play Headland at 5:30 p.m. in the first game.

In other area action tonight, Pleasant Home will play Geneva County at 6 p.m., and Florala will play Kinston at 7:30 p.m. in the Class 1A, Area 2 tournament in Florala; and Opp will play Luverne at 5:30 p.m. in the Class 3A, Area 2 tournament in Geneva.