Playing their game

Published 12:03 am Thursday, February 16, 2012

Andalusia's Alexis Horton will try to lead the Lady Bulldogs to another regional tournament berth tonight against St. James. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Alexis Horton couldn’t put into words how bad she wants to get back to the Class 4A South Regional Tournament in Mobile next week.

But first, the senior guard has to try and help lead Andalusia past St. James tonight in the sub regional.

The sixth-ranked Lady Bulldogs improved to a 26-2 overall record after defeating rival Straughn on Saturday night to claim the Class 4A, Area 3 championship. AHS is riding a 24-game win streak going into tonight’s game against the Lady Trojans, where tip off is at 7.

“We just have to play confident,” Horton, the team’s leading scorer at 19.8 points per game said.

AHS coach Bennie Shellhouse said the real key is how the girls “mentally” approach the game.

“We feel real good about our chances,” Shellhouse said. “When we’re playing hard, and when we have that winning mentality with us, it’s hard for people to beat us.

“We’re hoping that we can get that mentality to win in us,” he said.

Shellhouse said St. James has a slow-tempo style game and pass the ball around a lot.

“They’re very disciplined,” he said. “Normally, a press doesn’t really affect them that much. They’re big on the inside. They have a good senior guard that will really challenge us. She shoots the ball well. Their two guard shoots the ball well, too.”

The slow-tempo format the Lady Trojans utilize on the court is something the Lady Bulldogs — usually a fast-tempo team — haven’t seen that much this season.

“It’ll be a different type game for us because it’s going to be more slow-paced and they’re very methodical in what they do,” Shellhouse said. “We’ve just got to handle that and not get frustrated when the game’s not picking up fast enough.”

When asked what the Lady Bulldogs have to do to pull out a win tonight, senior guard Alison Daniels said the team will have to out play them.

“We’ve just got to run them,” Daniels said. “Push the tempo.”

Shellhouse said the girls just want to keep playing and are taking it one game at a time.

“They just want to keep going,” he said. “It’s basically a five-game season is the way they’re looking at it. We’re going to take it one game at a time.”

And Horton still doesn’t have any words to describe how bad she wants to get back to Mobile.