Wilcox Central claims 73-61 win over AHS

Published 12:02 am Saturday, January 25, 2014

Andalusia’s Phillip James (55) scored a career-high 34 points Friday night during the Bulldogs’ 73-61 loss to Wilcox Central. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia’s Phillip James (55) scored a career-high 34 points Friday night during the Bulldogs’ 73-61 loss to Wilcox Central. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia didn’t play a full four periods Friday night, which resulted in a 73-61 area loss to Wilcox Central on the Bulldogs’ final home game of the season.

For the first two periods, AHS dominated on the inside and kept the game close. The Bulldogs pulled away late in the second to take a 36-32 lead at the break.

The Jaguars pressed the entire game, but it started really working against AHS in the third period, when the Bulldogs started playing quicker, which resulted in missed opportunities at the bucket. AHS played a slower-tempo game in the first half.

“That’s the only way we can play (Wilcox Central),” AHS coach Richard Robertson said about the tempo. “They don’t understand that.”

Robertson added that the boys played “offensive” and were doing fine, but when things started changing up, it cost the home team.

“We missed layups, free throws and turned the ball over,” the coach said. “We can’t win like that.”

With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 6-16 on the season, and finish regular-season Class 4A, Area 2 play 1-5. AHS enters the area tournament as the No. 4 seed of the second year in a row. WCHS and Hillcrest-Evergreen play to see who is the top seed tonight. Monroe County is the No. 3 seed.

A big bright spot for the Bulldogs last night came in the form of senior center Phillip James.

James scored 13 of his career-high 34 points in the first period, and had 22 at the break.

James was found often in the paint waiting for a pass to put the ball in. His jumper made it 5-4 after Wilcox Central’s Telvin Kimbrough drained a 3-pointer.

Like a fighter in a boxing ring, James got a bucket and a foul to give AHS a 6-5 advantage.

Fell senior Montel Lee got in another bucket for a 3-point lead.

The Camden Jaguars answered on a Devontae Johns layup to cut the game to 8-7.

James then made a shot after saving the ball on an out-of-bounds play to put the game at 10-7. He would later get an and-1 play to give the Bulldogs a 13-9 lead.

Wilcox Central’s Freddie Smith made two 3-pointers late and the Jags led 19-17 after the first period.

James, Lee and Jayden Ellison surged AHS on a 6-0 run in the second, but Johns got another drive to keep it a 2-point game.

Andalusia’s success in the second period came when it attacked the net.

Lee got a pass to James, who then put up the shot and got the 3-point play with 54.1 seconds left to make it 35-30.

Another bright spot was Andalusia’s free throw shooting. The Bulldogs finished 17-for-20 from the line last night, while WCHS went 15-for-21.

Ellison got in a 3-pointer to start the third period for a 39-32 lead.

Then, Kimbrough put in two back-to-back 3-pointers and got a jumper to go to cut Andy’s lead to 41-40 with six minutes left in the third.

James later got a 3-point play, and the Jaguars tied it at 44-44 with 4:02 on two foul shots from Johns.

The game went back and forth, and AHS cut the lead to one at led 53-52 going into the fourth.

WCHS exploded in the fourth period to end the game on a 20-9 run.

Ellison chipped in 12 points, and Lee had 10 for AHS.

Kimbrough led WCHS with 17 points. Smith paced the Jaguars with 15.

In B-team action, the Jaguars won 40-38.

Tyrone Pritchett led WCHS with 16 points.

Ke’Shun Townsend and Ian Peek led AHS with 9 points each.

Wilcox Central girls 49, Andalusia girls 35

Wilcox Central went on a 18-5 run in the third period after the Lady Bulldogs led 22-20 at halftime.

“That’s the key to the ball game,” AHS coach Brad Garner said about the third period. “I don’t know. We just all of a sudden started struggling offensively in the third period, and they’re fast and run the ball well.”

Both teams took a while to get going in the first half. WCHS drew first blood when Rachel Madison scored on a layup with 4:55 in the first period.

AHS senior D’Ashia Johnson answered with a drive to tie it at 4-all. Grace Burns, another AHS senior, tied it again at 6-all, then recovered the ball going out of bounds and passed it to senior Shandricka Thompkins for a 3-point play to go ahead 8-6 with the missed free shot.

Andalusia led 10-8 after the first period.

Lady Bulldogs’ senior Laticia Crittenden drove from one end to another to give AHS a 12-8 lead at the start of the second, and later made a layup off of a pass from Alexis Lawrence to cut the game to 14-13.

Crittenden scored the next four points off of drives to the lane, and Thompkins made a bucket off a Lawrence pass to make it 22-20.

Andalusia committed eight of its 11 turnovers in the third period.

The Lady Bulldogs got down big at 40-27 after Wilcox Central’s Brittany Kendrick got a steal and converted on the other end in the fourth period.

The key in the first half for AHS was playing with patience, Garner said.

“I think No. 1 we were patient offensively,” he said. “We hit some tough shots that didn’t fall in the second half. We made an adjustments and went zone and made them a little uncomfortable offensively.”

Crittenden led AHS with 13 points.

Laquisha Jones led WCHS with 14 points, and Madison chipped in 12.

Andalusia is the No. 3 seed going into area tournament play.

AHS will be back in action on Monday at T.R. Miller in Brewton.