ADDISON, Ala. — The Addison Lady Dawgs hosted the Red Bay Lady Tigers at Stephenson Gymnasium on a cool, dreary night for the Class 2A, Area 13 tournament title. Both teams were assured of a state playoff spot, but the winner would host a game on Monday night while the loser would travel. Addison had defeated Red Bay twice already during the regular season but that didn’t mean anything on this evening. Addison brought in their sterling 20-2 record and regular season Area 13 title, while Red Bay went 6-19 and finished second in the area. Addison Head Coach Frank Graham said, “You can’t go by their record. They are a quality team. Coach Holly (Kuykendall) plays probably the toughest schedule in the state, always playing good, bigger schools to get her girls ready for the playoffs.”
The Lady Dawgs were a little shorthanded on this evening due to illness and injury. Reserve Senior Guard Amylia Cleghorn was out with a knee injury and reserve guard Gracie “Bug” Manley was down with the flu. Bracie “Money” Rodgers and Anna Grace “The Glove” Luker were game time decisions due to illness. Both Luker and Rodgers played.
The game started out with what has become the norm for the Lady Dawgs, a slow start. Red Bay was hot, and the Lady Dawgs were cold in the first period. Red Bay, led by 6’1″ center Destiny McCollister, dominated the period and led 12-6 at the end of one. Red Bay scored the first eight points of the game. Addison was playing hard and had some good looks at the basket, but nothing would fall.
The second period started with Addison warming up but couldn’t quite catch the Lady Tigers. Addison outscored the Lady Tigers 13-9 in the second frame to go down at the half 21-19. Free throw shooting was Addison’s bane as they could only make three out of 13 in the first half. Normally, the Lady Dawgs are an excellent free throw shooting team except for the last couple of games. Tiny “Money” Rodgers kept the Dawgs in it as she had four first half rebounds and two steals. Savannah “Nanner Belle” Manley led the Lady Dawgs in scoring in the first half with seven.
The second half began with Addison Coach Frank Graham starting to press the Lady Tigers. Addison’s defense, excellent all year, was amazing in the second half as they consistently forced the Lady Tigers into bad choices, bad shots and plenty of errors. Addison even though allowing only eight points in the third period could only muster nine themselves. Addison trailed going into the fourth period 29-28.
The fourth period belonged to the Lady Dawgs. It seems when everyone counts them out, they pick up their game and play better. Addison senior guards Macey “Homecoming Queen” Butler and Kaylee “I can score from anywhere” Brummett started knocking down shots, Manley and Callie “The Enforcer” Crider dominated the glass and the entire team started hitting free throws. In what seemed like a Jekyll and Hyde moment, Addison, after missing 10 out of 13 free throws in the first half, the Lady Dawgs knocked down their final 12 free throws in a row to seal the win. Addison bested Red Bay 20-8 in the fourth period to close out the game by a score of Addison 48, Red Bay 37.
After the game, Coach Graham said, “I am so very proud of our girls. As always, we played hard and our defense, except for a couple lapses, was good enough to win. Our press defense seemed to bother them, and we seem to play better when we press. Red Bay’s no. 3 (Destiny McCollister) played great. Our girls stepped up when they were down and came back and got the win.”
Red Bay Head Coach Holly Kuykendall said, “Addison was the better team tonight. I thought our girls played really hard and fought the entire way. We got tired at the end and their press hurt us. I told the girls that we are still going to state, and we are a young team so good things are ahead of us.”
Red Bay was led by Destiny McCollister who had 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Macey Faulkner had 12 points and three rebounds. Emma McCollister had nine points and five rebounds. Cassidy Kuykendall had two points, but nine rebounds.
The Lady Dawgs had a complete and balanced team effort on the night with everyone getting involved and contributing. Butler had 10 points, seven rebounds and an assist. Brummett had 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal. Manley had 10 points, 14 boards and a block. Rodgers had nine points, six rebounds, one assist and three steals. Crider had seven points, seven boards and an assist. Luker had four points, two boards and a steal.
Addison improves to 21-2 on the season and will return home to host a sub-regional game Monday night at 6.
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