E.A. Sports Today

20 in ’20

Lady Dawgs win their 20th Calhoun County girls tournament title, holding off Sacred Heart; Dudley MVP

Airrianna Colley (24) and Kiana Montgomery (33) both played key roles in Anniston’s county championship game victory. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today
JACKSONVILLE – The Anniston Lady Bulldogs continued their dominance of the Calhoun County Basketball Tournament with a a gritty 49-41 victory over Sacred Heart in the girls championship game Friday night at Pete Mathews Coliseum. 

Anniston’s Allasha Dudley gets her tournament MVP award from Pleasant Valley host principal Mark Proper. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

It was the program’s 20th title all-time and 13th in since 2002. The Lady Bulldogs are now 44-5 during this 18-year span and have made the finals 14 times. This was their third straight title.

This may be their best team ever as they are 19-3 and ranked No. 3 in Class 4A. Their only losses have been at No. 1 7A Hoover (by 13), No. 3 7A Spain Park (by 1) and No. 2 4A Greensboro (by 3).

They appear to be getting better each game as they rolled through the tournament with a devastating inside game to go along with a deadly 3-point shooting attack, although on championship night those 3s came from a somewhat unexpected source.
The Lady Dawgs’ big threat is guard Allasha Dudley, and she was named the tournament’s MVP, but Sacred Heart’s Serena Hardy held her to one field goal and seven points in the championship game.

But Airrianna Colley buried the Lady Cardinals from the outside, hitting six 3-pointers – five in the first half – of all 18 of her points and Kiana Montgomery killed them inside with 14 points and nine rebounds. Asia Barclay had seven points and 12 rebounds from the other post.
“We had others step up tonight and it was a great win for our kids,” Anniston coach Eddie Bullock said. “Our season is a building process and we learned a lot tonight.”
The top-seeded Lady Dawgs exploded out of the gate with nine quick points and when Colley banged home her third three-pointer among the four they hit in the stretch they led 12-2.

Just when you thought Anniston would run away with it, Sacred Heart fought back and cut the lead to 14-9 on a 3-pointer by Myiah Harris.

Colley turned the momentum back Anniston’s way with two more 3s in a 14-7 run to end the half with a 28-16 lead.
“Colley needed to be the scorer tonight and she can absolutely shoot the ball,” Bullock said. “It was no surprise that she made those threes.”
“They were playing a box-and-one on (Dudley) so I had to open it up for the team,” Colley said. “I didn’t really expect it, but I had to keep shooting and keep shooting because that’s what coach wanted me to do.”

The second-seeded Lady Cardinals began to pick up their defense after falling down 16 points. Freshman Amiyah Buchanan poured in six points in the middle of a 13-2 Sacred Heart run to chop the lead to 34-29 late in the third quarter. Montgomery then scored the last basket of the fourth quarter on a snowbird layup and the first basket of the fourth, and that quickly the Anniston lead was back to 38-29.
“Coach Bullock teaches me you’ve gotta step up,” Montgomery said. “They might key in on Allasha because they know she’s the main shooter, so we have to step in, we have to step up, and that’s what I tried to do.”
Sacred Heart would not go away, rallying again after Colley nailed her sixth 3 of the night to open the lead to 10 points. Hardy nailed a pair of free throws and Buchanan popped in a jumper to cut the lead to 41-35 with four minutes to go.

The pressure full court defense was taking its toll on Anniston as a turnover, a basket and a free throw chopped the lead to 44-38 with 50 seconds left, but in the end, it was the seven 3-point baskets that made the difference – six by Colley.
“Colley has that in her and she’s been having it,” Montgomery said. “It’s nothing new because we know she has it. She lit it up this game; she played great.”

Anniston 49, Sacred Heart 41
Alisia Person 0 2-2 2, Myiah Harris 3 1-1 9, Amiyah Buchanan 4 0-0 8, Taysia West 2 0-0 5, Jordan Sabree 3 0-2 6, Serena Hardy 4 2-2 11. Totals 16 5-7 41.
ANNISTON – Allasha Dudley 1 5-6 7, Anna Garrett 1 0-0 3, Airrianna Colley 6 0-0 18, Kiana Montgomery 6 2-3 14, Asia Barclay 3 1-1 7, Shiawanna Jackson 0 0-0, Tiauna Thomas 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 8-10 49.
Sacred Heart         6    10 13  12   –  41
Anniston                12  16  8   13    –  49
3-point goals: Sacred Heart 4 (Harris 2, West, Hardy); Anniston 7 (Garrett, Colley 6). Fouled out: Sabree. Total fouls: Sacred Heart 10, Anniston 11.
Allasha Dudley, Anniston
Outstanding offensive player: Myiah Harris, Sacred Heart
Outstanding defensive player: Asia Barclay, Anniston
All-Tournament Team
Myiah Harris, Sacred Heart
Allasha Dudley, Anniston
Kiana Montgomery, Anniston
Kayla Broom, Jacksonville
Tori Vice, Ohatachee
Lily Ponder, White Plains
Asia Barclay, Anniston
Serena Hardy, Sacred Heart
Ashley Phillips, Alexandria
Jorda Crook, Ohatchee
Karmyn Sparks, Pleasant Valley
Akiera Robinson, Oxford
Emma Hood, Pleasant Valley
Jordan Sabree, Sacred Heart
Kylie Cupp, Jacksonville Christian

Sacred Heart eighth-grader Serena Hardy (23) held tournament MVP Allasha Dudley to seven points in the championship game. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

To see more photos from this game, click the following link: www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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