Horton lifts Lady ‘Dogs over SHS

Published 12:03 am Friday, December 23, 2011

Andalusia’s Alexis Horton (24) drives around Straughn’s Anjelica Bonham Thursday during the semifinals of the RLS tournament. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia’s defensive pressure and rebound game held Straughn to nine points in the first half, and the Lady Bulldogs went on to roll to a 57-36 win over the Lady Tigers in the semifinals of the Red Level Invitational Tournament Thursday night.

AHS leading scorer Alexis Horton scored 12 points in the first period to help her team go on a 10-0 run and take a 14-3 lead going into the second period.

Horton, whose birthday was yesterday, led the Lady Bulldogs with 27 points, and had five steals and seven assists.

With this victory, AHS improves to 12-2 on the season, and will face Luverne in the tournament finals tonight at 6.

“I thought we played really well in the first half,” AHS coach Bennie Shellhouse said. “In the second half, we couldn’t get any rhythm. We did a good job of taking things away.”

No .9 Straughn’s perfect season came to an end with its loss to AHS, and now the Lady Tigers sit at 11-1, and will play in the consolation game against Highland Home to vie for third place. SHS will tip off today at 3 p.m.

The first 2 minutes, 30 seconds of the contest were tight for both teams.

SHS coach Scott Kinsaul said he reminded the team after the loss that they lost to a “good team.”

“You’ve got freshmen playing against seniors, and you’ve got another girls that’s her first year playing,” Kinsaul said. “It’s hard to simulate that kind of speed in practice.

“We knew they were going to be a good team,” he said. “We found out a lot about ourselves. I’m glad we got to play them before area (play starts in January.) All we can do is work on us to get better, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Straughn’s Brittany Driver got her team on board first with a pass to Jacie Williamson for an easy bucket on transition.

Horton answered with a jumper to tie the game after a couple mistakes by the dominant Lady Bulldogs.

Horton then went on to grab a jumper, a steal and a lay up, score on a pass from Alectricia Barnes, a steal and a lay up and a jumper to finish the 10-0 run in the first period.

SHS scored its third point of the period on a back-end free throw from Williamson.

Horton got one of her assists at the end of the first to Alison Daniels, who made it 14-3 on a lay up.

Tyleshia Malcolm got the first points in the second period on a pass from Daniels to make it 16-3 at the start.

Throughout the second period, the Lady Tigers couldn’t find shots that could go in.

Driver was fouled early and missed two 1-and-1s, but made the front-end of a pair of free throws to make the score 18-4 with a little less than five minutes remaining in the first half.

“We missed a lot of shots early that, if I think if we could’ve made those, that it would’ve helped our confidence,” Kinsaul said. “When you get down to a good defensive team like Andalusia, it’s just hard to come back. I’m proud of my girls. We’re not quitting. We’ll learn from it, and go from there.”

Horton stretched her team’s lead to 16 with a put back on a rebound, and with 2:53 left to go in the first half, the Lady Bulldogs took a time out.

After teh time out, Straughn went on a 5-0 run to end the half.

Williamson led the Lady Tigers with 15 points, and Driver chipped in nine.

Shi’Amber Townsend, who also had a good night with 14 points, got the scoring rolling on the back-end of a free throw at the start of the third period.

Straughn’s Audrey Driver made a lay up, and Andalusia then went on another 10-0 run to lead 35-11.

Driver answered with a lay up, and both teams traded shots back and forth, but the Lady Bulldogs led 41-20 at the end of the third period.

Both teams were even at 16-16 in the fourth period, where Horton drained her 27th point on a 3-point play.

SHS cut the game to 48-25 after a technical foul by Andalusia, where Williamson made her two free throws.

The Lady Tigers then went on a little 5-0 run late in the fourth periodz to trail 48-32.

Townsend got a put back and made a 3-pointer to give the Lady Bulldogs a 57-34 lead.

SHS made its final two points on a Janelle Nurse set of free throws.

Malcolm led the Lady Bulldogs in rebounds with 10, and Townsend had eight.