Bulldogs top Red Level
Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 31, 2015
After jumping out front early, the Andalusia Bulldogs had to fight off the Red Level Tigers at the end Wednesday night for a 57-53 win in the semi-finals of the championship bracket of the 18th annual Red Level Christmas Tournament.
Jaxon Rudolph got the Bulldogs on the board first with a finger roll layup for a 2-0 lead.
Devon Dexter got the Tigers on the board with a 1-for-2 effort at the free-throw line, but then back-to-back buckets from B.J. Anderson gave Andalusia a 6-1 lead.
Hunter Carpenter followed with a 3-pointer for Red Level to cut into the lead.
Another basket from Anderson, and then six-straight points from R.J. Drish gave Andalusia a 16-8 lead at the end of the first period.
At the start of the second period, Trevor Parker put the Bulldogs up 18-8 when he dropped in a layup off an assist from Zack Woods.
Red Level chipped at the lead with points from Jeffery Perdue and Carpenter, cutting the score to 18-11.
Woods then dropped in an athletic layup and was fouled in the process. Woods was true on the free throw to put Andalusia on top 21-11.
Red Level responded with a 3-pointer from Javarius Grooms, a free throw from Dexter and jumper from Ontaryo Nearor to make it an 21-17 ball game.
Rudolph then closed out the first half with back-to-back buckets to give Andalusia a 25-17 lead at halftime.
For the third consecutive period, the Bulldogs found their way onto the scoreboard first, this time it was Anderson tipping in ball after a missed shot.
A quick steal and score then put Andalusia on top 29-17.
Perdue then converted an old-fashioned 3-point play to cut into the lead.
Ian Peek got the next couple of baskets to give Andalusia a 33-24 advantage.
Red Level then got a quick bucket and forced a turnover, converting it into 3-points.
A jump shot from Carpenter found nothing but net, and trimmed the Bulldog lead down to 35-31.
Andalusia followed with buckets from Alex Sheridan and Parker, but a steal from Carpenter led to a Red Level layup just before the end of the third.
Heading into the final period, Andalusia was on top 39-33.
Dameyune Scott opened up the fourth period with a big 3-pointer to make it a 39-36 ball game.
A bucket from Drish pushed the Bulldog lead back up to five points, but back-to-back buckets from Nearor and Perdue made the score 41-40 with five minutes left in the game.
Buckets from Anderson and Woods pushed the Andalusia lead back up to five points before a 3-pointer from Dexter cut it back down to two.
Both teams exchanged free throws over the next several minutes, leaving Andalusia with a 56-57 lead with 15 seconds left on the clock.
Carpenter wasn’t going to let the Tigers go down silently, and buried two 3-pointers at the end of the game, but Andalusia was still able to hold on for a 57-53 win.
Anderson led the Bulldogs with 18 points in the win. Parker, Drish and Rudolph finished with 8 points each.
“We knew coming into tonight that we might be a little dead-legged tonight,” Andalusia head coach Marshall Locke said. “Mentally, we were a bit drained and we kind of got out of our game there at the end, but I was proud of the guys. They could have given up, but they found a way to win.”
Carpenter led the Tigers with 18 points and Perdue finished with 16 points.
“I was proud of the way we played,” Red Level head coach Allen Catrett said. “We did a lot of things right tonight, but they (Andalusia) beat us where it matters, and that is the scoreboard. I thought we did a good job bodying them up down low, but unfortunately we just couldn’t finish our shots. Our defense played great, and they played well enough to keep us in the game.”
Andalusia will play Georgiana today at 4:30 p.m., for the championship game.
Red Level will play Straughn at 1:30 p.m., today for the third place game.