E.A. Sports Today

Lady Dawgs ‘post’ another title

Anniston’s post players drive down Sacred Heart, leading Lady Dawgs to 19th Calhoun County Tournament title

Tournament MVP Toniah Foster (44) is greeted by the Anniston bench after coming out of the Calhoun County Tournament title game for the final time. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — Anniston coach Eddie Bullock apologized in his post-game interview for the sound of his voice, which sounded like someone who just gargled with a bottle of sand.

He lost that voice, he said, yelling for his team to feed the post — more than it already was doing.

Anniston’s Toniah Foster (R) accepted the Calhoun County Tournament girls MVP award from Piedmont principal Dr. Alan Clemons. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

What’s the guy want? His four post players, led by tournament MVP Toniah Foster, scored more points than Sacred Heart’s entire team in a 67-46 victory Saturday that brought the Lady Dawgs their 19th Calhoun County Tournament title and third in a row.

But for Bullock, it’s all about the big picture — winning a state championship — and he says his team has to do better in the paint than it did against the Lady Cardinals if it wants to finally do that after coming so close so many times in the past.
“We didn’t feed our bigs like we should have even though Big T had a big game,” Bullock said. “I lost my voice trying to tell them to get the ball on the inside because we had the advantage. We’ve got to be smarter than that.”
He had a similar lament about his defense after the Lady Bulldogs stuffed Oxford 52-18 in the semifinals, despite holding it scoreless in the second quarter and without a field goal for more than 16 minutes.
And he was none too pleased the Lady Dawgs let a 24-point lead slip late when he was trying to get the margin to 34 points by fouling and giving up uncontested 3-pointers.
“You can’t win state championships like that,” Bullock said. “You’ve got to be able to put people away.”
“He’s real tough on us because he expects a lot from us,” sophomore guard Allasha Dudley said. “We have to play to Anniston’s standards and just not go out and do what we want to do. We have to play hard, play good defense. Defense wins games.”
This one was dominated by the bigs, and the four Anniston has are enough to give it an advantage over any future opponent.

Foster had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead the way; she was MVP last year, too. Among her post partners Asia Barclay has four points and 10 rebounds; Kiana Montgomery had 12 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots; and Tekyia Jackson had 10 and nine boards. They were a combined 21 for 45 from the field.
Sacred Heart was the 10th different school Anniston has beaten in its collection of the county titles. The only schools not on that list are Donoho, JCA, Faith Christian and Saks.

Sacred Heart coach Marcus Harrell thought this team was holding its own early. But his entire game plan went out the window when Jordan Sabree, “the heart and soul of our defense,” was ejected on a flagrant technical foul when a scrum for a loose ball with Barclay late in the first quarter escalated into something more.
“It was an unfortunate thing happen tonight,” Harrell said. “The two girls were wrestling over the ball and it just happened to not go our way. If I thought she did it I would definitely be in agreement she did it and be objective, but I didn’t see that.”

The Lady Cards’ chances of winning and defending the post were further diminished later when leading scorer Ayanna Foster fouled out with 3:16 left in the third quarter.Immediately after Foster left the game the Lady Dawgs hit them with a 12-2 run that carried into the fourth quarter.

Anniston’s Dudley was named offensive MVP. Sacred Heart’s Foster was the defensive MVP. Dudley had 16 points, five rebounds, six steals and 13 assists.

Anniston’s Kiana Montgomery (33) stands her ground to defend against Sacred Heart’s Ayanna Foster. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

To see more photos from the game visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

Anniston 67, Sacred Heart 46
Alisia Person 2 0-1 6, Myiah Harris 5 3-4 15, Ayanna Foster 4 0-0 9, Cearia Jenkins 0 2-2 2, Joelle Tillery 1 0-0 3, Jordan Sabree 0 0-0 0, Serena Hardy 0 0-0 0, Taysia West 4 0-2 11. Totals 16 5-9 46.
ANNISTON – Allasha Dudley 3 8-8 16, Measia Kelley 0 0-0 0, Anna Garrett 0 0-0 0, Jordyn Johnson 0 0-0 0, Airrianna Colley 2 0-0 4, Tekyia Jackson 4 0-0 8, Kiana Montgomery 6 2-4 14, Asia Barclay 2 0-0 4, Toniah Foster 9 3-7 21. Totals 26 13-19 67.
Sacred Heart      11            10            10            15            –               46
Anniston              19            14            21            13            –               67
3-point goals: Sacred Heart 9 (Person 2, Harris 2, A. Foster, Tillery, West 3); Anniston 2 (Dudley 2). Technical fouls: Sabree, Kelley. Fouled out: A. Foster. Total fouls: Sacred Heart 17, Anniston 13. 

Most Valuable Player —
Toniah Foster, Anniston
Outstanding Offensive Player — Allasha Dudley, Anniston
Outstanding Defensive Player — Ayanna Foster, Sacred Heart
All-Tournament Team
Jocelyn Harris, White Plains
Tori Vice, Ohatchee
Kaitlin Harvey, Alexandria
Emma Hood, Pleasant Valley
Caleigh Cortez, Weaver
Kayla Broom, Jacksonville
Justyce Smith, Oxford
Sydney Prater, Piedmont
Kylie Cupp, JCA
Allasha Dudley, Anniston
Ayanna Foster, Sacred Heart
Toniah Foster, Anniston
Myiah Harris, Sacred Heart
Kiana Montgomery, Anniston
Jordan Sabree, Sacred Heart

Allasha Dudley holds the follow through on her mid-court shot for $10,000 Saturday night. The sophomore Anniston guard earned the attempt by winning the F&M Bank 3-Point Contest Friday with a record 19 baskets. Her big money shot hit the backboard and caromed out across the rim. “I thought it was going in, but when I saw it go to the right I was like, oop, no,” she said. She didn’t leave empty-handed; she took home a $500 award for winning the 3-point contest. (Photo by Dave Brandsma)

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