Working overtime for victory
Hartselle tops Athens, still unbeaten in area play
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
The Hartselle Lady Tigers spotted the Athens Lady Golden Eagles an early first half lead, but they used strong defense to spark a comeback and win a key area game in overtime, 63-55.
"These girls hung in there when we were down big and just didn't give up. These girls just won't quit," Hartselle head coach Greg Adams said.
"This is a really big win for us. Not only did Lauren Drake come up big, but Kayla Orr made some big plays in the fourth quarter and overtime."
Hartselle lead 12-11 with one minute gone in the second period when Athens went on a 15-0 run to seize a 14-point lead. The Lady Eagles made four three-pointers during the run.
"They hit a bunch of outside shots we didn't expect them to hit," Adams said.
"We also had some turnovers at a very bad time, right when they starting making their shots. It's how they got away from us."
At the half the lead was down to 12 at 29-17. Early in the third period Athens continued to find the basket from long range, sinking four more three-pointers and taking a 36-20 lead with five minutes left in the period.
Then Adams called a timeout and switched the Lady Tigers into a man-to-man defense.
The change worked, as Athens would not make another three-point shot the rest of the game, while the Lady Tigers began to force turnovers and get back into contention.
Hartselle worked the ball inside to Drake, who scored only four points in the opening half of play, posted 11 points in the third period to help Hartselle pull to within eight, 45-37, by the end of the period.
In the fourth period Drake added 10 more points as Hartselle forced overtime when Athens missed a three-point shot at the buzzer.
In the overtime, Drake scored six more and Orr added two more as they Lady Tigers pulled away for the win.
Drake, who finished with a season-high 31 points, shot 15-of-16 from the free throw line and eight-of-13 from the field. She also collected a game-high 14 rebounds, blocked five shots, had two steals and handed out two assists.
Jessica Andrews added 10 points, five assists and three steasls, while Anna Reeves scored eight, had two steals and two assists.
Mary Virginia Reeves scored six points, grabbed seven rebounds and had two steals.
Shauntee Smith added four points, and two rebounds.
Orr added four points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and blocked a shot.
The Lady Tigers won the battle of the boards with 32 rebounds to 22 for Athens.
The win was the third in three area starts and improved the Lady Tigers' overall record to 15-3.
Hartselle 48, Muscle Shoals 45
The Lady Tigers won an overtime thriller despite playing their first full game without Shan Jones.
The win keeps Hartselle unbeaten in area play and completes a season-sweep of the Lady Trojans.
Lauren Drake carried the offense with 21 points, followed by Mary Virginia and Anna Reeves with eight each.
Jessica Andrews added five while Kayla Orr, Tess Hill and Shauntee Smith each had two points.
The Lady Tigers improved to 14-3 overall and 2-0 in 5A, Area 16 play.