WINSTON COUNTY TOURNAMENT: Lady Bulldogs defeat Winston County to take county title, Bulldogs fall to Yellow Jackets

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DOUBLE SPRINGS, Ala. — Both the Addison boys and girls teams came into the Winston County Basketball Tournament as the top seeds. The tournament went as expected with both the boys and girls teams playing the no. 2 seeds, the Winston County Jackets and Lady Jackets, in the county finals but the chalk didn’t hold up for both games.  

The girls fought through a sluggish performance but pulled away late to defeat the Lady Jackets 47-43 in a very close game. Addison defeated WCHS all three times they played this year. The Addison Lady Bulldogs’ next performance will be against a quality Falkville Lady Devils team next Thursday night at Addison. Falkville won its only meeting this year with the Lady Dawgs. It will be senior night for Addison.

The Addison boys fell to the Jackets 41-35 in a back and forth contest. It was the first time that the Jackets defeated the bulldogs in their three attempts this season. Addison fell to 11-12 on the season and will travel to Oakman Tuesday night.

Addison 47 – Winston County 43 (varsity girls finals)

The Lady Bulldogs have dominated every Winston County girls team they have faced, Meek, Lynn & WCHS, this year and the County Championship Game wasn’t expected to be any different. The Lady Bulldogs have already beaten the Lady Jackets twice this season. The game opened up with Addison coming out very sluggish and WCHS fired up. The Lady Jackets jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead and four minutes went by before the Lady Dawgs got on the scoreboard. Addison couldn’t make a basket and seemed to be sleepwalking through the first period but did wake up enough to take a 12-8 lead at the end of the quarter.

The second period was a nightmare for the Lady Dawgs. WCHS outscored, outshot and out hustled them all throughout the period. Addison seemed to have left its shooting touch 17 miles to the East of Double Springs. The Lady Jackets were paced by Makayla Lindsey and 6’2″ center Bella Wakefield. The first half came to an end, good thing for Addison, with WCHS surprisingly leading 23-20.   

After what must have been a very long and heated halftime speech by Addison Coach Frank Graham, the Lady Dawgs didn’t even come out of the locker room until 53 seconds were left before the second half started. There was no warmup, no shoot around, just all business.

Addison applied their trademark pressure defense and finally the shots began to fall. Macey “Homecoming Queen” Butler and Kaylee “I can score from anywhere” Brummett picked up the scoring load while Callie “the enforcer” Crider literally created havoc with her intense defensive play.

The Lady Yellow Jackets did not wilt under the Addison pressure and even built a 10-point lead late in the third period before the Lady Dawgs went on a 9-0 run to end the quarter trailing Winston County 35-34.

The fourth period is where the Lady Dawg press seemed to affect the Lady Jackets. Addison won the period 13-8 and the game 47-43. Addison actually trailed by seven points with five minutes to go and that is when the light switch flipped on and the Lady Dawgs showed that they knew how to win. Addison outscored WCHS 13-2 in the final five minutes and most of the points came from the free throw line. Addison made seven of eight free throws to clinch the game. Amelia Cleghorn came off the bench to hit four key free throws when Addison needed them most.

The win improved Addison to 17-2, their only losses on the season coming to Falkville and Cullman. Addison claimed the Winston County Tournament Championship and will play Falkville at home Thursday.    

Winston County’s Makayla Lindsey had six points, 15 rebounds and two steals. Mackenzie Blackwood had 15 points, four rebounds and three steals. Bella Wakefield had eight points and eight boards.

Addison’s Savannah “Nanner Belle” Manley, Callie Crider, Kaylee Brummett and Macey Butler made the All-County Tournament Team with Butler being earning Tournament MVP.

Brummett led the Lady Dawgs in scoring with 15 points, Butler had 13 and Crider chipped in 10. Crider and Butler led the Lady Dawgs in rebounding with seven each. Manley pulled down six. Brummett dished out four assists. Crider led in steals with three. Amelia Cleghorn had seven huge points and two rebounds off the bench.

Head Coach Frank Graham said after the game, “We were expecting a tough game and they (WCHS) played us very tough. Coming back from ten down was big and I loved it that we didn’t get frustrated and panic. Amelia (Cleghorn) hit some key free throws for us at the end and gave us a spark off the bench. Proud to win the County Tourney but we still have the Area Tourney coming up and more to do before we get to State. I told the girls at the start of the season that if we came together, we could have a special season.”

Winston County 41 – Addison 35 (varsity boys finals)

The standing room only crowd at WCHS had just witnessed a wonderful upset bid by the Lady Jackets fall a bit short against the Lady Dawgs. Now they hoped that the boys team could complete what the girls had fallen short of. Addison defeated the Jackets twice in the regular season and had just beaten them by one point last week. The game started off with both teams struggling to find the bottom of the net. Be it a case of nerves, jitters or just good defense but the first period ended with Addison up 10-6.   

The second period saw WCHS outscore the Bulldogs 10-8. Neither team shot the ball exceptionally well in the first half as Addison held a slim, 18-16 lead. 

The second half had the Jackets beginning to pile up fouls on the Bulldogs. Winston County’s Cade Taylor continued to drive to the basket and either make it or draw the foul. Taylor was almost automatic from the foul line all night. It didn’t seem like Addison had anyone quick enough to stay with Taylor. Logan “Baby Shaq” Wilkins tried to keep Addison close with his inside game but at the end of the third period, WCHS had pulled ahead 29-27.

The fourth period continued the Addison foul parade. Addison was called for 12 second half fouls to Winston County’s two. Not to take anything from the Jackets because they did not settle for outside shots and continued to drive to the basket drawing the calls. Winston County’s Austin Owens had a special night on the glass. Owens came alive in the fourth period pulling down six of his eight rebounds on the night during the period. Addison’s Wilkins had 14 points on the night but fouled out with less than a minute to go. Addison could only get as close as two, 37-35, with 1:12 to go as Jessie “Rooster” Brock hit his only three-pointer of the night. Winston County’s Taylor then nailed four free throws in the final minute to salt the game away, 41-35.

The win dropped Addison to 11-12 on the season. They will travel to Oakman on Tuesday night.

After the game, Bulldogs Head Coach Ben Mastin said, ” Coach (Adam) Gray does a real good job here. I told you last week I couldn’t wait to come back over here because of the atmosphere and the crowd. They were really into it. They (WCHS) were ready to play and number two (Taylor) played great. Hopefully this will refocus us and get us ready to play in the Area Tourney. It comes down to what is more important the County Tournament or the Area Championship. We will be fine.”

Yellow Jackets Head Coach Adam Gray said, “It was easy to get the boys up for this Tournament. We have worked hard all week and we executed tonight. (Cade) Taylor actually guaranteed that we would win the County Tournament after our close loss to Addison last week. Let me tell you something, this kid (Cade Taylor) has worked his tail off for the past two years to get to this point. His hard work over the course of those years has made him the player that he is today.”

Leading players for the Bulldogs were Wilkins with 14 points and seven rebounds. Cannon “The Sniper” Hiller had eight points and two boards. Eli “Curly” Howse had five points, three rebounds and four assists. Brock with three points, three rebounds and three assists. Xavier “Quasi” Barley had four points and four rebounds.

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