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Eagles still searching after winless TRM Tournament

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
They were not long lapses, just a couple minutes here and a couple of minutes there.
Yet those windows of opportunity were all the Andalusia Bulldogs needed to post a 47-31 win over the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles in Wednesday's seventh place game at the T.R. Miller Holiday Tournament.
"We competed fairly well, but we had a little lapse right before halftime and another one in the third quarter and fourth quarter that got us. We've got to be intense for 32 minutes," W.S. Neal coach David McCollum said.
Both teams got off to a sluggish start from an offensive end. The Blue Eagles (2-11) managed just a three-point play from Rohin Travis and an offensive rebound bucket by Jared Cooper in the opening frame.
Yet that was enough to give the Blue Eagles a 5-4 lead because Andalusia (4-7) managed just a couple of buckets of its own.
After a hoop by Antonio Green three minutes into the second period extended W.S. Neal's lead to a game high edge of 10-6, the wheels started to come off.
The Blue Eagles managed just one field goal and three points the rest of the half. Meanwhile Andalusia caught W.S. Neal at 12-12 with just under three minutes left in the half on two free throws by Chris Cotton.
A steal and layup by O'Darius Jones then gave the Bulldogs a lead they would not relinquish.
Andalusia, which led 18-13 at halftime, began the second half with a pair of buckets by Josh Johnson and one each by James and D'Andre Wright. Just like that the Bulldogs had a 26-13 lead and that cushion would not drop below double digits the rest of the way.
"We have to start with doing the basics out on the court. We have to be able to both think and react," McCollum said. "Our guards have to do a better job of taking care of the ball and cutting down the turnovers. The fact we only made nine free throws in three games at the tournament and about half of them came in the last couple of minutes in this game isn't a very good statistic either. We need to be better in that area as well."
At T.R. Miller
W.S. Neal 5 8 6 12 – 31
Andalusia 4 14 13 16 – 47
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Thomas 2-0-3-7; Green 3-0-0-6; McMillian 2-0-2-6; Cooper 3-0-0-6; Roh. Travis 1-0-2-4; Dexter 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 12-0-7-31)
ANDALUSIA (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) James 6-0-6-18; Johnson 4-0-3-11; Cotton 2-0-3-7; Cauley 2-0-0-4; Alverson 0-0-3-3; Huff 1-0-0-2; Wright 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 16-0-15-47)
Tuesday's game
The Blue Eagles fell into the seventh place game Tuesday when they dropped a 59-32 decision to the Flomaton Hurricanes.
It was Flomaton's second win of the season over W.S. Neal. The Hurricanes had earlier notched a 56-37 triumph at the Escambia County Tournament.
Flomaton's key weapon in that game was its perimeter shooting, as the Hurricanes buried nine three-pointers, eight alone by C.J. Williams.
It was Flomaton's perimeter game that bit the Blue Eagles in Tuesday's rematch. This time the Hurricanes drained seven treys.
After Jared Cooper's bucket to start the game gave W.S. Neal its lone lead, Flomaton (7-5) took control with an 11-0 run thanks to a traditional field goal and two treys and two steals by Williams.
Cecil Thomas tried to bring the Blue Eagles back. Thomas ended the opening frame with a field goal and three-pointer that cut the Hurricanes' lead to 16-9. Thomas then hit another trey midway through the second quarter that had W.S. Neal within 23-14.
The knockout blow came when the Blue Eagles went scoreless over the final five minutes of the first half, a stretch where the Hurricanes widened their lead to 31-14 by halftime. That lead grew all the way up to 53-24 by the end of the third quarter.
"Their perimeter shooting hurt us again. We did a better job of holding Williams down, but some of their other guys stepped up and hit some shots. The big thing though was we had too many turnovers that led to their transition game on the other end," W.S. Neal coach David McCollum said.
The Blue Eagles begin the 2005 portion of their schedule Friday at Clarke County.
At T.R. Miller
W.S. Neal 9 5 10 8 – 32
Flomaton 16 15 22 6 – 59
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Thomas 2-3-0-13; McMillian 2-0-0-4; Cooper 2-0-0-4; Dexter 0-1-0-3; Hester 1-0-0-2; Ron. Travis 1-0-0-2; Roh. Travis 1-0-0-2; Green 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 10-4-0-32)
FLOMATON (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Williams 4-3-0-17; Simpson 1-1-3-8; White 1-2-0-8; Ellis 2-1-1-8; Herndon 4-0-0-8; Bonds 2-0-2-6; Bush 2-0-0-4 (Totals: 15-7-5-59)