Florala pushes past Red Level

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Florala Wildcats used strong defense and a timely offense to knock off the Red Level Tigers 62-53 on Friday night in the second round of the Andalusia Christmas Tournament.

Florala got the first points of the game with a quick bucket from Andeon White.

Red Level’s Joel Phillips then drew a foul while going up for a shot.

Phillips dropped in both free throws to knot the game at 2-2.

White added another basket a few moments later after pulling down an offensive rebound.

Florala was using a full-court press to disrupt the Tigers’ offense.

Florala’s Leroy Mitchell came up with a steal that he turned into a fast-break layup to put the Wildcats up 6-2.

Red Level cut into the lead when Kade Green dropped in a perfect lob pass to Ontaryo Nearor who finished the drive with a layup.

Trey Burleson answered with a 3-pointer to make it 9-4.

Nearor made a strong move to basket for a smooth layup on the Tigers’ ensuing trip down the court.

Florala continued to shot strong as Mitchell popped a midrange jumper to put the Wildcats up 11-6.

Red Level came right back with a big bucket and then created a turnover on the other end.

Nearor made a strong drive to the hole, but was fouled in the process.

Nearor knocked down a pair of free throws to leave Red Level trailing 11-10 with just more than a minute left in the first period.

The Wildcats turned it up a notch with a layup from White and then a quick steal from Gage Moxey that he turned into a layup.

Moxey also drew a foul on the drive and knocked home the free throw for an old fashioned 3-point play with 32 seconds remaining in the opening frame.

The Wildcats got another bucket before the end of the period to take an 18-10 lead into the second period. The Wildcats came bursting out of the gate in the second period and jumped out to a 31-23 lead at halftime.

At the end of the third period, the Wildcats pushed it up to a double-digit lead.

Red Level wasn’t going to go away without a fight as they began to scrape back into the game.

Jacob Catrett buried a big 3-pointer sliding to his right that left Red Level trailing 55-51 with 1:20 left in the game.

The Wildcats missed the front end of one-and-one opportunity and Red Level pushed the ball down the court and dropped in a bucket to make it 55-53 with under a minute left on the clock.

Florala went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe during the last 40 seconds to pull out a 62-53 victory.

“I really felt like we played sluggish tonight,” Florala head coach Troy Stewart said. “We missed some layups and free throws tonight, and really just struggled to get in a groove. A lot of that had to do with Red Level. They are a good program and I have a lot of respect for Coach (Allen) Catrett. Tonight we just didn’t play to our potential.”

The Wildcats will take on Opp today at 4:30 for the consolation bracket championship.

Moxey led the way for Florala with 17 points.

White helped the Wildcats with 13 points in the victory.

Nealand Stone finished with 10 points in the win.

With the loss, Red Level is out of the tournament.

Red Level’s Nearor led all scorers with 25 points.

Chance Russell finished the contest with 8 points.

Florala’s defense caused havoc on the Tigers’ offense. Josh Dutton/Star-News

Florala’s defense caused havoc on the Tigers’ offense.
Josh Dutton/Star-News