PREP BASKETBALL: Addison edges Sulligent 63-58 in OT to advance to area tournament finals

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ADDISON, Ala. — The Addison Lady Dawgs are hosting this year’s 2A, Area 13 Tournament as the number one seed at lovely Stephenson Gym. The Red Bay Lady Tigers defeated the shorthanded Winston County Lady Yellow Jackets in the first game, 42-38. The Lady Dawgs and their stellar 19-2 record took on the fourth-seeded Sulligent Lady Blue Devils with their 2-19 record. Addison had previously handily beaten the Lady Devils in their other two meetings.

What should have been a blowout was anything but. The Lady Devils came out fired up and played extremely well, while the Lady Dawgs seemed to be sleepwalking through the first period. Sulligent took a surprising 16-7 lead after one. The Devils were led by the sisters Johnson, Shania and Amiyah. They constantly slashed their way to the basket to score and dominated the offensive glass with five in the period. It looked good for the Lady Devils to possibly pull off the upset. While the Devils were hitting everything they shot, Addison’s Lady Dawgs were throwing up enough bricks to build a new house. Addison couldn’t hit anything, not a jump shot, layup or free throw.    

The second period was more of the same. The Lady Dawgs actually got down 15 in the second before cutting the lead to seven at the half. Addison would go on a mini run, but Sulligent would answer. The first half ended with Sulligent up 27-20 over the Lady Dawgs. Addison was outrebounded, out hustled and the Lady Devils just seemed to want it more.

The very boisterous crowds for both teams attempted to get the ladies fired up and it seemed that the Lady Devils responded. Sulligent outscored Addison 14-12 in the third period to take a 41-32 lead into the final frame. The only positive for the Lady Dawgs so far in the game was that the fouls kept piling up on the Lady Devils. Addison never quit and with leading scorers Macey “Homecoming Queen” Butler and Kaylee “I can score from anywhere” Brummett having off nights, it fell to Savannah “Nanner Belle” Manley and Callie “The Enforcer” Crider to pick up the slack.

Coach Frank Graham, after a heated timeout, stayed with his senior laden starting lineup and it payed off. Addison began to play, well, like Addison. Stifling man to man defense and after missing just about every outside shot they took the entire game, the shots began to fall. Butler and Brummett began scoring and Crider and Manley began rebounding. Sulligent never quit and actually led 52-49 with 19 seconds to go in the game. Addison had the ball and after several passes, the ball ended up with The Lady Dawgs’ tiniest player, Bracie “Money” Rodgers. Rodgers put up a three-ball with 12 seconds left on the clock and drained it, nothing but net. It was Rodgers’ only three all night. The crowd went nuts and after Sulligent threw up a half-court shot that looked good but missed, the clock ran out and the game went to overtime.

Addison from the point of Rodgers’ shot had the momentum and dominated overtime. Addison outscored Sulligent 11-6. It seemed that the Lady Devils got a little tired after two of their post players fouled out. In the overtime period, Manley nailed two long three pointers to put the nail in the coffin and the Lady Dawgs outlasted Sulligent 63-58.

After the game, Lady Bulldogs Head Coach Frank Graham said, “It wasn’t looking pretty most of the night, but we didn’t quit. I am proud of our girls from coming back from double digits. I’m not going to lie, I was worried, but I knew that they could come back. Just told them to keep shooting and they would fall. We play Red Bay Thursday night and I am sure they will give us all they can.”

Sulligent Head Coach Kayla Barnes said, “I am 100% pleased with the effort. I wish we had a couple of plays back where we could have had better execution and the outcome may have been different. My girls played hard and everyone is back next year, so you need to look out for us next season.”

Sulligent was led by Jayla Evans and Amiyah Johnson, who happens to be a freshman, with 12 points each and Kylie Gilmore had 10. Shania Johnson and Evans had 11 boards each.

Addison was led by Savannah Manley’s 16, with six coming in overtime. Crider had 15 points, Rodgers and Brummett each had 12.  Brummett led in assists with four and Rodgers had two. Crider continued her rebounding clinic pulling down 22 boards. “Nanner Belle” Manley had 12 boards and her little sister Gracie “Bug” Manley had six off the bench.

Some nice stat lines were Criders’ 15 points, 22 boards, two assists a block and a steal. Brummett had 12 points, three rebounds, four assists and a block. Butler had seven points, three boards, one assist and a steal. Rodgers’ 12 points, one rebound and two assists. “Bug” Manley getting the six boards a point, a steal and an assist.

It was a nice win for the Lady Dawgs but if they come out Thursday night against Red Bay and sleepwalk through three periods like they did tonight, they absolutely will not win the area title. This team has had a very good year at 20-2 but now they must come to play every night, or the season will not end the way they want it too.

Go Dawgs!

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