Lady Tigers Improve to 5-0 in Area
Hartselle holds off late Decatur surge for the win
After a rough stretch of holiday basketball this year, the Hartselle Lady Tigers picked up right where they left off before the break, which was dominating area play. Before the Christmas break, the Tigers moved to 3-0 in area play by dispatching Austin, Decatur and Columbia. The Tigers had already defeated Austin in post-Christmas play and were hoping to add Decatur to move to 5-0.
The Red Raiders opened up strong as two baskets from Montana Cowan and a steal and basket from Alexis Bellman gave Decatur a 6-2 lead. A basket from Anna Mathis and a three point shot from Lindsay Berry gave the Tigers the lead 7-6. Moriah Taylor then reeled off five straight points and Hartselle went on to close the quarter with a 14-8 lead.
Decatur fought back to tie the game in the second quarter. Tanita Bibbs cut the lead to 16-14 but missed her foul shot. However, Christina Decay got the rebound off the foul shot and put it back in to tie the game at 16. Hartselle closed the quarter with two three-point shots from Taylor and Allie Mayfield to give them a 22-18 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Decatur gave their biggest push of the night. The Red Raiders took their first lead at 25-24 on a three point shot from Decay. However, it didn’t take long for the Tigers to take it back as Madison Lawler put in a basket and Taylor added two free throws to give them the lead 28-25. Decay later tied the game again but Mathis gave the Tigers the lead at the end of the third 33-31.
In a slow paced defensive fourth quarter, the Tigers managed to pull away at the end. A three point shot from Kalli Cartee have the Tigers some breathing room with a 38-34. From there Hartselle went on to win 43-34 to improve 5-0 in area play and clinch home court advantage in the area tournament. Moriah Taylor led the Tigers in this game with 20 points.