Lady Bulldogs fight hard, but fall late

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Shay Thomas drives the lane hard.

Shay Thomas drives the lane hard.

After falling in the opening round of the ninth annual Straughn Girls’ Thanksgiving Tournament, the Andalusia Lady Bulldogs found themselves taking on the Daleville Lady Warhawks and falling 69-50.

The Lady Warhawks pounced out front 5-0, but strong plays from Merikal McCaskill, Kimberly Landrum and Shay Thomas trimmed the lead down to 7-6 early in the first period.

McCaskill then dropped in a mid-range jumper to give the Lady Bulldogs an 8-7 advantage. Thomas followed with 2-for-2 trip to the free throw line and the Lady Bulldogs held a 10-7 lead with three minutes left in the first.

Daleville knotted the game up at 10-10 when Cidney Scott connected from downtown.

The Lady Bulldogs grabbed the lead right back when McCaskill drove hard to the line and dropped in a layup.

Daleville responded with a quick score and then a steal at the other end of the court allowed the Lady Hawks to take a 14-12 lead at the end of one period.

Starting the second period, the Lady Warhawks found their groove as La’Jasha Fils-Aime led off with a 3-pointer and then 6 straight points from Kiara Blanks put Daleville up 23-12.

Andalusia converted on a layup from Taz Sheridan for the Lady Bulldogs’ first points of the second period, and left them trailing 23-14.

Another 3-pointer from Fils-Aime and one from Scott pushed the Lady Warhawk led up to 33-14.

McCaskill then got the Lady Bulldogs some momentum with two-consecutive 2-for-2 trips to the free throw line. Thomas followed with a steal and layup to cut the lead down to 33-20.

McCaskill continued to thrive in the second period with 5 more points before halftime to bring the score to 36-25.

The Lady Bulldogs started off strong in the third period when Thomas picked up a steal and drove down for an easy layup.

After the Lady Bulldogs forced another turnover, Landrum converted a layup to cut the led to 36-29. Landrum was good for another bucket less than a minute later off an assist from McCaskill to leave the Lady Bulldogs trailing by just 5 points.

The Lady Warhawk led got cut down to 38-34 on a 1-for-2 effort at the free throw line by Thomas.

Thomas knocked down another free throw after a technical foul on Daleville and an ejection from Fils-Aime for throwing a punch.

The Lady Warhawks closed out the third quarter with a 3-pointer from Raiven Hallford to give them a 47-35 lead heading into the fourth.

Daleville began to slowly creep away from the Lady Bulldogs in the fourth period, taking a 53-40 lead with five minutes left.

The lead went up to 57-40 before Taylor Walker went 2-for-2 at the free throw line to make the score 57-42.

A bucket from Andalusia’s Aaliyah Lawrence then made the score 60-46. Thomas and Grace Wilcox each picked up 2 points down the stretch as the Lady Bulldogs fell 69-50.

Thomas led the way for the Lady Bulldogs with 20 points. McCaskill turned in a strong performance with 13 points and Landrum finished with 8 points. Others scoring for the Lady Bulldogs were Sheridon, Wilcox, Walker and Lawrence.

“We just dug a hole for ourselves to start and then we fought our butt off to get back in it just for us to fall right back out,” Lady Bulldog head coach Brad Garner said. “There we just too many turnovers that we gave them. We have to get better offensively, somehow. Find out who needs to be getting the shots and when.”