Always good competition

Published 12:03 am Thursday, December 8, 2011

Andalusia’s Sam Byrd jumps up for a shot during last week’s game against Opp at AHS. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia will play host to its 45th annual invitational tournament beginning tonight, and the Bulldogs will tip off against Florala at 7:30.

The three-day tournament includes a wide range of teams from different classifications.

Class 6A’s Enterprise, Class 3A’s Luverne, Class 2A’s Elba (who just won the football state championship last week), Class 1A’s Brantley and FHS and Class 3A’s Opp will also participate in the tournament.

Luverne will tip of the tournament against Elba today at 4:30, Enterprise has a first-round bye, Opp will play Brantley tonight at 6, and AHS and FHS will end the first day of the tournament with their game.

The teams in the top half of the bracket — Andalusia, Florala, Opp and Brantley — will play a total of three games, while the bottom half — Enterprise, Luverne and Elba — will play either two or three games.

“They’re going to be good basketball teams,” AHS head boys basketball coach Richard Robertson said about the tournament. “We’re hit and miss. Sometimes we’re on the right cylinders and sometimes we’re not.”

Andalusia enters the tournament having claimed the title for the past six straight years.

Consistency is the big key, Robertson said.

“We’ve got to get better,” he said. “When we played Dothan just before Thanksgiving and well before the road games, I thought we’d be there in four to five games, but we have taken a step back the last two games.”

Andalusia lost to Luverne 68-56 on Tuesday night, and beat rival Opp last Friday night.

“It’s that old saying, you take two steps forward and one step back — well we’ve taken one step forward and two steps back,” Robertson said.

All in all, Robertson said he expects the tournament to be a good one.

“Some of us are evenly match, and some of us are ahead, but that’s why you’re playing it,” he said.

The championship game will be at 7:30 p.m., and the consolation game will be at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The loser’s bracket championship game will be at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Admission is $5 per person per day.