PREP BASKETBALL: Addison falls at Falkville 69-61

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FALKVILLE, Ala. — The Addison Lady Bulldogs, the third seed in the area, visited the no. 2 seed Falkville for the opening round of the area tournament Monday night and came out on the short end of a 69-61 loss. Addison’s season comes to an end with the loss but there is much to be hopeful for in the future for this program. More on that later.

Addison came into the game as the underdogs due to Falkville beating the Lady Dawgs twice this season. The first period, actually the first half in general, was a run and gun offensive showcase for both teams. Both teams were playing well, and all the ladies were hustling and diving all over the place. At the end of the first frame, Falkville led 21-17. Addison’s “Magic” Molly Gilbreath led the Lady Dawgs with six points in the period. Falkville was led by their talented senior center, Mackenzie Veal who had eight points. Addison had no answer for the Veal in the first period. Addison also had trouble with the Lady Devils and their 12 fast break points.

The second period was played at even a faster pace, if that was possible. Addison continued to press and this period, the pressure seemed to rattle the Lady Devils and allowed Addison to outscore Falkville25-18 to take a 42-39 lead into the half. Addison was led by Gracie “Bug” Manley with 11 points in the half.  Anna Grace “The Glove” Luker had probably her best half of the season with seven points, three boards, five steals, three assists and two blocked shots. Falkville was led by Veal’s 13 points and six boards in the half. Falkville freshman Ellie Kate Hill had three bombs in the half to give her nine points.

Addison Coach Bailey West had to be proud of how her Lady Dawgs played in the half as they had taken the lead against the favored Lady Devils.

The second half had both teams come out flat and play sloppy. There were unforced errors, forced errors and just plain bad shots by both teams. The first half pace, which was very well played, seemed to take a little out of the ladies’ legs for both teams. At the end of the third period, Falkville had outscored Addison 11-8 to tie the game at 50. The crowd was going wild on both sides and the game appeared to be anyone’s to win.

The fourth period began with both teams trading buckets. With five minutes to go in the game, Addison took the lead, 59-57 on a Hadley “Shooter” Butler three. That’s when the senior leaders of the experienced Lady Blue Devils took charge and took advantage of the youthful Bulldogs. Falkville went on a 12-2 run to end the game and came away with a 69-61 win.

Falkville will move on to play Cold Springs in the area tournament championship game Thursday night.

Falkville was led by senior Mackenzie Veal with a game high 24 points and a game high nine rebounds. Senior Savannah Fowler had 13 points, four boards and two assists. Senior Sydnee Fitzgerald had 13 points and five boards. Freshman Ellie Kate Hill had 12 points, four boards and six steals.

Addison was led by “Magic” Molly Gilbreath with 14 points and two boards. Hadley “Shooter” Butler had 14 points, two assists and three steals. Bracey “Tiny” Rodgers had 13 points, four boards, five assists and five steals. Gracie “Bug” Manley had 11 points, eight boards, five assists and four steals. Anna Grace “The Glove” Luker had nine points, three boards, three assists and eight steals. Lydia “Barbie” Ergle had four points and a block.  Addyson Smothers had three boards and a steal.

After the game, Addison Head Coach Bailey West was proud of the way her team battled during the game and is excited to see what this group of girls can accomplish next season.

“I know I have said it all season, but I am so proud of my girls. They have played so hard for me and each other this year. They left everything they had on the floor tonight. I mean it would have nice to continue on playing but Falkville did a little more than us tonight and came away with the win. I told the ladies in the locker room after the game that they have improved so much from the beginning of the year,” West said. “This team has everyone coming back next year and we are loaded with potential. I just need to get the girls to realize how good that they can be if they continue to work hard and keep improving. I think they were beginning to see that they can be a good team by the end of the year. I am excited to be the ladies’ coach here at Addison and I am happy where we are as a program at this moment. We finished 12-13 and yes, the record is not where we want to be, but we will improve on that. I am so lucky to have a very special group of girls to coach here at Addison and they will always be special to me because they are my first team in my coaching career. I think we can compete for our area next year if we continue to improve individually as well as a team.” 

The Lady Bulldogs have a lot of young players set to return next season, so the future is bright for the program at Addison.

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