PREP BASKETBALL: Addison splits tight area battles against Falkville

The Addison Bulldogs fell to Falkville at home 56-54 Tuesday night. (Courtesy of Cindy Luker)

ADDISON, Ala. – After collecting a pair of road wins over Lynn Saturday, the Addison Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs returned home Tuesday night for two more area games against Falkville. Addison split a pair of tight games. The Lady Bulldogs picked up a 60-55 win over Falkville and in the boys’ game, the Bulldog narrowly fell to the Blue Devils 56-54.

Addison 60 – Falkville 55 (varsity girls)

The Addison Lady Dawgs have been playing very good basketball for the past couple games coming up with some big wins. They hosted the scrappy Lady Devils from Falkville. Not only has this become a very good rivalry between the two schools but they have been area foes for the past couple of years. The game opened up with Addison looking a bit slow and out of kilter as Falkville dominated the first few minutes, jumping out to an 8-0 lead. Every time Addison tried to get it down to their Miss Everything post player, Gracie “Bug” Manley the Lady Devils would collapse around her and shut down the lane forcing a long-range shot. Addison was a bit cold to start, shooting the ball, and Falkville was lights out. Senior Elli Lorance paced the Lady Devils with eight points in the period, to include two bombs from downtown. Addison was led by Anna Grace “The Glove” Luker who had five points. Falkville led after one period, 16-12.

Things didn’t get any better for the Lady Dawgs in the second period. Falkville continued to play excellent team defense and clearly frustrated the Lady Dawgs.The fouls kept piling up on the Dawgs as Addison’s Bracie “Tiny” Rodgers and Manley picked up their third fouls. The Lady Devils outscored the hometown team 17-11 in the frame to take a commanding 33-23 lead at the half. The game could have been over at the half if not for the deadly three-point shooting of “Magic” Molly Gilbreath who drained three three’s and scored nine of Addison’s 11 points in the period. Falkville had balanced scoring as six Lady Devils scored in the period. They were led by Sophomore Ellie Cate Hill with five points.

Apparently, Addison Coach Bailey Boland lit a fire under the Lady Dawgs in her half time speech as a completely different team emerged in the second half. Addison’s pressure defense effected the Lady Devils, and the Lady Dawgs dominated the glass in the second half.   Addison outscored the Lady Devils 19-13 in the third period to cut the Devil lead four points at 46-42.    Addison was led by Manley and Gilbreath’s six points apiece. Addison’s Rodgers had three assists in the period to go along with four points. Falkville was led by Hill’s five points. Lorance and Abbey Grace Tomlin had four points each.

The fourth period was an excellent one for the Lady Dawgs. Addison, without their leading scorer, Manley, who had fouled out in the opening seconds of the fourth, dominated the frame outscoring Falkville, 18-9 to come away with a hard fought 60-55 win. Addison had five girls score in the frame and they were led by Hadley “Shooter” Butler with five points, to include a deep three to put the Lady Dawgs ahead. Hill led the Lady Devils with three points in the period. 

The difference in the game tonight was on the glass as the Lady Dawgs outrebounded Falkville 9-4 in the fourth and 43-19 for the game. Free throw shooting was about even as Addison made nine of 11 free throws while Falkville dropped in six out of eight.

After the win, Coach Boland talked about the big shots and rebounds her team came up with to edge out Falkville.

“Falkville is a good team and did an amazing job on Gracie (Manley) tonight. They collapsed in the lane and forced her to give up the ball. They had a good game plan for us. The rest of my ladies, especially Molly (Gilbreath) really bailed us out with the made threes. A.G. (Luker) dominated on the boards tonight and we were excellent on the glass all night,” Boland said. “Brilyn (Dover) gave us energy and tons of effort every time she is on the floor. She doesn’t get in the stat book with a lot of big numbers, but she had, I think, three rebounds tonight and they were all in crucial situations. Just very proud of the girls and even though we came out flat, our intensity and effort improved throughout the game. This was a good win.”

Unofficial stats:

Addison was led by Gilbreath with 18 points and three boards. Rodgers had 13 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Luker had a double double with 12 points, 16 boards, four assists and three steals. Manley had 10 points, eight boards and four steals. Butler had five points and two boards. Lydia “Barbie” Ergle had two points and four boards. Dover had three boards and a blocked shot.

Falkville was led by Hill with 18 points and four boards. Lorance had 12 points and four boards.   Ella Wallace had nine points and three boards. Tomlin had seven points and three boards. Ella Edmondson had four points and two boards.

The win moved Addison to 13-6 and they will travel to Double Springs Thursday night to play the fifth-ranked Winston County Yellow Jackets.

Falkville 56 – Addison 54 (varsity boys)

Addison having won three games in a row took on a tough and very tall Falkville Blue Devils squad. The game was close throughout and the first period was just a precursor of what was to come. Addison won the period 14-13 but it was back and forth.  Both teams run the floor very well and like to press the ball. Addison’s Christian “Ice Man” Roberts nailed his first two shots of the game, which were in fact three-pointers to give Addison the early lead. Falkville fought back with Colton Hooper scoring five of his own. Roberts led Addison with six points and four boards in the period. Addison’s Brady “Big Pappa” Gilbreath had six points as well.  Falkville was led by Hooper’s five and Josh Bradford pulling down three rebounds.

The second period was just as good as the first, this time Falkville took the period 12-11.  Neither team could get much of a lead as soon as one would score the other team would answer.   No team had more than a four-point lead in the period. Falkville’s Camden Reid nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game. Reid and Avery “Ken” Miller led the Devils with five points apiece. Addison was led by Bradley “Big Foot” Willette with six points and four boards. The halftime score was all tied up at 25.

The third period had both teams coming out like their hair was on fire as the scoring went bananas. Falkville won the period 21-20 to take a 46-45 lead into the fourth. Falkville’s Miller was unstoppable from outside and inside as he totaled 10 points. All in all, it was a team effort as five different Devils scored in the period. Gilbreath poured in eight points and Eli “Curly” Howse had five points.

The fourth was a back-and-forth affair, but Falkville built a 5-point lead with about 2 minutes to go in the game.  After exchanging possessions, Falkville led 56-51 with only 44 seconds to go.   Addison Freshman Jed “Wizard” Wilkins drained a three pointer to cut the lead to 56-54.   Addison forced a Falkville turnover and had the ball with only 5.65 seconds left on the clock.  A Gilbreath jumper to tie, looked like it was on its way in, but the iron was not kind and the ball bounced sadly away for the hometown Dawgs. Addison lost a tough one 56-54.

Both teams played very hard and never quit but the difference in this game was clearly at the free throw line. Falkville had few chances but made the most of them as they hit three out of four. Addison on the other hand was just five out of 16. Look no further to see where the Dawgs came up short on this one.

Addison Coach Ben Mastin was proud of the way his team competed in the loss but knows there are some areas they need to improve.

“We played well tonight but for some reason couldn’t hit a free throw. I told the guys after the game, if you want to know why we lost that is a very telling stat. You lose by two points but left 11 points out there in free throws. It’s really kind of weird because we work on free throws every day,” Mastin said. “I promise you we will be out there working on them even more now. I thought we more than held our own on the boards tonight (Addison actually outrebounded Falkville 32-22) and gave us an opportunity to win. It’s just tough. For some reason, this season, we actually play better on the road than at home. We have a tough game on Thursday at Double Springs, and it is a big Area game as well as County game.”

Unofficial stats:

Addison was led by “Big Pappa” Gilbreath who had a game high 19 points and three steals.   Howse had 11 points, three boards, two assists and two steals. Willette had eight points and five boards. Wilkins had eight points, four boards and six assists.  Roberts had six points, 10 boards and three assists. Justin “Rocky” Mather had two points, eight boards and two assists.

Falkville was led by Avery “Ken” Miller with 17 points and three boards. Hooper had 13 points and three boards. Reid had 12 points and two boards. Dawson Norwood had eight points and three boards. Josh Bradford had two points and five boards.

Addison falls to 9-10 and will meet county rival Winston County Thursday night in Double Springs.

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