Lady Tigers rarely tested in sub-regional win
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
In their last home game of the season, the Lady Tigers made sure to put on a show for their fans.
No. 2 Hartselle (26-5) was rarely tested Thursday night as it advanced to the Northwest Regionals with a 63-30 win over Mortimer Jordan at the Pettey Center. Even despite the threat of inclement winter weather in the area, the Lady Tigers' fans showed up in droves to watch the team cruise to victory.
Hartselle opened its regional tournament play against No. 9 Fairfield Wednesday at noon at Wallace State University in Hanceville.
The Lady Tigers opened the game Thursday night on a tear, causing several Mortimer Jordan turnovers and converting those Lady Blue Devil mistakes into easy points. Mortimer Jordan was forced to call a timeout with 2:18 left in the first quarter and Hartselle already leading 16-3.
"We always know that in a game like this we need to come out defensively," Hartselle coach Greg Adams said. "We didn't know that much about them other than what we'd seen on tape. We knew that ball-handling was probably their weakness, so we got out and tried to be aggressive right away.
"I didn't think we had a great offensive night, but defensively we were solid."
Hartselle led 16-7 after one quarter of play and 33-14 at halftime. The Lady Tigers then opened the second half on a 6-0 run and eventually stretched their lead to 29 points entering the fourth quarter.
Not satisfied with his team's effort while holding that big lead, Adams called timeout late in the third quarter with his team leading 45-20 after Hartselle had turned the ball several times.
"I didn't want us to form any bad habits or anything like that, so that's basically why I called a timeout," he said. "I didn't want us to form any bad habits in a game like this where it's not really in doubt. We know the competition in our next game will be a whole lot tougher."
Shan Jones scored 13 points to lead Hartselle, which also got 12 points from Lauren Drake and 11 from Mary Virginia Reeves.
The Lady Tigers were able to play their reserves in the fourth quarter and substitute Hilary Dukes got her chance to shine as she finished with six points – both off three-pointers – to the delight of students chanting her uniform number. In total, Hartselle got 17 points from its bench players.
Nikki Vickers scored 14 points in a losing effort for Mortimer Jordan.