Bulldogs win Andy Christmas Tourney (Throwback Thursday)
Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 10, 2015
Overtime proved to be the right time for the Andalusia Bulldogs.
Brian Weeden made eight free throws in the extra period to help lift the Bulldogs to the Andalusia Christmas Tournament championship on Saturday night at the Andalusia gym.
Weeden finished with a game-high 18 point while 6-foot-5 center Alvin Daniels also had 18 to deliver the Bulldogs’ 55-45 victory over Greenville.
The title marks the 19th time the Bulldogs have won their own invitational tournament. At 34 years, the Andalusia Christmas Tournament is the longest running tournament in South Alabama.
“The kids did what I asked them to do. We ran our breakdown offense in overtime and that meant our No. 3 player would have to handle the ball. That was Weeden,” said Andalusia head coach Richard Robertson whose team improved to 8-3 on the season.
The Bulldogs had a chance to win in regulation but the play fell apart in the final five seconds and that left Daniels trying a desperate shot that failed to draw iron.
“We mis-played the final nine seconds. We took ourselves out of the play,” Robertson said.
The miss capped a wild second half that saw the 13 lead changes.
The final lead change occurred early in overtime when Daniels scored off the low blocks to put Andalusia up 45-43. Greenville then made the first of three critical turnovers.
A bad pass gave the ball back to the Bulldogs. Andalusia ran some clock before Weeden was able to draw a foul with 2:38 left. He made both ends of the one-and-one to make it 47-43.
A miss by Greenville’s Carlos Davidson handed the ball back to the Bulldogs. Again Weeden was fouled. He made one of two to boost the lead to 48-43.
A second Greenville turnover helped send Daniels to the line. He made one of two to put the lead 49-43 with 2:06 left. A third turnover essentially sealed Greenville’s fate.
Weeden made one of two shots for a seven-point led at 50-43 with 1:52 left. Greenville would score their only basket of the overtime with 30 seconds to go by then, Andalusia’s lead had reached 11 at 54-43.
“You know, Greenville played right into our hands. We were able to run some clock early in the second half because we were trying to protect Andre Leslie who was in foul trouble. They then allowed us to hold it for the last shot in regulation,” Robertson said.
Greenville coach Raymond Gee was quite displeased at the foul disparity.
“I feel like they took the game from us,” Gee said. “I mean, they had three second half fouls. How many did we have? Twelve.” Greenville lost their top player in Sam Williamson to fouls with 2:48 left in regulation.
Leslie was named the Tournament’s MVP despite averaging just 10 points in the final two games. He had 13 points in the final.
The Bulldogs made 17 field goals and were 21-of-33 from the free throw line.
Andalusia took a 24-17 lead late in the second period before settling for a 26-21 halftime lead. They then held the ball for much of the third period while Leslie sat with three fouls.