Tigers outlast Patriots
Hartselle teams sweep Brewer in pair of close contests; both clinch area
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle boys 53, Brewer boys 51
The Pettey Center is going to be busy this February.
With its win at Brewer Friday evening, Hartselle wrapped up the regular-season Area 13 title with a 4-1 record. Earlier that evening, the Lady Tigers defeated Brewer to secure their own area title, guaranteeing Hartselle's home gym will be the host site of both the boys' and girls' Area 13 tournaments.
"This area championship was really won back in the spring and summer," Hartselle boys coach Johnny Berry said. "It was a special thing for us, especially for the seniors who had such a tough season last year."
It didn't come easy for Hartselle. The Tigers held a 40-34 lead after three quarters of play before the Patriots came storming back. With 34.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Brewer's Rodney Childs hit a lay-up to cut Hartselle's lead to 50-48.
The Tigers were fouled several times down the stretch, hitting three of five free-throws, but Brewer's own shots would not fall and Hartselle was able to hang on for the win. Brewer's Alex Brown hit a three-point basket at the buzzer, but it was not enough.
"After the game, I told the boys we lost this game because we couldn't hit our shots right around the basket," Brewer coach Sam Brown said. "I think if we hit those close shots, then we had enough offense to win this game."
Brewer (9-11, 3-2) suffered its second straight nail-biting loss to Hartselle – the Tigers won the last meeting 46-45 at the Pettey Center back on Dec. 8.
"These two teams match up well because we both play hard and give ourselves a chance to win," Berry said. "Either team could have won that game tonight."
Hartselle (11-11, 4-1) was led by Alex Brown, who scored 15 points. Tyler Young added 10 for the Tigers.
Rusty Boyd led the way for Brewer with 12 points and Chris Humphries added eight.
Hartselle girls 44, Brewer girls 40
Early in Friday night's game, it looked as if Brewer would not only upset the No. 2-ranked Lady Tigers, but run them out of the gym. The Lady Patriots led 14-2 with 20 seconds left in the first quarter.
But Hartselle responded with a run of its own and tied the game at 16-all halfway through the second quarter. Hartselle led 21-19 at halftime and it was neck-and-neck the rest of the way, with the Lady Tigers eventually holding on for a four-point victory.
"We were having some problems with our zone early," Hartselle coach Greg Adams said. "They overloaded our zone to one side and we didn't do a good job getting out on their shooters. We made the adjustments and did a much better job of that later in the game."
Hartselle tried to take control in the fourth quarter when Brewer post players Courtney Scott and Michelle Tillman got in foul trouble. Despite being outmatched inside, the Lady Patriots continued to hang tough and Hartselle could never increase its lead to more than five points.
Andrea Crawford hit one of two free throws with 11 seconds left to cut Hartselle's lead to 42-40, but the Lady Tigers recovered a loose ball and Brewer was forced to foul. Hartselle's Jessica Andrews then hit two free throws to secure the victory.
Andrews finished with 10 points and nearly all of them came in critical situations. When Hartselle was trailing by 12 early, Andrews was fouled on a made three-pointer and hit the ensuing free throw with 11 seconds left in the first quarter to give the Lady Tigers a spark of life. She also hit a three-pointer with 35 seconds left in the second quarter to put her team up 21-19 and give Hartselle its first lead of the game.
"Jessica made big plays for us all night long," Adams said of his senior point guard.
Mary Virginia Reeves led Hartselle (19-3, 5-0) with 16 points. Lauren Drake added eight for the Lady Tigers.
Crawford had 16 points to lead Brewer (11-7, 3-2) and Heather Childers added nine.
"The world's not coming to an end for us," Brewer coach Ricky Allen said. "We'll see them again at county, and area, and hopefully even at Wallace [for the regional tournament]."
Danville boys 62, Addison boys 45
The Hawks picked up their second win of the season with a victory at home Friday night. Danville's only other win this season also came against Addison, a 53-40 win back on Dec. 8.
Zack Orr finished with a double-double performance to lead the Hawks, scoring 24 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. Russell Standridge added 17 points and nine rebounds.
Preston Boyd scored 17 to lead Addison.
Addison girls 38, Danville girls 28
The Lady Hawks dropped a home non-area game to the Lady Bulldogs Friday night.
Alaina Fitzgerald scored 14 points to lead Danville. Addison was paced by Jessy Willingham's 18-point night.
Falkville boys 65, Hatton boys 59
Joseph Lacy scored 30 points to help the Blue Devils pick up a road win Friday evening. Heath Alford added 14 for Falkville.
Darren Hand led Hatton with 26 points.
Hatton girls 63, Falkville girls 45
Falkville's Alesia Smith finished with 14 points and Katie Annerton added 13.
Hatton's Grace Harrison led all scorers with 24 points.
Fairview boys 57, Priceville boys 41
The Bulldogs fell in a Area 15 matchup on the road Friday evening.
Josh Bedwell finished with 15 points and eight rebounds and Robert Varner added 11 points and eight rebounds for Priceville (11-10, 2-3).
Priceville girls 58, Fairview girls 50
Priceville picked up its second area win of the season in its win over Fairview on the road Friday night.
Adrianna Delatorre led the way for the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points. Keila Hamlin added 11 points and Melissa Johnson and Abbie Harris each pulled down nine rebounds for Priceville (12-8, 2-3).