Bulldogs roll to win

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Andalusia’s Kendarious Townsend (33) jumps up for a basket Saturday night against Dale County. The Bulldogs won 76-59. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia’s Kendarious Townsend (33) jumps up for a basket Saturday night against Dale County. The Bulldogs won 76-59. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia entered Christmas week with a sweet taste in its mouth after a 76-59 victory over Dale County on Saturday night.

The win gave the Bulldogs a third-place finish in their 47th annual invitational tournament.

When Andalusia got an early lead in the first period, it was all over for the Warriors.

AHS led 22-13 after the first period, and 40-35 at halftime. DCHS trailed 61-51 after the third period.

“They played a little better,” AHS coach Richard Robertson said. “There’s a lot more joy in (the locker room) tonight. We’re going to keep on working.”

In fact, Robertson said he brought the players in for a little “soul searching” before Saturday’s play.

It showed as Andalusia established its ever-popular inside game from the start. DCHS had no answer for the Bulldog contingent.

“They couldn’t guard us,” Robertson said. “We missed more shots than we should’ve. We played better defense, but you know we played from in front.”

The Bulldogs led 4-3 in the first period with 6:28 left on the clock.

Later on, Phillip James who led AHS with 26 points and eight rebounds, got an easy bucket from the paint to give the Bulldogs a 8-5 advantage.

That advantage only kept getting better as Jayden Ellison scored four straight points off of turnovers and layups to make it a 12-7 game. AHS wasn’t done when Devante Jackson put in a putback for a 7-point, 14-7 to force DCHS to call a timeout.

Ellison later got two points on a possible 3-point play, and scooted a pass for a score and a 22-13 lead to end the first period.

James, Kendarious Townsend and Ellison combined to score Andalusia’s next 10 points as the Bulldogs led 32-20.

While DCHS trailed, the Warriors did have answers in the form of junior forward Jeffery Whatley down low and Eric Crawford at the perimeter.

The Warriors cut the game to six at 36-30 when Trey McMillian found Shun Crossley for an easy score later in the second.

Crawford would later cut the game to five with a 3-pointer with less than one minute left in the first half.

Andy couldn’t get a shot off, despite a last-ditch effort by Ellison at the buzzer.

Townsend gave the ball to James for a 42-28 lead at the early stages of the third period. Jackson later made it 47-28 off of a turnaround jumper.

Montel Lee, who was quiet in the point factory, but made his presence known on the court, drove the baseline for a 52-42 advantage.

The Warriors then came back to cut the game to six with 3:19 left in the third.

Lee made two foul shots for a 54-45 lead, and Trevor Parker got in a layup to make it 56-47.

Andalusia kept its momentum up, like it had during the whole game, in the fourth quarter to finish the game on a 11-3 run.

“We executed some things that we haven’t been able to work on,” Robertson said. “Like our spread because we hadn’t been in front.”

Robertson said the team was happy to get a win and finish 2-1 in the tournament.

“We needed the win,” he said. “We’re going to go into Christmas with a sweet taste in our mouths.

“That’s a good basketball team,” he said about DCHS. “We’re disappointed that we’re not playing for the championship, but we played on the winner’s side of the bracket.”

Jackson had a double-double 11 points and 12 rebounds for AHS. Ellison had 22 points. Lee chipped in 10 points, and Townsend had five points.

Crossley scored 30 to lead DCHS. Crawford and Whatley had eight each.

Andalusia will be back in action on Thursday nigh at 7:30 when it plays Red Level to tip off the 16th annual RLS Christmas Tournament.