Pats sweep Tigers in home openers
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Brewer High School's Patriots and Lady Patriots claimed their first wins of the season over the Hartselle Tigers and Lady Tigers in their home openers Friday night. By winning they evened their records at 1-1. The Tigers and Lady Tigers fell to 0-2.
The Patriots grabbed the lead after trailing 0-3 early in the game and pulled the game out of the fire with a 20-point blitz in the third period. The final score was 61-48. They were ahead 9-7 after one period, 25-24 at the half and 45-35 after three quarters.
The Tigers outscored the Patriots 17-11 in the second period. They tied the score at 22 on a reverse lay-up by Nick Flannagin with 54 seconds left in the first half.
"It was an intense game. Coach (Johnny) Berry and his staff had Hartselle ready to play after a disappointing loss the night before," Brewer head coach Sam Brown said.
"We're happy to get the win. It's a good feeling anytime you can beat a county rival."
"We didn't take good shots in the first half," Brown said. "We need to be more patient on offense. That's something we've got to work on."
Compared to their season-opening loss to Hazel Green, Brown said he thought the Patriots improved in their rebounding and on defense.
"I thought our defense was definitely better tonight than it was last night," Hartselle head coach Johnny Berry said. "We're down by one at the half and they came back in the third quarter and make some plays to pull ahead. (Matt) Nielsen made some NBA-like shots.
"Our kids love each other and they play hard. You can't ask for anymore than that."
Neilsen dropped in 23 points to lead the Patriots in scoring. He took a hard fall late in the game while leaping for a rebound and was helped to the bench. Later, he said he got a muscle cramp and was all right.
Other scorers were: Brandon Thrasher, 12, Rusty Boyd, 6, Alex Brown, 5, Tyler Shelton and Jeremy Widener, 2 each, and Chris Humphries, 1.
Leading the Tigers in scoring was Steven Chop with 16. Other scorers were: Tyler Young, 11, Victor Stansberry, 7, Jackson Holmes, 6, Nick Flannagin, 4, and Justin Billings, 2.
The Lady Patriots trailed the Lady Tigers by 9 at the half but bounced back with a strong second half performance to take the win, 58-55. They trailed 9-15 after one period, 20-29 at the half and 38-41 after three periods.
"We didn't do much in the first half, 2-of-17 from three-point range and 1-of-8 from the free throw line," Lady Patriots head coach Ricky Allen said. "I told them not to feel sorry for themselves at intermission and they came out and played super defense and made some key shots in the second half."
"We always want to get the ball in the hands of Andrea Crawford when the game is on the line," Allen said. "She came though for us again tonight by making some big free throws in the last two or three minutes of play."
"We missed not having Lauren Drake on the court tonight," Lady Tigers head coach Greg Adams said. She was absent due to a death in her family.
"I felt like we were in pretty good shape with a 12-point lead with 23 seconds left in the first half," he said. Then, our player came down with an upset stomach and the game was delayed for several minutes. They came back and made a long 3-point shot at the buzzer to cut the lead to 3 and get some momentum.
"We played a tough game the night before and our girls were a little tired late in the game. It's a tough loss but we'll rebound. We're going to be all right."
Nichole Hayes led the Lady Patriots in scoring with 12 points. Crawford added 10 points and Ashley West had 9. Kristen Slate, Heather Childers and Meagan Hormel each scored 7 and Anna Mooney had 6.
Shan Jones paced the Lady Tigers with 19 points and passed the 1,000-point plateau in points scoring during a high school basketball career.
Mary Virginia Reeves followed with 13 points. Other scorers were: Jessica Andrews, 11, Kayla Orr, 5, Anna Reeves, 4, and Lauren Dye, 1.