PREP BASKETBALL: Addison drops varsity matchups to Decatur Heritage

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The Addison Lady Bulldogs fell to Decatur Heritage 61-41 Thursday night. (Courtesy of Cindy Luker)

ADDISON, Ala. — The Addison men and women’s teams hosted the Decatur Christian Eagles at Alan Stephenson Gym and dropped two games to the Eagles. The ladies fell 61-41 in the opener and the men lost their game 87-71. Addison will host the Falkville Blue Devils Friday night for two games.

Decatur Heritage 61 – Addison 41 (Varsity Girls)

The opening game featured the high-pressure defense and run, and gun system of the Lady Eagles against the Lady Bulldogs and the athletic Lady Eagles were just too much to handle on this evening.  The Lady Eagles are best described as a modern version of the Nolan Richardson 40 minutes of Hell Arkansas Razorback teams of the 1990s. The first period started out with both teams playing excellent defense and neither team able to score much. Gracie “Bug” Manley carried the Lady Dawgs scoring all five of the Bulldog points to go along with seven rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots. Yes, that was all in the first period. The Lady Eagles, led by fiery third year coach Johnny Jones, had 10 steals in the period. They were led in scoring by Bri Tyson with four points. Alex Jackson chipped in three steals. At the end of the first period, Decatur Heritage led 8-5.

The second period was just about the same as the first. The Eagles forced the Lady Dawgs into numerous turnovers and quick shots. Addison kept getting the ball into Manley and she kept them in the game. At the half, Addison trailed 22-13. The Eagles kept Addison’s sharpshooting guard tandem of “Magic” Molly Gilbreath and Hadley “Shooter” Butler scoreless in the first half by applying relentless in your face defense on each possession. The Eagles were led by Jackson’s six points. Katelyn Cooper had a terrific second period of her own as she only scored two points but dominated on the glass by grabbing five boards to go along with three steals.The Lady Eagles came out running in the second half and outscored the hometown Lady Dawgs 20-13 as the scoring picked up.

The ladies from Addison just couldn’t keep up as fatigue started to set in. The Eagles were the deeper team on this night playing 12 girls. Addison was unable to score consistently while the Eagles were able to make several layups off turnovers. Tyson led the Lady Eagles with eight points in the third frame. Addison’s Manley did her best putting in six points of her own to try and keep it close.

The Lady Eagles put the game away in the fourth period outscoring the Lady Dawgs 19-15 to take the victory, 61-41. Even though Addison fought hard the ladies from Decatur Heritage were the better team on this evening.

After the game, Decatur Heritage Head Coach Johnny Jones said,

“We didn’t shoot the ball from three tonight very well, but we needed to play in a tough gym like they have at Addison. It’s always loud here and Addison’s girls are well coached and play hard. It was a good win for us, and it gives us something to build on for the future.”

Addison’s Bailey Boland wasn’t as happy. 

“We need to play better and not make so many mistakes. Heritage is a good team, but we didn’t handle their press very well tonight. We are still getting in basketball shape, and I believe that we will see improvement tomorrow night as we host a good Falkville team.”

Unofficial stats:

Addison was led by Manley who had a game high 22 points to go along with 14 rebounds, one assist, three steals and two blocks. Butler had eight points, two boards, four assists, three steals and a block. Brilyn Dover had eight points. Lauryn “Beemer” Cunningham had three points, two rebounds and two assists. Katie Barrett had three rebounds with a steal.

Decatur Heritage was led by Tyson who had 14 points and thrre boards. Emma Eastman had 12 points, three boards and two steals. Jackson had 12 points, three boards and four steals. Genesia McGhee had four points, 10 rebounds and three steals.

Decatur Heritage 87 – Addison 71 (Varsity Boys)

The nightcap had the hometown Bulldogs dropping a tough one to the visiting Eagles, 87-71. It wasn’t that Heritage was 16 points better than the Bulldogs, it was just that Heritage shot lights out from the three-point line all night long. The Eagles made 18 three pointers which is good, but the incredible thing is that seven different Eagles made a three-pointer. Decatur Heritage had to have shot at least 80% from beyond the arc. It was as good a display of shooting that this writer has ever seen in a high school basketball game.

Addison got off to a great start taking an 8-0 lead which was capped off by a Josh “West Coast” Netherton two handed slam dunk which brought the Bulldog faithful too their feet. Heritage didn’t back down and went on a run of their own as they outscored the Dawgs 26-9 the remainder of the first. Addison’s Brady Gilbreath led the Dawgs with ten points in the period, to include two three pointers of his own. The Eagles were led by Jordan Davis who had nine points in the period. Decatur Heritage nailed five three pointers in the first. Both teams played very aggressive man to man defense, but this was gonna be won by the Eagles due to their sharpshooting from three land.

Addison chipped away at the lead in the second and cut it to four at 35-31 when Heritage went on an 8-0 run to end the half. Heritage led by the score of 43-31 at the break. Bradley “Big Foot” Willette had perhaps his finest first half of the season as he tallied seven points, six boards and a blocked shot.

The third period had each team performing at a high level as each team scored 27 points. Gilbreath poured in twelve points Lane “Duct Tape” Tubb and Jed “Wizard” Wilkins put in four points apiece in the period. The Eagles were led by LeShone Tapscott who had six points, both three pointers. Brady Wilson also had five points and a steal in the period.

The fourth period had Addison attempting to cut into the lead but every time the Bulldogs would make a run, the cool and calm Eagles would drain another three pointer to keep the hard charging Dawgs at bay. The game ended with Addison dropping a closer than the score would indicate 87-71 game to the sharpshooting Decatur Heritage Eagles.

Decatur Heritage Head Coach Jason Marshall was pleased with the outcome.

“We shot the ball really well tonight and when we shoot as well as we did tonight, we are a tough team to beat. We try to put relentless pressure on our opponent with our up-tempo style and we always have our foot on the accelerator. I am very blessed to have so many good shooters on this team. We are glad to come away with this win. Addison’s kids played really well tonight, and they have some young men that can shoot the ball as well.”

Addison’s first year Head Coach Scott Flynn was very upbeat after the game.

“I am so proud of our kid’s effort. We improved so much since our last game. We played well as a team, had good chemistry and rhythm on offense and the defensive effort was certainly there. We just ran into a very good team that shot the lights out tonight. It would have been hard for anyone to knock off Decatur Heritage as well as they shot the ball tonight.”

Unofficial stats

Addison was led by Gilbreath who had a game high 31 points, five boards and three assists. Briley “Snake” Hayes had 15 points, seven boards and four assists. Willette had seven points, 10 rebounds and a blocked shot. Netherton had six points, three boards, three steals and two assists. Wilkins had six points, four boards, four steals and two assists. Tubb had four points and three boards. David Tuggle had two points and three boards. Jacob “Lanky” McLamb had two rebounds, two steals and an assist.

Decatur Heritage was led by Davis with 24 points and three boards. Wilson had 15 points with 7 rebounds. Tapscott had 15 points and a board. Bo Solley had eight points and two boards.

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