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Hartselle Enquirer

Priceville survives scare from Hartselle

| Caleb Suggs
| Caleb Suggs

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

Mother Nature was making it tough for the Bulldogs. Usually the Morgan County champion has a few days to recover after winning their title, but not this year. Due to the snow on Friday January 22nd, the championship for the county tourney was moved to Monday which meant that Priceville would be forced into action just a day after claiming one of the biggest victories in program history. Meanwhile, the hosting Hartselle Tigers were hungry and anxious to face the champs and prove who was the true champion.

Early on Priceville showed no signs of lag as they rushed out to quick 9-2 lead behind the scoring of Kyle Haynes, Austin Smith and Marc McLendon. Hartselle would cut the lead to 9-7 with scores from Trace Hill and Seth Garner. Priceville’s Noah Fortner would push the score back up with 6 straight points to make the game 15-7. The two squads would continue to go back and forth for the rest of the quarter. Hartselle’s Kelby Alexander and Kyle Eddy would both come up with big three point plays. Eddy would follow that up with a steal and score just before the buzzer to cut the score to 20-18 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter Hartselle would begin to find their groove. Two Eddy three pointers at the start of the quarter gave the Tigers a 24-20 lead. Eric Stephenson and Isaac Taylor would also add baskets. Priceville would try to answer but the Tigers were on an offensive rampage. Eddy would add another eight points in the quarter to give Hartselle a 37-24 advantage. Priceville’s Marc McLendon and Austin Smith would manage to cut the score to 37-28 before the half.

The third looked like it could have been a repeat of the second early on. Eddy quickly started the quarter off with 4 points to make the score 41-30. Priceville desperately needed someone to step up and seniors Parker Gwin and Noah Fortner answered the call. The duo combined for 12 points to cut the Tiger’s lead to 43-42. Marc McLendon would give the Bulldogs their first lead since early on and Kyle Haynes would add a three at the buzzer to make the score 47-43 and set up an exciting finish in the fourth quarter.

The two teams went back and forth to start. Seth Garner would tie the game at 51. With .25 seconds left Priceville held a 63-61, lead and Hartselle had the ball back with a chance to tie the game or possibly win. However, Priceville played their defense well and Kyle Eddy was forced to take the shot from behind the three-point line. The shot was great but it fell just an inch short as it dinged off the front of the rim and gave Priceville the hard fought win.

After the game, Priceville head coach Darrell Haynes was pleased with his team’s resiliency. “I wasn’t sure how we were going to handle this game just one day after winning the county title” Haynes said “I was very pleased with their effort but at the same time give credit to Hartselle. They really pushed us to the edge.”

Player of the game: Noah Fortner. In a game were Priceville needed a player to step up, Fortner delivered one of his best games of the season. The senior opened the second half with big scores and closed the game with big scores to help give the Bulldogs the win. In addition, props should be given to Hartselle’s Kyle Eddy as he delivered a game high 32 points for the Tigers.

 

 

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