Tigers top Bulldogs for area crown
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 10, 2015
The Straughn Tigers knocked off the Andalusia Bulldogs 69-60 Saturday night in Andalusia for the 4A area 2 championship crown.
“We played really well tonight,” Straughn head coach Rusty Andrews said. “We knew if we could get ahead early that we would have a chance to win.”
The Tigers came pouncing out of the gate as Tucker Lawless buried a 3-pointer to kick the night off.
Andalusia’s DeVante Jackson answered back with a 3-pointer of his own to knot the game 3-3 with just over a minute played in the game.
Marshall Farley gave the Tigers an 8-3 lead with a 3-pointer with five minutes left in the opening period.
Jackson got a steal and turned it into 2 points, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 8-5.
Lawless and his Tigers went on a 9-0 scoring run to close out the period, and held a 17-5 advantage heading into the second.
“We lost the game in the first quarter,” Bulldogs’ head coach Richard Robertson said. “We just weren’t ready to play. I sensed that we weren’t ready, and that is my fault. We outscored them the rest of the game. We fought hard for 24 minutes, but you have to do it for 32 if you want to beat a good team like Straughn.”
The Bulldogs battled back in the second period, but the Tigers kept hitting their shots. B.J. Anderson had a 3-pointer that to help the spark the Bulldogs early in the second period. Trevor Parker and Jackson each hit 3-pointers to help cut into the Tigers’ 31-22 halftime lead.
Lawless had a steal and a layup for the Tigers, and Rollin Kinsaul added a basket with 50 seconds left in the second period.
The teams continued to battle it out in the third period, and the Tigers pulled out front 49-35 heading into the final period. Johnathan Driver knocked down a 3-pointer that halted a 4-0 run by the Bulldogs. Austin Bozeman also added a basket in the third period for the Tigers.
The Bulldogs came blazing out in the fourth period with 15-8 run thanks to Kendarius Townsend, and Parker. The Bulldogs cut the lead to down to seven. The scoring went back and forth, and with just over a minute left the Tigers led 65-58.
Kinsaul hit three free throws in the final minute of the contest, and Farley hit 1-of-2 to help the Tigers to a 69-60 victory in the area championship game.
Lawless led the Tigers with 24 points. Brice Scott finished with 13 points. Driver had 11 points and Farley notched 10 points.
“I’m so proud of this entire team,” Andrews said. “Those six or seven players that don’t play as much are the reason we are as good as we are. They push our starters so hard in practice, and they actually beat our starters in a scrimmage this week.”
Straughn will host a sub-regional game against Montgomery-Catholic tonight at 7 p.m.
“Hats off to Straughn,” Robertson said. “They had an answer for everything we did tonight. I was very proud of the guys tonight. They never gave up. They stayed the course and fought the fight. We just didn’t get to the free throw line enough, and our inside game was non-existent.”
Andalusia will travel to St. James tonight for a 7 p.m. tip-off.