Tigers earn huge win over Decatur

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

The main goal for Hartselle head coach Faron Key was for his varsity basketball team to finally earn that big win. His Tigers had shown much improvement in their third year and needed that big win to help them go further. The Tigers defeated rival Cullman in the previous game for the first time since 2011, but that game fell out of area play this year due to the new realignments. The Tigers set their eyes on the visiting Decatur Red Raiders to get their first area win since 2014 after going 0-7 last year.

Hartselle started the game off with a bang as Seth Garner got a steal and opened the game with a huge dunk to take a 2-0 lead to the delight of the home crowd. A Trace Hill three pointer and a basket from Isaac Taylor helped increase the lead to 7-2. Tiger and Tyrique Purvis trimmed the lead for Decatur but Hartselle extended it back behind four points from Garner and another three from Hill. Auston Howard and Eric Stephenson added baskets as Hartselle took a 18-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Hartselle kept their foot on the gas in the second. Decatur’s Purvis tried to cut the lead but Isaac Taylor came away with 8 points in the quarter, including two three pointers, as Hartselle took a 33-17 lead at the half.

Hartselle started the second half on a 5-2 run as Taylor added another three pointer. However, the Raiders delivered an 11-0 run to trim the lead to 38-30. Hartselle’s Keondre Swoopes finished the quarter with six straight points as Hartselle led after three 44-32.

Decatur tried to climb back into the game in the final quarter but the Tigers stayed well ahead and went on to win 57-51 giving them their first area win since 2014. “It’s just growth.” Hartselle head coach Faron Key said. “The guys are really practicing hard and their doing a good job of bringing it to the floor.”

The Tigers earned wins over rivals Decatur and Cullman, two teams they failed to beat last year, but their next game features the visiting undefeated Austin Black Bears who are currently ranked sixth in the state of Alabama according to the USA Today basketball rankings. Key believes his team has to put this game behind them to have a chance at pulling the huge upset. “I don’t know if anything can help us other than playing smart and trying to negate their athleticism.” Key said. “We’re going to let our guys enjoy this one then we’re going to put together a plan.”

Isaac Taylor led Hartselle with 15 points while Kyle Eddy finished with 12. Tyrique Purvis led Decatur with 28 points

 

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