Andy preps for Mobile

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Andalusia's Terrance Anderson drives around a St. James player during the sub-regional tournament last week. The Bulldogs will tip off against the Blue Devils on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in Mobile. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Ever since the clock hit 00:00 last Friday night, there’s one thing head boys basketball coach Richard Robertson has been working on in preparation for the regional tournament in Mobile — Andalusia.

“We’ve played 32 ball games, and you’re going to stick with the plan that’s gotten you where you are,” Robertson said. “What we’re going to do, is work on what we can do to get better.”

The second-ranked Bulldogs tip off against the Escambia County Blue Devils Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Class 4A South Regional Tournament at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Center.

The Bulldogs advanced to the regional tournament with a 63-26 win over St. James in the sub-regionals last Friday night.

Andalusia (30-2) will face a No. 7 Blue Devils team that likes to spread the ball out on offense, and to apply a full-court type pressure on defense to get turnovers, which is similar to the Bulldogs.

Escambia County senior guard C.J. Pierce can be seen at the perimeter, and other Blue Devil players to take note of are seniors Fred Knight and T.C. Brown; junior, Dalvin Craft; and sophomore, Andrew Rodgers.

Blue Devils head coach Anthony Hayes said his is identical to Robertson’s.

“We are sticking to our plan,” Hayes said. “We believe in it and it has gotten us this far, so we are going to keep it in place. We are going to go to Mobile and get a win.”

Robertson said at the present, the team is working hard on fundamentals to get ready for the Blue Devils.

“Right now, we’re working on fundamentals — working on our scheme and working on what we do,” he said. “After I study Escambia County, then I’ll come up with what I want to do.

“I have some idea of how we’re going to play, but from what I hear, they are similar to some teams we’ve played like Opelika and Headland,” he said. “So, we’ll probably incorporate some of the things we’ve done against them and just see.”

Friday’s game against the Blue Devils (23-7), will make it the third appearance for the juniors at the regional tournament.

Additionally, Robertson said he thinks they know what lies ahead.

“They know what we’re playing for,” Robertson said. “I shouldn’t have any trouble motivating them, and getting them to work hard. It’s just a matter of execution.

“We’ve got to execute the plan, and don’t do anyting that’ll beat us,” he said. “If we’re not fortunate enough to win, then don’t let it be because we didn’t do our job because someone outplayed us. That’s not supposed to happen here.”

Lastly, Robertson said everybody is playing on a neutral site from here on out, and that he’d like to thank the fans for their support so far this season.

“We appreciate their support, and they’ve rallied behind us this year,” Robertson said. “We feed off our fans, especially our student section. They make it hard to play in our gym.

“There are some great and good teams now on the sidelines,” he said. “We’re just forutnate enough to be playing.”

Usually, teams like to travel the day or two before a tournament starts a long way away from home to get settled into the atmosphere.

Not Andalusia, Robertson said.

“We’re trying to treat this game as if it were a regular season road game,” he said on his way to practice Tuesday.