The Bulldogs successfully completed the sweep of area tournaments with the girls defeating Munford, 58-25, and the boys also beating the Lions, 51-46, immediately afterward.
“This feels good,” Anniston girls coach Eddie Bullock said. “It was one of our goals for the season. We had a pretty good showing and did pretty well.”
The Anniston girls’ win was never in doubt after holding Munford to only one basket in the first quarter, as Anniston lead 16-2 after the first eight minutes.
“We’re still not where I want to be defensively,” Bullock said. “I’m not being sarcastic about it, but we still made several mistakes not getting into position and being disciplined. That’s what I’m trying to do is get them disciplined so we can do what we need to do in the long stretch.”
Although the Lions (13-11) progressed offensively as the game continued, the Bulldogs (27-4), led by Quanetria Bolton, were simply too much. Bolton finished the game with a near triple-double, scoring 18 points and adding nine rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Bolton was named tournament MVP while Evonna Jordan and Kiyana Bullock both made the all-area tournament team. Anniston will play Hokes Bluff, which defeated Jacksonville last week, on Thursday at home in the sub-regional.
“Hokes Bluff is a tough team,” Bullock said. “Like I said, Hokes Bluff finished third in their area, but once the postseason starts it’s a new season and everyone is 0-0. You can’t take anybody lightly and have to be prepared.”
The boys’ game, however, was not as in hand.
Although Anniston (16-13) only trailed for one possession, Munford (12-16) made several pushes to take control of the game, notably in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs’ 46-36 lead entering the final quarter slowly disappeared as Anniston simply could not make a shot. After Monquavious Frazier made one of two free throws shortly into the quarter, the Bulldogs did not have any points scored until there was under a minute remaining in the game, holding onto a 47-46 lead at the time.
After Quint Dobbins hit both free throws, a Munford turnover led to Frazier making Anniston’s first and only field of the fourth, making the score 51-49. But it was all the Bulldogs would need as Munford’s sloppy play turned into two more turnovers.
When Monteo Garrett’s three at the buzzer fell short, Anniston had officially won its 11th consecutive area tournament.
“It’s always big when you can win the area, especially when you’re a young team,” Ware said. “When you can see the growth from game to game, it’s really good.”
Frazier was named the MVP of the tournament and Dobbins, Mauriceco Massey and Quindarious Jackson all made the all-area tournament team.
Anniston will face Jacksonville on Friday, marking only the second time this season the young Bulldogs have played a county team outside the county tournament. With area play now over, a loss would end the season.
“You have to talk to the kids daily about goal setting, doing things that you want to do,” Ware said. “If you don’t set goals, you can’t reach them. That’s something we always do, we ask them what they want, what they want to do.”
Sports Writer Brandon Miller: 256-235-3575. On Twitter @bmiller_star.