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Hartselle Enquirer

Lady Tigers fall at buzzer

| Caleb Suggs
| Caleb Suggs

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

The stakes were very high on Tuesday January 12th as the Hartselle Lady Tigers traveled to take on their rivals the Decatur Red Raiders. As the season winds down area games are now at their utmost important for both teams.

The Tigers started quick, exploding out of the tip off to go up 2-0. However, it wouldn’t take long for the Raiders to take control as they went on a 10-2 run afterwards to take a 10-4 lead. Hartselle would manage to cut the lead to 15-9 by the end of the first quarter behind the shots of Kayla Key and McKenzie Jackson.

Decatur tacked on to their lead to start the second half by moving up to 20-9 after a big three pointer. Hartselle then began to start chipping at the Raider’s lead. A Lindsay Berry layup would make the game 20-13 and then an Anna Mathis breakaway steal would cut the lead to 22-15. By the end of the first half Hartselle had managed to cut the lead down to 28-21.

The third quarter featured a lot of defense. However, Hartselle did manage to use the quarter to climb back into the game. A score from Lindsay Berry would cut the lead to 31-27. Five straight points from Anna Mathis would give the Tigers their first lead since the very beginning of the game at 32-31. Decatur would be able to capture the lead back just before the end of the third quarter 33-32.

Things began to really get interesting during the fourth quarter. The lead went back and forth the whole quarter. Decatur pushed to lead to 41-38 with over three and a half minutes left. Things looked grim for the Tigers as Decatur managed to go up 44-40 with not much time left. Hartselle did manage to knock in a free throw to cut the lead to 3 points and have a chance to get back in the game if they could get the ball back. Hartselle was forced to foul the Raiders with 11 seconds left for one last chance to get the ball back. Decatur would miss the free throw and Hartselle took the ball flying down the court. In a very controversial ending, star player Kayla Key got the ball and released it for the three point shot at the buzzer seemingly tying the game to send it into overtime. However, the Tiger’s celebration would be short lived as the referees decided after a brief discussion that the ball did not leave Key’s hand before the buzzer. Therefore, the call was reversed and Decatur took home the win 44-41.

Player of the game: Anna Mathis. With some key players for the tigers out with injury, some other players were needed to step up. Sophomore Anna Mathis delivered one of her best outings of the year, which included leading the Tigers in points with 13.

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