The Lady Bulldogs walked out with a 59-14 win and another crown.
“We sort of expected it,” said Anniston coach Eddie Bullock, whose team will host Hokes Bluff in Thursday’s sub-regionals. “But you can never take anything for granted. We knew we were going to have to come out and play. Anybody can be beaten on a given night. I’m just glad we were able to get through it.”
The Bulldogs (21-5) struggled early on offense and only managed a 6-1 lead after the first quarter. Their defense, however, was as strong as ever and paved the way to Anniston’s 21-3 halftime lead.
“They’re a very good defensive team,” Munford coach Anne Hopkins said. “We’re good enough to compete with them. We just didn’t play Munford basketball tonight.”
Anniston found its offensive rhythm when senior forward Quanetria Bolton, an Alabama signee, scored 12 of her 21 points in the first half.
“I had to let them know that we had to keep our composure,” Bolton said. This was a game that really counted. I had to step up, lead my team and actually make sure they were settled down.”
The Lady Bulldogs continued their dominance in the second half and did not let up until time expired.
Winning another area championship was not Anniston’s only highlight. Bolton also was named the area tournament Most Valuable Player for the second straight year, with the help of her 21 points and 14 rebounds.
“It’s an accomplishment,” she said. “It’s been a goal. I’m really looking at the bigger picture.”
Despite the loss, Munford (19-5) lives to play another day. The Lions advanced to the sub-regionals as Class 4A, Area 10 runner-up and will play Jacksonville on the road Thursday.
“Our goal is to make it to JSU this year,” said Hopkins, referring to the site of the Northeast Regional. “So it’s good to be still in the running for that. We’re just disappointed in the way that we played tonight.”
Anniston 86, Cleburne County 34: After leading 35-18 at halftime, Anniston took control of the Class 4A, Area 10 final by outscoring Cleburne County 23-10 in the third quarter. The Bulldogs iced it with a 28-6 advantage in the fourth.
Quint Dobbins led Anniston with 21 points, while Demarcus Thomas added 16 points, eight assists and six steals.
Qua Frazier added 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Hakeem Ross chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Anniston (20-6) will host a sub-regional game Friday.