AHS wins area title, coach wins 700th

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Andalusia boys head coach Richard Robertson earned his 700th career win with an 88-75 victory over Headland Monday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia beat Headland 88-75, and boys head coach Richard Robertson earned his 700th career win Monday night as the Bulldogs ran away to claim the Class 4A, Area 3 championship on their coach’s court.

Sitting back in his office after the victory, Robertson didn’t hesitate to say that it’s not about him.

“It’s not about me,” Robertson said. “I’ve coached 1,015 games. Since I’ve been here, I’ve tried to win every last one of them. I’m proud to get the win.”

With this victory, Robertson’s career record improves to 700-315. This is his 36th season as the Bulldogs’ head coach.

Andalusia will play host to the Class 4A sub regional tournament this Friday night. The Bulldogs will play St. James, the Area 4 runner up.

Additionally, Andalusia can tie the 1975-76 basketball team for the most wins in a season with 32. The most games the Bulldogs have played in a season is 36.

“There’s no way we can break that,” Robertson said. “We can tie it. We can’t break it.

“Andalusia’s legacy is success,” he said. “We preach that. I’m more proud of the kids — I just stayed around here longer.”

The second-ranked Bulldogs (29-2) bumped out to a 17-9 lead after the first period, and led by 13 points at 38-25 at half time.

Jacard Townsend, who led Andalusia in rebounds with 16 out of the team’s 30, had 18 points to complete his double-double.

Townsend said the key to his performance Monday night was to play “good defense.”

“We just had to play good defense on (Headland),” Townsend said. “We brought 23 (Jahwon Williams) out, and got him in foul trouble.”

The Bulldogs stumbled in the third period, but held on to a 53-50 lead late when Headland went on a short 6-0 run.

Andalusia then came out of the huddle in between periods, and played the spread game, where its trips to the foul line were numerous.

The Bulldogs were 25-of-31 from the line Monday night, compared to last Friday’s 16-of-31 performance against Straughn in the area semifinals.

Andalusia’s Quayshaun Denson, who led the Bulldogs with 25 points and 12 rebounds, was a flawless 9-of-9 in free throws. Corinthian Sims, who had 13 points, backed Denson up with a 5-of-5 performance from the line.

Denson brought the game to 72-60 when he made his free throws at the mid way point of the fourth period.

Andalusia kept rolling, getting essential put backs and easy buckets on the inside.

With an 84-71 lead, the crowd knew what this win meant to Andalusia’s program. They started chanting, “700-700-700!”

Williams shot 31 points to lead the Rams. Dexter Marsh had 16 points, and Johnny Tillman had 12 points.

Derrick King, who had 22 points for the Bulldogs, was 8-of-10 from the free-throw line.

“I wasn’t on a mission to win 700 — I just want them to win,” Robertson said. “I’m more proud of my players. I chew on them all of the time.

“They want to do it for me, but I want them to achieve something,” he said.

After the game, Robertson was presented a plaque for getting his 700th victory, the game-ball with signatures from all varsity basketball players and a gift certificate to David’s Catfish.

In the end, making sure Robertson got his 700th was crucial for Corinthian Sims.

“It was all for coach,” he said.

Class 4A, Area 3 All-Tournament Team: Laboris Cushion, Jahwon Williams and Dexter Marsh, Headland; Derrick King, Quayshaun Denson, Corinthian Sims and Jacard Townsend, Andalusia.