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BIG ORANGE CLASSIC 2017: Andalusia prepares to face top teams in Hoover

The No. 8-ranked Andalusia Bulldogs (8-0) are ready to face off with some of the top teams from Alabama and Georgia when they travel to Hoover on Tuesday to participate in the 2017 Big Orange Classic tournament.

“We are most likely going to match up with Ramsay on the first day,” Andalusia head coach Anthony Clark said. “If we win that one, we would turn around and play Hoover. Both of those teams are highly ranked. This tournament is going to get our kids some exposure to a different brand of basketball.”

Clark said that he scheduled the tournament to help prepare the Bulldogs for area play when January rolls around.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge,” Clark said. “We knew that coming in, but we wanted to face these tough to prepare us for area. I was looking at Maxpreps last night and they have Monroe County, Escambia County and us ranked three, four and five. Three of the top five teams in the state, but only two of us can make the playoffs. Last year, we were left on the outside looking in, and I don’t want the kids to have to go through that again.”

Coming into the tournament, Clark said the Bulldogs would likely be without their starting point guard.

“Right now, we still aren’t sure about Curtis (Daniels),” Clark said. “His gotten two reports and they are conflicting so we are waiting to get another opinion. The kids have responded well to the situation and B.J. (Anderson) has really stepped up playing point for us.”

Clark said the Bulldogs have been learning on the fly this year.

“When we go to Hoover next week, we will have had seven practices and played nine games,” Clark said. “We are learning as we go and that’s why our summer workouts and camps are so important. That’s the only time we have to put things together.”

Winning a few games in the tournament would be big, but Clark said it’s more about getting the kids a different experience

“This is a great tournament and good exposure for the kids,” Clark said. “It’s a chance to get the kids seen and possible give them an opportunity to play beyond high school. Win or lose, we want to play to the best of our capabilities. It would be big to get a couple of wins and get invited back next year.”

Andalusia will play the winner of Ramsay and Osborne (Ga.), on Dec. 27 at 6:30 p.m., in the Hoover High School physical education gym.