Hartselle ninth graders win Morgan County Tournament championship
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
DANVILLE – The Hartselle Tigers ninth grade squad made it a perfect sweep of tournaments this year by defeating Danville 44-22 Saturday in the Morgan County Tournament Championship Game.
The Tigers (17-5) won all three tournaments they entered this season, including their own Tip Off Tournament at the beginning of the season, and The Big Orange Classic held in Hoover during Christmas.
The Morgan County Championship marks the end of the 2002-2003 season for the ninth grade Tigers.
The current group of ninth graders had never had a winning season until this year.
Hartselle 44, Danville 22
Hartselle players and fans began tasting the tournament championship after one quarter of play, as the Tigers jumped out to a 16-7 lead.
Hartselle led 27-11 at halftime and 40-14 by third quarter's end.
Every player was able to see action by the fourth quarter.
Justin Billings led Hartselle with 17 points and Daxton Maze finished the night with 14. Steven Chop had four points and Nathan Kimbrell chipped in three. Nic Flannigan, Cody Stisher and Mark Stowe added two points apiece.
For Danville, both Tyree Murphy and Chris Vest scored seven points.
Danny Pepper had three, while Jacob Smith and Stratton Garner added two apiece for the homestanding Hawks.
Hartselle 45, Brewer 25
The Tigers jumped out to a 15-5 advantage in the first quarter and led 20-9 at halftime. Hartselle maintained the 11-point advantage through the third quarter and led 30-19 heading into the fourth stanza.
Maze led all scorers with 11 points, while Billings and Flannigan added eight apiece.
Kimbrell scored five points, Chop and Johnny Jones scored four apiece, Andrew Teal had three points and Stowe had two.
For Brewer, Brandon Franks scored a team-high seven points, while Grant Chandler had six and Matt Nielsen had five.
Zack Cavender added four for the Patriots.