FIGHT TO THE FINISH: Andalusia, Florala battle in matchup of county’s winningest teams to finish regular seasons

Published 1:00 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

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The two Covington County teams with the most wins faced off in the regular season finale Thursday night at LBW Community College.

Florala’s Dalton Jackson, eyes the hoop against Andalusia’s Hudson Kelley.

The Andalusia Bulldogs and Florala Wildcats battled back and forth throughout the game, but in the end it was the Bulldogs notching a three-point victory, 57-54.

Andalusia got the first basket of the game, but after two minutes of action it was the Wildcats who held a 6-3 lead. Then, the Bulldogs answered with six unanswered points to move ahead 9-6 before Florala’s Christian Greasham and Dalton Jackson hit buckets to retake the lead 10-9. But, the Bulldogs came right back scoring eight consecutive points, including a three-pointer by Tevin Sigers to open up a seven point lead, 17-10, as time expired on the first period.

Early in the second, Andalusia scored to take a nine-point lead, which would be the largest for either team during the game. Florala’s Rayshon Coleman was fouled on a layup and converted the free throw to cut into the Bulldogs’ lead, 19-13. Later in the period, Noah Bryan hit a three-pointer for the Wildcats, putting the Wildcats within striking distance, 21-18. Andalusia would once again distance themselves, outscoring the Wildcats 8-3 over the next minute of play, taking a 29-21 lead midway through the second period. Neither team scored over a span of about two minutes, until the Wildcats posted another three-pointer to cut Andalusia’s lead to five, 29-24. The Bulldogs maintained their edge, taking a 33-26 lead into the half.

Florala’s Rayshon Coleman flies toward the hoop as Andalusia’s Kelley Hudson defends.

The third period belonged to the Wildcats. Bryan hit his second three-pointer of the game while Coleman and Jackson each secured five points in the period. Florala, which also took advantage of several foul shots, outscored Andalusia 16-6 in the period, giving them the advantage going into the fourth, 42-39.

In the early minutes of the fourth, Florala opened up a five-point lead, 48-43. Andalusia’s outside shooting came to life down the stretch as Tyler Sigers hit two three-pointers and Noah Curry added another. The Bulldogs battled back to tie the game at 48 halfway through the period. About a minute later, Sigers hit one of his three pointers to give Andalusia a one-point edge, 51-50 with 3:18 to go. Curry hit a bucket for Florala, turning the lead back into the Wildcats’ favor, 52-51.

With only 1:20 left in the game, the Wildcats got to within one, 55-54. With time running out and the Wildcats forced to foul, Weaver and Tyler Sigers each converted a free throw in the final seconds to secure the 57-54 victory.

Cadariyus Love takes a shot for the Bulldogs against the Wildcat defense.

Tevin Sigers and Tyler Sigers led the Bulldogs in scoring with 12 points each. Weaver added eight points and Jordan Stallworth finished with six. Curry, Kelly Hudson, and Cadariyus Love each had five for the Bulldogs.

The leading scorer in the game was Coleman who had 17 for the Wildcats. Greasham had 13 while Bryan finished with 12 for Florala. Dalton added nine for the Wildcats.

With the win, Andalusia finished the regular season with an overall record of 18-8. The Bulldogs will host Slocomb in the 4A Area 3 Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 12:30 p.m.

Christian Greasham goes up for two points.

The loss drops the Wildcats to 17-9 on the season. They travel to Brantley to take on Elba in the first round of the 1A Area 2 Tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 5:30 p.m.