Published 12:04 am Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Andalusia’s Devante Jackson (43) scored 10 points and had 11 rebounds in the Bulldogs’ win over Monroe County Tuesday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia beat Monroe County 58-41 Tuesday

Instead of the bitter taste of defeat, Andalusia instead tasted the sweetness of victory Monday night, as the Bulldogs beat Monroe County 58-41 in area action.

This victory is quite significant for the Bulldogs’ varsity boys basketball program. After a long stretch of losses, AHS picked up its fourth win and first area win of the season.

AHS coach Richard Robertson said the boys executed the game plan well.

“We stuck to a plan,” Robertson said. “We fought hard. I guess we’re maturing a little bit. We were fortunate to hold them off at the end because they live for the outside shot.”

The Bulldogs instilled their token match up defense to take away Monroe County’s perimeter game throughout the night, where the Tigers missed plenty of shots.

Waiting under the bucket were the Bulldogs, who grabbed essential rebounds on the defensive end.

Devante Jackson led AHS in rebounds with 11 and scored 10 points for his first double double.

Backing up Jackson was Bulldogs guard Keonta Hunter, who led his team with 12 points in the winning effort.

Andalusia took a 4-0 lead at the start and besides letting MCHS come back and tie it up, never looked back after Jalen Cross got 3-ball play with 3:38 left in the first period to help the Bulldogs take a 7-4 lead.

Hunter got a drive to the bucket and the Tigers responded on the offensive end to quell the opening period of play, where AHS led 11-7.

Jackson got a drive to the bucket and Jayden Ellison found Phillip James down low during the second period to give the Bulldogs a 15-10 lead.

The Tigers went on a short 4-0 run, but Cross countered with two free throws and Ellison later made a nice attack shot to the rim for a 19-16 lead.

On Andalusia’s next offensive possession, Montel Lee drove the lane to put the Bulldogs ahead 21-16.

For every bucket the Bulldogs made, MCHS was right at their heels with an answer on an inside shot.

Keontya Johnson and Lee made four free throws down the stretch and Andalusia led 27-21 at the break.

To open up the scoring for AHS in the third period, Bulldogs guard Sam Byrd made a sweet bounce pass to James for an easy layin.

Lee later got a putback to put the Bulldogs up 36-28 with 1:47 left in the third period.

Going into the fourth period, Andalusia led 39-31.

MCHS spread Andalusia out, which allowed the Bulldogs to run their “spread and score” offense in the fourth period, Robertson said.

“They were going to play us straight man-to-man,” he said.

Lee took the ball in his hands and ran with it, making easy layups on drives to increase his team’s lead and effectively ice the game for the Tigers.

Byrd got a drive to the basket, Jackson found Cross low, Lee passed to Hunter for two points and Hunter made free throws down the stretch to help win the game.

Cross and Lee finished with nine points each. James had seven points for AHS.

Laderian Odom led MCHS with 13 points.

With this win, Andalusia improves to 4-15 overall, and 1-4 in Class 4A, Area 2.

“The thing I’m most proud of even though we’ve been struggling and going on, they come in here everyday and try to do what they’re supposed to do,” Robertson said about his boys. “I keep telling them that we haven’t given up on this season. We rebounded better tonight. We just did a lot of things better, but we’ll come in tomorrow and try to iron those (mistakes) out.”

In B-team action, Andalusia won 60-50.

Cameron woods led AHS with 29 points. Kendarius Townsend had 13 points and Shun Curry chipped in 11 points.

In girls action, Andalusia’s Shandricka Thompkins scored 16 of the Lady Bulldogs’ 26 points and added 12 rebounds in a 37-26 loss to the Lady Tigers.

The game was tight throughout the contest.

Andalusia led 8-7 after the first period, but MCHS led 17-14 at halftime.

It was 22-22 at the end of the third period.

AHS coach Teresa Herring said she knows her girls can play better.

“It was a frustrating night,” Herring said. “We got outhustled tonight. To me, that doesn’t settle well.

“I can handle getting beat by a better team because they earned it,” she said. “We didn’t get beat by a better team tonight. We can play with them. We just didn’t show that tonight.”

Kellon Banks led MCHS with 14 points. Tea Crook had 11 points to pace the Lady Tigers.

Andalusia hosts Wilcox Central in its last regular season area game on Friday.