In control

Published 12:05 am Saturday, February 4, 2012

Andalusia’s Shi’Amber Townsend jumps up for a shot during her team’s win over Opp Friday night. The Lady Bulldogs won their 22nd straight ball game this season. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia’s quickness on defense and strong inside game lifted the Lady Bulldogs to a 72-55 victory over rival Opp on Friday night at OHS.

With this victory, the eighth-ranked Lady Bulldogs (24-2) extend their winning streak to 22 straight.

“Their girls did a good job of playing hard,” AHS coach Bennie Shellhouse said about the Lady Bobcats. “She (OHS coach Allison Gregory) does a good job of coaching them to get them prepared.”

Alexis Horton led Andalusia with 30 points, eight assists and four steals.

The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Bobcats were matched even in the first half. Opp led 5-2 early, and Andalusia came back from a 10-6 deficit to tie the game with 2:17 left in the first period.

Andalusia took a 14-10 lead late, but Opp kept fighting back and went on a 4-0 run to even the game at 14-all at the end of the first period.

Alison Daniels got the scoring going for AHS at the start of the second period, and Shi’Amber Townsend added the back-end of a free throw to help give the Lady Bulldogs a 17-14 edge.

Opp’s Lane Saquaya drove down the paint later on and narrowed Andalusia’s lead to 19-18.

Horton then hit the first of her three 3-pointers to give Andalusia a 22-18 lead.

Opp wouldn’t die out for the next few minutes until Alectricia Barnes passed to Townsend for an easy lay up to give the Lady Bulldogs a 28-22 lead with 2:18 left in the first half.

Right out of the time out, Horton hit her second trey and Andalusia led 31-22.

Andalusia went up 10 on Horton’s third 3-pointer and at the buzzer, Laiken Free hit a 3-pointer to give Opp a nine-point deficit at half time.

The Lady Bulldogs, who normally are an inside-oriented team, utilized its new-found perimeter game in the third period to take the out right lead.

Alison Daniels hit the first trey for Andalusia, Opp’s Ali Jessie hit the second and Horton hit the third in a short back and forth between the two teams.

“That kind of put things out of the way when we started hitting the outside shots,” Shellhouse said.

The Lady Bulldogs put the last nail in the coffin when they went up by 15 at 55-40 when Townsend got the front-end of 3-point play.

Andalusia led 62-41 at the end of the third period.

“I think we played really hard as a team,” Gregory said. “Andalusia’s a great ball club.

“I think their role players stepped up big and were an asset to their game.”

The Lady Bulldogs got a scare during the fourth period when Townsend went down with an injury. After diving for the ball, an Opp player’s heel accidently hit Townsend’s neck.

She was taken to Mizell Memorial Hospital as a precautionary measure.

Shellhouse said Townsend is OK, and will return sometime next week.

Lane led the Lady Bobcats with 12 points; Free chipped in 11 points; and Nisha Stoudemire had 10 points.

Barnes had 10 points and nine assists; and Townsend had nine points and six rebounds for Andalusia.