Lady Tigers smash Russellville, 64-49
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
The Hartselle Lady Tigers moved one game closer to clinching the 5A, Area 16 title with a 64-49 victory over visiting Russellville Friday.
Hartselle led by five points after one period, 14 at the half and by 25 after three periods as they won for the fourth time in four area games.
The Hartselle defense trapped and double-teamed the ball on almost every possession in the opening three periods as they forced Russellville into turnovers, which led to easy buckets.
"We had a really good day of practice with the press on Wednesday and it really paid off," Hartselle head coach Greg Adams said.
Lauren Drake paced the Lady Tiger offense with 24 points, scoring 12 points in each half of play. Mary Virginia Reeves added 11, Jessica Andrews nine, Anna Reeves six, Tess Hill and Kayla Orr had four each, while Shauntee Smith and Hilary Dukes scored two a piece.
"We knew we needed to make quick post passes to find open shots. Then we turned the pressure up on defense, "Adams said.
"If we had shot a little better we would have really put some distance between ourselves and them."
Moving one closer to the area title was on the minds of coach and players alike after the win.
"One more win and we sew up the area title," Adams said.
"We've been working to have the area tournament here and now it's getting closer."
"It's a big deal to get within one win of clinching the area title," Drake said.
"We want to play it here and have everyone else travel. We know it's important to host it here."
Hartselle improved to 16-3 overall and will match last season's win total with two more victories this season.
In 2003-04, the Lady Tigers finished with an 18-11 record.
The Lady Tiger junior varsity improved to 9-4 with an easy 43-20 win over the Lady Golden Tigers.
After leading by one-point after the opening period of play, the Lady Tigers went on a 17-2 run in the second period to put the game out of reach.
Kayla Byford led the JV with 17 points, followed by Lauren Dye with 10, Candice Light with six, Carrie Hames with five, Dana Lacey and Heather Speegle with two each and Speegle with two and Emily Roden with one point.