4A area 2 championship game tonight in Andalusia

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Straughn Tigers and the Andalusia Bulldogs will battle for the 4A area 2 crown tonight in Andalusia.


The Andalusia Bulldogs won the regular season title, by beating the Tigers in the final area game of the regular season. The teams met twice during the season, and split wins. The Tigers took the first contest with a victory in Straughn.  The Bulldogs bounced back, and took the second game in Andalusia. The win in Andalusia gave the Bulldogs the outright season crown, and the chance to host the area tournament.


Both teams have improved as the season has progressed, and both look like teams that could make some real noise in the postseason.


The Tigers have the advantage when talking about experience. The starting lineup for the Tigers consists of seniors Marshall Farley, Brice Scott, Rollin Kinsaul, Tucker Lawless and Austin Bozeman. They play like an experienced bunch. They have started moving the ball well to efficiently create open looks. They have a legitimate deep threat in Farley, who rarely misses from downtown. Kinsaul provides the Tigers with an on the floor general, who knows where everyone should be and what they should be doing. Kinsaul is a solid shooter from anywhere on the court, but his leadership is what makes the biggest impact. Lawless isn’t the biggest man on the court, but he plays like he is. He isn’t afraid to drive into the lane on anyone. Lawless is a tenacious rebounder, and appears to have springs instead of legs. Bozeman isn’t the flashiest player, but he might also be one of the more underrated Tigers’ player. Bozeman is a big and strong presence in the low post. He fights hard for rebounds, and gives the Tigers many second chance shots. Scott is the most dynamic player on the roster. He can do it all. He is a threat to shot from outside, and is equally as capable of driving it in on anyone. For Straughn to knock off the top-seeded Bulldogs they will need their senior leadership to step up and take control.


The Bulldogs don’t have the senior numbers that the Tigers do, but they are loaded with young talented players. DeVante Jackson and Kendarious Townsend are the Bulldogs only senior starters. Jackson is a very well-rounded athlete. He doesn’t shoot from the outside much, but when he does you can pretty much count it. He is also a very physical player who fights hard for loose balls and rebounds. Townsend started the season primarily shooting 3-pointers, but has budded into another all-around player for the Bulldogs. Townsend is arguably the Bulldogs’ biggest threat from deep. His quickness creates plenty of chances to create steals and force turnovers. Junior Trevor Parker runs point for the Bulldogs, and excels at finding open space for easy points. Parker is another Bulldog whose quickness creates fast-break scores for the offense, and forces turnovers on the defensive side.  Sophomore Jamal Hourel doesn’t top the scorebooks often, but he is such a strong player that he out muscles most other players when going for rebounds and loose balls. Freshman B.J. Anderson is a key feature of the Bulldogs’ game plan. The freshman proved during the season that he could step up in big moments, and take over when needed. During the second meeting against the Tigers, the Bulldogs were up by a point with 23 seconds left in the contest when the Tigers were called for a technical foul. Bulldogs’ head coach Richard Robertson turned to the freshman to shoot the foul shots. Anderson, ignoring the rowdy crowd and pressure of the moment, stepped to the line and knocked down both free throws to secure the Bulldogs’ spot as regular season area champions. For the Bulldogs to get the victory, they must limit the number of open 3-pointers the Tigers are able to attempt. On offense, the Bulldogs must play smart and patient, allowing plays to develop instead of trying to force something.


With two talented teams, it should be a very close and hard-fought game.


The winning team will get to host a sub-regional game, and the loser will have to take to the road for the sub-regional contest. 
The game is set to tip-off at 7 p.m. at the Andalusia High School gym.