Hartselle defeats Danville in dominate fashion
What a difference a year makes. This time last year, Hartselle was swallowing a defeat in the first round of the Morgan County tournament. A defeat that echoed the story of the season, which had begun with such promise but fell into a complete tailspin midway through. However, this time around the Tigers are a much different team and set out to prove it when the met the Danville Hawks in the first round of the Morgan County tournament.
Hartselle started out on a 7-0 run with their first five points being delivered by Eric Stephenson. Drew Fitzgerald put the Hawks on the board with a couple free throws but the Tigers exploded with a 14-0 run from there highlighted by four steals from multiple Hartselle players including seniors Kyle Eddy and Isaac Taylor. When the run was over Hartselle led 21-2 with three minutes still left in the first quarter. Danville tried to get back in the game as Preston Shelton and Jayden Legg hit baskets but the game was already out of reach. Hartselle led 29-8 at the end of the first and 42-13 at halftime.
Hartselle put the finishing touches on the game in the beginning of the second half with Eric Stephenson laid down a two handed dunk to put the Tigers up 47-15. Danville only managed four points the rest of the game. Hartselle went on to win 72-19 with all 10 of their players putting points on the scoreboard. Eric Stephenson led the way with 18 points while Seth Garner had 15. “We tried to take advantage of defensive pressure tonight. Our defense has been good lately but our offense has been lacking.” Hartselle head coach Faron Key said. “We came out hot and I thought Eric getting a couple quick buckets helped throw them off their game.”
With the win, Hartselle moves on to the semi-finals where they will meet Falkville. The winner of that game will then face the winner of Priceville and Brewer on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Brewer high school in the county championship game.