Anniston girls make fourth-quarter statement, advance

Feb. 20—Anniston’s ladies need to win 3 more video games to duplicate as Class 4A champs, however they won a Northeast Regional face-off in between the Nos. 1 and 2 groups in the state Friday.

They did it with a declaration 4th quarter, and a declaration made by the ruling 4A gamer of the year.

Allasha Dudley scored 13 of her game-high 31 points in the 4th quarter, and top-ranked Anniston held No. 2 Priceville without a basket in the quarter to protect a 58-42 triumph in their Northeast Regional semifinal at Anniston High School.

Anniston (23-3) advanced to Monday’s 9 a.m. last in Jacksonville State University’s Pete Mathews Coliseum. The Bulldogs await their challenger.

Location competing Handley will play Friday’s New Hope-St. John Paul II winner Saturday at 2 p.m.

Priceville ended up 25-9.

Anniston and Priceville ended up the routine season ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the season’s last Alabama Sports Writers Association survey. The winner would leave as the preferred moving forward.

Anniston coach Eddie Bullock conjured up among Alabama football coach Nick Saban’s family pet expressions in tossing up care.

Bullock called the triumph “great for the confidence, but I’m kind of like Coach Saban. I told them that the No. 1 ranking is kind of like rat poison.

“You all need to remember who was ranked No. 1 prior to we were.”

Priceville coach Terrie Nelson, whose team played in the Hanceville regional before the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s most recent reclassification and realignment, said the Bulldogs worked all season toward a potential showdown with Anniston.

“We most likely played the hardest schedule we have actually played in numerous years,” she said. “We put them versus 5A, 6A and 7A schools to prepare, specifically for this minute.

“We knew we’d probably meet Anniston.”

Priceville’s 5 senior citizens offered Anniston 3 nervous quarters. Led by Abigail Fort’s 16 points and flooring existence from senior point player Jenna Walker, the Bulldogs led Anniston 13-9 through one, 28-26 at halftime and 40-39 entering into the 4th quarter.

A Western Kentucky signee, Walker ended up with 11 points, consisting of a turn-around, buzzer-beating 3-pointer right before halftime.

Anniston changed to a 1-3-1 zone to begin the 4th quarter, and Dudley discovered her equipment.

Anniston scored the 4th quarter’s very first 19 indicate lead 58-40. Dudley struck 2 3-pointers early in the run, and she made 7 out of 8 complimentary tosses down the stretch.

“SeSe (Serena Hardy) gave me the ball,” Dudley stated. “She trusted me. She did a good job pushing the ball, and she saw me open. I knew I had to make it.”

Anniston likewise got 6 of Asia Barclay’s 18 points in the 4th quarter, consisting of an old-fashioned three-point play and a lob from Dudley on an inbounds pass.

The lob followed Dudley hustled to conserve Hardy’s tipped pass back to Hardy, conserving the ownership for Bullock to call timeout with a 48-40 lead and 4:10 to play.

“She’s a great player,” Nelson stated. “We’ve been watching her. I just love her. You can tell that she’s the heart of the team. She wants the ball when it’s on the line.

“I have absolutely nothing however regard for her. She’s an extraordinary gamer.’

While Dudley’s huge play in a huge minute came as not a surprise, Anniston’s fourth-quarter defense did. The 1-3-1 held Priceville to Walker’s 2 complimentary tosses in the quarter, those coming with 46.7 seconds to play.

Bullock called the 1-3-1 defense “the difference” however likewise applauded Hardy, a freshman in her return season with Anniston after moving from Spiritual Heart.

Hardy ended up with 8 points, consisting of 2 3-pointers, however Bullock saw ready-for-primetime subtleties.

“She led us. She pushed the ball. She had active hands,” Bullock stated. “That young lady, before it’s over with, she’ll probably be one of the best players to come through this program. She has that kind of speed.”

Hardy is no complete stranger to huge minutes. She assisted Spiritual Heart make its 2nd successive local look last season, and her defense on Dudley offered Spiritual Heart a possibility in in 2015’s Calhoun County last.

Having actually shown up huge in Friday’s 1-2 local face-off, she sees huge things ahead for Anniston.

“Repeat, go back to state,” she stated. “If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going back to state.”

Sports Author Joe Collection: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.