E.A. Sports Today

The beat goes on

Anniston wins girls title for second year in a row and 12th since 1999, but coach Eddie Bullock still won’t call it a dynasty; Foster named MVP

Anniston post Toniah Foster (44), the tournament MVP, moves in to interfere with the shot of Oxford’s Makayla Kidd during Monday’s Calhoun County Girls Tournament title game. Anniston won 59-55. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – The Anniston girls’ record in the Calhoun County Basketball Tournament is unmatched. Everyone else who follows the game would call the Lady Dawgs a ironclad dynasty, but head coach Eddie Bullock wouldn’t use the D-word for all the money in the tournament’s $10,000 half-court shot.

He’s just happy, as always, for the girls who won this year.

The Lady Dawgs won their 18th county title Monday night when they jumped out to an early lead and then held off determined Oxford 59-55 at Jacksonville State.

It was the Anniston girls’ 12th since 1999, second in a row, fourth in five years and ninth in 12 years. But a dynasty? If you think that, keep it to yourself.

“I don’t know about the dynasty, man, I’m just glad to see my girls fight through it and get another win,” Bullock said. “It means the world to me for them. I just wanted them to win.”

Anniston post Toniah Foster was named tournament MVP. She scored 20 points and grabbed five rebounds in the title game.

“She has grown a lot and I’m so proud of her,” Bullock said. “I challenged her. Her first two games she played so-so, it wasn’t that good, but she was able to pull it through and I’m just proud she was able to step it up.”

She had a lot of help. Post partner Kiana Montgomery had seven points, five rebounds and four blocked shots. Tekyia Jackson had seven points and 11 rebounds, and sisters Allasha and Amoriya Dudley combined for 10 points and 10 assists. Allasha Dudley was voted the Best Offensive Player of the tournament.

Early on it looked like the Lady Dawgs were headed for another easy one like last year’s rout of Wellborn. Oxford scored first, then Anniston ripped off 12 straight points on the way to a 16-5 first-quarter lead. Foster had nine points in the quarter.

But the Lady Jackets went to the deep ball and eventually cut it back to 26-24 at halftime. They took a three-point lead early in the third quarter on back-to-back 3-pointers by Anna Bolton and it went back and forth the rest of the way.

It was 45-45 with 4:25 left when Allasha Dudley hit back-to-back 3s around a Tremeria Britt basket and Anniston never trailed again.

“We’re trying to learn how when we face adversity to keep going like that,” Bullock said. “We got down in the game, point wise, but we didn’t fold. You can’t win every game by 20 points, a blowout. We won a four-point game and we were solid the whole time.”
The Lady Jackets had a shot to tie in the final 15 seconds, but Britt missed an open 3 and Foster was fouled on the rebound. Foster made the second of two free throws and it was a four-point game with 10 seconds to go.

“To everybody else this was a Goliath situation,” Oxford coach Melissa Bennett said. “Anniston has dominated the county, so I’m just super proud of the way we fought, especially after we got down so bad in the first quarter. Most teams against Anniston that’s when they throw the towel in and Anniston ends up blowing them out and that never happened. We just fought and fought and scrapped. I’m super proud of our fight.”

Girls Championship Game
Anniston 59, Oxford 51
Anna Bolton 5 0-0 13, Makayla Kidd 2 1-2 6, Ashleigh Jackson 2 2-2 6, Tremeria Britt 5 3-4 14, Akiera Robinson 0 0-0 0, Mari Lindsey 1 0-0 2, Jamyia Byrd 1 0-0 3, Justyce Smith 1 3-4 5, Kaylyn Hendrix 3 0-0 6. Totals 20 9-12 55.

ANNISTON – Allasha Dudley 4 0-2 10, Amoriya Dudley 0 0-0 0, Jordyn Johnson 1 0-0 2, Montiega Clemons 5 0-2 13, Tekyia Jackson 1 5-6 7, Kiana Montgomery 1 5-6 5, Toniah Foster 9 2-5 20. Totals 21 12-21 59.

Oxford 5 19 10 21 — 55
Anniston 16 10 11 22 — 59

3-point goals: Oxford 6 (Bolton 3, Kidd, Britt, Byrd); Anniston 5 (Al. Dudley 2, Clemons 3). Fouled out: T. Jackson. Total fouls: Oxford 19, Anniston 11.

Anniston’s Amoriya Dudley ducks under the trap set by three Oxford defenders. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

Oxford’s Makayla Kidd (R) races up the floor against the defense of Anniston’s Amoriya Dudley Monday night. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

To view a photo gallery from the game visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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