Early run aids Elba

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2012

Andalusia’s Montel Lee makes a pass Friday night to an open man. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Elba went on an early 8-0 run in the first period and the Tigers blanked Andalusia 60-45 on Friday night in the Bulldogs’ annual invitational tournament.

AHS trailed 17-5 in the second period and were down by 13 at 36-23 at halftime.

“We’re turning the ball over (too much),” AHS coach Richard Robertson said. “We’ve got to play even or in front. We can’t play from behind. We’re not skilled enough to do all the things it takes to overcome a deficit.”

The Bulldogs trailed throughout the second half, but found some life in junior guard Montel Lee.

Lee helped himself to almost six points in the fourth period on his way to an eight-point night for AHS.

At critical times, Lee fought for the ball under the basket and in the paint, dishing it out to open players.

By the end of the third period, the Bulldogs (3-4) trailed 51-33 to a strong Elba team who looked like the Andalusia of only a few years ago, yielding a strong inside game and dominant defense.

In fact, the last time Andalusia had a losing record at any point during a season was in 2004, when it finished 3-21 on the season.

The past isn’t relevant right now, Robertson said after the game, noting that shooting is a big concern of his.

“We’re having trouble scoring the basketball,” he said. “Shooting is a skill. You don’t master that over night. That’s why we have trouble scoring and stopping people.”

Devante Jackson led AHS with 14 points. Sam Byrd, who got in foul trouble early, squeezed in eight points.

Elba’s Nick Green dished in 23 points, and Cobe Goosby paced the Tigers (4-0) with 17 points.

Andalusia will tip off against Enterprise — who lost to Luverne 61-60 — tonight at 5:30 in the consolation game.

Elba will face Luverne in the invitational championship at 7 p.m.