Danville girls stun Hartselle with upset win

By Justin Jefferies @JJSports_HE

Hartselle Inquirer

PRICEVILLE – For the first time since 2014, someone other than the Hartselle Lady Tigers will be holding up the Morgan County championship trophy at the conclusion of the tournament. The squad’s bid for their fourth-straight title was cut short by a 59-56 loss to Danville on Thursday.

Hartselle, the No. 4 team in 6A basketball, opened up a 35-26 halftime lead over their county rivals. Given the skill and the success of the Lady Tigers, it would have been easy for Danville to give up after trailing by as many as 11 in the first half.

However, Hawks coach J.J. Hill refused to let his team believe they were out of it.

“I told them just to keep fighting,” Hill said. “We challenged them coming out of halftime to dig deep. It wasn’t a whole lot about X’s and O’s, it was about who wanted it more in the second half.”

Danville used a 19-10 run in the third quarter to tie the game heading into the final frame. A solid night at the charity stripe, including making 8-12 in the fourth quarter alone, proved to be the difference as Danville survived a late Moriah Taylor three-point attempt to earn the win.

Calli Ryan was a force on both offense and defense for the Hawks. She finished the game with 15 points to lead Danville. Jordan Hinkle (11), Kayla Compton (10) and Jolee Cole (10) all scored in double figures for the Hawks.

Freshman Masyn Marchbanks enjoyed one of her best outings in a Hartselle uniform to date despite the loss. The eighth-grade standout scored a team-high 23 points for the Lady Tigers. Taylor finished with 11.

Danville will play the winner of Brewer and Priceville 6 p.m., Saturday in the championship final.

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