PLAYING FOR THE AREA CROWN: Lady Bulldogs set to host tournament

Published 12:05 am Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Andalusia Lady Bulldogs surged in the second half of the season as they won the Class 4A, Area 2 regular-season championship.

Andalusia will host the Area 2 tournament beginning on Mon., Feb. 4 at Andalusia High School.

“January has been a character building month for us,” Lady Bulldog head coach Harrison Mims said. “We learned to be resilient and we have renewed focus. We had two big come from behind wins, and there has been nothing but good things.”

Hosting the area tournament is big for a few reasons, Mims said.

“Not having to travel is a big thing,” Mims said. “When we play at home, the girls are a lot more relaxed. They don’t call it home-court advantage for nothing. This is the first time since 2012 that we have hosted the area tournament. The area tournament is just the first step for us.”

The Lady Bulldogs really turned a corner in the month of January, and Mims credits his upperclassmen for the transition.

“It’s the trickle-down effect,” Mims said. “The upperclassmen have been held to a higher standard since they have been with the program. They bought into what we are doing and the underclassmen have bought in with them.”

During the second half of the year, Mims said he saw something click with his team.

“They are playing with a revised spirit,” Mims said. “It’s almost like we are catching our second wind for the second half of the season. Our main focus is to take it one game at a time.”

The key to advancing through the area tournament will be handling adversity, Mims said.

“There are going to be ups-and-downs in every game,” Mims said. “If we make a mistake, we have to hustle back, adjust and adapt. If things don’t go our way, we can’t get down. Right now, the biggest thing we have been doing is playing four complete quarters of basketball. No matter how the chips fall, I’m extremely proud of these girls and I’m excited to see where this journey takes us.”

The Lady Bulldogs will host Monroe County at 7:30 p.m., on Feb. 4.