Sweet satisfaction

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Straughn fans celebrate a score Tuesday night in the Tigers’ 52-42 victory over rival Andalusia. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn beats Andalusia 52-42 in rival, area match

With a 48-42 lead and 41.9 seconds left on the clock, Straughn’s Hobie Hughes was heard urging his fellow Tigers to “finish” the game on the break of a huddle.

Hughes then nailed two free throws after the time out, and Brice Scott added two more with time expiring to help lift the Tigers to a 52-42 area victory over rival Andalusia Tuesday night at SHS.

“It’s one of the bigger wins here because we learned how to play fundamental basketball,” SHS coach Rusty Andrews said about the win. “We took care of the basketball.”

The Tigers held the lead throughout the contest, only allowing the Bulldogs to take the lead one time, which was at the mid-point of the fourth period.

“They finally caught me,” Andrews said about the lead change. “We were concerned that if they ever caught us, how my guys would react

“And that’s what we’ve been working on for the last two weeks, even during the Christmas break — finishing the ball game because we don’t have a lot of depth,” he said. “But we’re building depth now. Hopefully, this win will give us the confidence to get over the hump.”

Andalusia now falls to 11-8 overall, and 0-1 in Class 4A, Area 3, and Straughn improves to 5-7 overall, and 1-0 in the area.

The Bulldogs will visit Headland on Friday night to continue in area action, and the Tigers will visit Ashford, also on Friday night.

Andalusia’s only lead of the contest came with a 3-pointer by Jayden Ellison to help the Bulldogs cut to a 40-39 advantage with 5:05 left in the fourth period.

Straughn’s JD Driver then made a 1-and-1 to start the Tigers on a 9-0 run and a 48-40 lead with less than a minute remaining before Andalusia called a time out after a pair of free throws from Joe Flowers to put the game at 48-42.

SHS had a strong offensive showing against the Bulldogs, who are known as a defensive team.

The Tigers were led by Scott, Avery Driver and Hughes, who all finished in double figures.

Avery and Scott led SHS with 13 points each, and Hughes chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds.

JD Driver added nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Tigers in the win.

From the tip, Andalusia fell out of sorts and Straughn took advantage, taking a 7-0 lead with 2:56 left in the first period, and then increased the lead to 10-2 at the end of the first period on an Avery Driver 3-pointer.

That paid off because the Tigers spread Andalusia out to allow for easy buckets on the inside.

For Andalusia, the offensive sets run were executed, but the shots didn’t fall in to give the Tigers breathing room throughout the contest.

“Give Straughn credit,” AHS coach Richard Robertson said. “They did it, and we didn’t do our job. Straughn outplayed us and out-executed us and won the ball game.”

Straughn led 15-7 in the second period on a pass from JD Driver to Hughes, and then increased to a 17-9 lead on a William Worley turn-around jump shot.

Scott and JD Driver drove for easy buckets to help the Tigers lead 24-11 late in the first half.

Flowers then nailed two 3-pointers in a row to cut into Straughn’s lead at 24-17 at half time.

Andalusia’s best offensive performance came in the third period, where the Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 11-8.

The Bulldogs were led by Flowers, who had 14 points. Jacard Townsend had 10 points.

In B-team action, Andalusia came away with a 47-30 win over the Tigers.