PREP BASKETBALL: Addison sweeps Winston County Championships

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ADDISON, Ala. — Addison took care of business on Saturday night as the Lady Dawgs defeated the Double Springs Lady Jackets in a thrilling, overtime game, 75-72 and the boys handled the Meek Tigers in another great game, 57-54. The ladies won the county tournament for the second consecutive season while the men avenged an upset loss in the title game last year.

Addison 75 – Winston County 72 (OT) (varsity girls championship)

The Addison Lady Bulldogs came into the game with the Lady Jackets from Double Springs feeling pretty good about their chances. They had split the regular season series one apiece and were coming off an impressive win over the Meek Lady Tigers two nights ago. The first period got off on a pretty solid start. The Lady Jackets were extending their defense to limit the outside shooting of Addison’s three guard offense and it seemed to work. Addison couldn’t get off a clean shot and the Jackets were led by Senior Izzy Cofer who was red hot from outside. Double Springs led 12-10 after one.

The second period was not a good period for the hometown Dawgs. The Jackets upped the defensive pressure and the young Dawgs struggled. Cofer was solid with 15 points and the Lady Jackets outscored the Lady Dawgs 19-10 to take a 31-20 lead into the half. The visiting crowd was in full throat and it looked like the young Dawgs were going to wilt under the pressure.   

The second half started out with both teams firing away and nailing big shots. It was at this time that the Lady Dawgs down nine with five and half minutes left in the period, turned to Gracie “Bug” Manley and she started carrying the offense. Manley drove the lane, got rebounds and pretty much owned the paint against the larger Lady Jackets. Manley had 10 points in the period. Anna Grace “The Glove” Luker stole everything in sight and she is probably wanted for theft due to her stealing so many balls. Luker had three in the period and seven for the game. Addison outscored Double Springs 25-18 in the frame to cut the Jacket lead to 49-45. The Jackets were led by Sophomore Bailey Kelley with eight points.     

With an entire gym yelling and screaming the emotion was high as the fourth period started and the county title was still up for grabs. The final period was a back and forth affair. Addison’s Manley was a force to be reckoned with in the second half as she demanded the ball and scored when she got it. Addison tied the game at 53 with 3:36 to go with a Manley layup. Double Springs Junior Mikayla Lindsey scored 4 points down the stretch and Miss Kelley was unstoppable. With Addison up three with only two seconds to go in the game, Kelley threw up a no look prayer three pointer that drained the bottom of the net as the buzzer sounded to end the game. At the end of regulation, the game was tied at 62.

Overtime started and the momentum was with the visiting Lady Jackets. For starters, Addison’s Luker and Manley had fouled out in regulation and Kelley had just tied it at the buzzer, so it looked bleak for the Lady Dawgs. The Lady Jackets scored the first four points of overtime then Addison’s Hadley “Shooter” Butler nailed a three pointer and the game changed. Addison played tough defense and was able to come up with a defensive stop when they needed too. “Magic” Molly Gilbreath and Bracey “Tiny” Rodgers were able to knock down nine out of 11 free throws to end the game to give Addison the 75-72 victory.

The Lady Jackets were led by Kelley with 26 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Cofer had 22 points. Lindsey had six points, seven boards and four steals. Olivia Wright had 10 points, three boards and three steals.

The Lady Dawgs were led by Manley with a Lebron like 32 points and 18 rebounds. Gilbreath had 15 points and three rebounds. Rodgers had 12 points, four boards and three assists. Luker had three points, seven boards and seven steals. Butler had six points.

After the dramatic win, Addison Head Coach Bailey West added, “I say it every week, but I am very proud of these girls. They played so hard and we found ourselves in a tough situation at the end of the game with two of our starters on the bench after fouling out. The rest of the girls picked us up and played with heart. You can’t teach heart that is just something that these girls have. They never quit and they support each other like a team should. We are playing with a lot of good momentum right now and we need to keep it up for the area tournament.”

Addison’s Rodgers, Luker, Gilbreath and Lydia “Barbie” Ergle all made the all-tournament team. Manley was named the Tournament MVP. Double Springs’ Cofer, Bailey and Lindsey made the all-tournament team as well.

Addison 57 – Meek 54 (varsity boys championship)

Addison was aiming for a county tourney championship to go along with their regular season county championship. Addison also won their regular season area title, so they were going for the late season trifecta. Addison came out and was immediately punched in the mouth by the Meek Tigers. Meek had lost to Addison twice during the regular season and they weren’t planning on going down for a third time. Meek pounded the ball down low and drove to the basket for easy scores. Meek absolutely dominated the glass in the early going and Addison had to rely on Logan “Baby Shaq” Wilkins and his seven points in the first period to keep them close. Meek was led by David Tidwell with six points. At the end of the first Addison led 16-13 and had to feel good about getting out of the period with a lead.

The second started out with Meek wanting to continue with their physical style of play and Addison wanted to run. Meek’s style won out in the period.  Meek had Kendrick Smith scoring four to go along with Jarret Benson’s eight to lead Addison 30-28 at the half.  With Wilkins nursing a bum ankle and not as effective as usual, Eli “Curly” Howse possibly played his best game of the year. Howse was absolutely un-guardable. No one on the Tiger roster could stay with him and he drove at will into the paint for the score. Going into the half Meek held a surprising 30-28 lead.

The second started out just like the first.  Meek probably played Addison as physical as anyone has all year. Addison’s Wilkins was out for most of the second half with an injury, so it was up to the rest of the Dawgs to pick up the scoring slack. Howse continued his magic while the rest of the Dawgs scored when they needed too. Christian “Ice Man” Roberts had 5 points in the period to go along with Roberts’ seven. Addison outscored Meek 14-9 to take a 42-39 lead. Meek went cold in the period which looked to be a combination of Addison’s aggressive in your face defense and Meek getting a little cold.

The fourth had each team scoring 15 and neither able to pull away. Meek was led by Tidwell with five and Smith with four. Addison’s Howse, Xavier “Mr. Smooth” Barley and Brady “Stick” Gilbreath added to the point total for Dawgs. Addison was able to seal the win with two late free throws from Howse and were able to get a final defensive stop. Addison had a tough 57-54 win.

Addison was led by Howse with a game high 20 points, four boards, four assists and three steals. Wilkins had 13 points and five boards in limited action. Roberts had 11 points and three boards. Gilbreath had five points. Cannon “TNT” Hiller had four points and four boards. Barley had four points and four boards.

Double Springs was led by Smith with 13 points and six boards. Benson had 12 points and nine boards. Tidwell had 11 points, four boards and four steals. Kaleb Cherry put in six points.

Following the win, Addison Head Coach Ben Mastin said, “We didn’t play our best, but Meek had something to do with that. They were a very physical team, but I think that we responded well when Logan (Wilkins) went down. Our players haven’t won the county championship since my seniors were in eighth grade. It was actually good for us that we had to play a good team without Logan. Our guys came together, and everyone did their job. Proud of this team and what they have accomplished. ” Addison’s Wilkins, Roberts, Xavier Barley and Hiller were named to the all-tournament team. Double Springs’ Tidwell, Benson and Smith were named to the all-tournament team as well. Howse was named Tournament MVP.

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