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Slaten’s spark helps Tigers whip Warriors

Timbo Slaten put in his best performance of the season at precisely the right time.

Hartselle vs West Point
Timbo Slaten shoots a free throw against West Point. He led all scorers with 21 points. | Richard Hollingsworth (

The Hartselle basketball starter poured in 21 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Tigers (9-12, 5-1) in a 60-36 rout of area opponent West Point Thursday night at the Pettey Center.

“I played my heart out tonight,” Slaten said. “We’ve been working hard in practice and around the basket. We came out and played hard tonight.”

The win puts Hartselle in a tie with Cullman for first place in the area. The tie will likely be broken by a flip of the coin later this month, as both teams have completed their area schedule and the teams split their head-to-head games.

Head coach Keith Wright said his team finally showed a bit of the killer instinct they need to have when finishing off a team.

“At times this year, we’ve had a big lead and then let the other team come back on us to make it a dogfight at the end,” Wright said. “But tonight, we really put our foot on their throat and put the game away in the third quarter.”

Slaten was part of the reason why the Tigers got off to such a good start. He scored the first 12 points for Hartselle kept the Tigers going until his teammates could help in the second quarter.

The Tigers went on a 13-0 run spanning the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter to take a 20-10 lead. West Point took advantage of a few of bad HHS possessions to cut the lead to 4 points, but a bucket by Alex Pettey and a 3-pointer by Prestyn Wallace pushed the lead back to 9.

Slaten put an exclamation point on his first-half performance by blocking a West Point shot at the buzzer.

The Tigers pushed the lead to 44-26 by the end of the third quarter en route to the easy victory.

Hartselle vs. West Point
Aaron Wooley makes a shot over a West Point defender. | Richard Hollingsworth (

Aaron Wooley also had 13 points and 6 rebounds while Wallace had 10 points off the bench. Thomas Flieschman added 6 points and 7 rebounds while Preston Adams had 5 points and 4 assists. Colesten Thompson and Pettey had 2 points each while Phillip Summerford finished with 1.

Kris Keller led West Point with 9 points.

The Tigers will play their fourth game this week at home against Madison Academy. The Tigers will also play Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. in the Morgan County Tournament against host team Brewer.
Wright said his team is starting to work itself out of its midseason slump, as the Tigers showed a lot of energy and effort in its last two games.

“Because we started the season much later than everyone else, we’re going through the same lulls and slumps that other teams have, but we’re going through them later,” Wright said. “I was really pleased with our effort against Austin (on Tuesday) and we played really well tonight. The big thing for us is that we’re not getting to the free throw line enough. We need to be more aggressive with the basketball and try to get to the line a lot more often.”

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