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Hartselle Enquirer

Lady Tigers advance to Area Championship

Anna Mathis dribbles past a Columbia defender earlier this season. The Tigers defeated the Eagles again 56-36. | Caleb Suggs
Anna Mathis dribbles past a Columbia defender earlier this season. The Tigers defeated the Eagles again 56-36. | Caleb Suggs

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

To say that the 2016-17-basketball season for the Hartselle Lady Tigers has been up and down would be quite the understatement. However, the Tigers have rose to the occasion when it mattered the most. Hartselle made two unbelievable comebacks to win their third straight county championship and went undefeated in area play to secure home court advantage in the area tournament. A win over Columbia in the first round would put them in the area championship and guarantee them a spot in the sub-regionals.

Both teams were tied at 8-8 at the end of the first quarter, but an 11-0 second quarter put the Tigers up 19-8 at halftime. Hartselle improved their lead to 40-21 at the end of the third quarter and won the game 56-36. Moriah Taylor was the leading scorer with 18 points while Anna Mathis finished with 14. Kameron Bendolph led Columbia with 11 points.

Decatur shocks Austin in overtime

Hartselle’s opponent for the area championship was set in the next game when Decatur stunned Austin in overtime 53-49. Decatur and Austin were tied 8-8 at the end of the first and the Raiders led 23-20 at halftime before they eventually won 53-49. Montana Cowan led the Raiders with 17 points and Eria Mayes led Austin with 16 points. Austin had defeated Decatur in both of their previous meetings this season. The win marked Decatur’s first over Austin in several years.

Hartselle will meet Decatur in the area championship on Friday February 10th at Hartselle High School with tipoff set for 7 p.m. The Tigers will have a tough road ahead no matter the outcome of Friday’s game. Hartselle is set to meet either Hazel Green or Athens. Hazel Green is the top team in 6A with only one loss to Athens on the season. Athens has only two losses; one to Hazel Green and the other to undefeated 4A Deshler, and holds two wins over Hartselle already this season.

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