Tigers defense shuts down Decatur in 53-32 win
The Hartselle Tigers had their strongest defensive performance of the season in their 53-32 win over Decatur. The Tigers improved to 11-11 and 2-0 in area play.
Hartselle and Decatur played an uncharacteristic, slow-paced first quarter. Both teams’ defense dominated the quarter as neither team scored double figures. But the Tigers’ defense shined brighter than the Red Raiders’, holding Decatur to just five points. Ty Odom scored four points to lead Hartselle to a 9-5 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Tigers’ offense picked up the pace in the second quarter, scoring 17 points. But the defense tightened their grip on Decatur, allowing only one field goal and four total points. Hartselle led 26-9 heading into halftime after getting points from five players.
Decatur’s offense finally woke up in the third quarter as they scored 12 points, but the Tigers kept pace by scoring 10 to lead 36-21 heading into the final quarter. Markus Tapscott led Hartselle with five third-quarter points.
The Tigers cemented the victory by outscoring Decatur 17-11 in the fourth quarter. Odom finished the quarter with seven points, while Tapscott added six points.
“Defense has been strong for us for most of the season, but they stepped it up a notch in the first half,” Hartselle coach Faron Key said. “We looked better tonight after finally being able to practice after not practicing a lot in December. We are starting to play like the team I thought we could be.”
Ty Odom led the Tigers with 16 points. Rylan Smothers finished with 11 points and six rebounds, while Markus Tapscott added 11 points and five rebounds. Kohl Key had eight points, six steals and four assists and Brayden Thomas had six assists and three steals.