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Lady Patriots reign

By Staff
Brewer wins first Morgan County tournament since 2002
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
DECATUR — In a Morgan County Tournament filled with juggernauts, it was unranked Brewer who ended on top.
Thursday evening at Austin High School’s Joe Jones Gymnasium, the Lady Patriots knocked off Class 5A No. 6 Hartselle in the semifinals, then defeated Class 3A No. 2 Danville to win the title, Brewer’s first county championship since 2002.
Brewer had little trouble getting through pool play and earned a first-round bye and a No. 2 seed heading into the single-elimination tournament. The Lady Patriots had to come back from one-game deficits in both their semifinal and final matches, defeating Hartselle 23-25, 25-23, 15-13 and beating Danville 19-25, 25-18, 15-7.
During the regular season, Brewer was stymied by the Lady Hawks and Lady Tigers — Hartselle had won three straight over Brewer and Danville had won two of three. But Thursday night, that all changed.
Danville opened up the final match with a dominating performance, trailing just once in the first game. Game 2 was a different story, with Brewer breaking an early 6-all tie with four straight points that helped the Lady Patriots even the match.
In the tiebreaker, Danville led 2-0 before Brewer battled back with four unanswered points to take the lead, a lead they would not lose the rest of the game.
In the final match, Crawford led Brewer with eight kills and added two blocks. Megan Hormel and Kendra Jones had four kills each for the Lady Patriots. Brewer’s Rebecca Alderton had a team-high five assists and Kayla Amerine added three blocks for the Lady Patriots.
For Danville, Lauren Simmons had 18 kills while Alaina Fitzgerald added nine. Bethany Evans led with 19 assists and also had a team-high four aces. Fitzgerald and Kassie Cowart had six digs and Evans added five.
Danville, who also received a first-round bye as the tournament’s No. 1 seed, was a bit of a giant-killer itself after knocking off Class 6A No. 10 Austin in the semifinals. Austin was the 2005 Morgan County champion, but the Lady Hawks swept the Lady Bears 25-18, 25-23. In the other semifinal, Brewer eliminated the 2005 runner-up in Hartselle.
The semifinal between Hartselle and Brewer was a competitive one. The Lady Tigers trailed 23-22 late in Game 1 before coming back with three straight points to take the opener. In Game 2, Hartselle led 21-19 as Smith elected to call timeout. His team responded with a rally to take a 23-21 lead and force Hartselle coach Tanya Lybarger to call a timeout as well. The Lady Tigers could not hold off the Brewer momentum, though, and the Lady Patriots took Game 2 to even the match.
In the tiebreaker, Brewer broke out to a 5-1 lead before Hartselle battled back to make it 12-all. The Lady Tigers could never quite get back in front, however, and Brewer held on to win the crucial Game 3.
As the No. 3 seed in the tournament, Hartselle defeated No. 6 Decatur 25-8, 25-16 to advance to the semis. In the other quarterfinal, No. 4 Austin beat No. 5 West Morgan 25-8, 25-23.

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