Lady Tigers clinch fourth consecutive regular season area championship with win over Cullman
The Hartselle Lady Tigers clinched the regular season area championship for the fourth consecutive season with a 48-34 win over Cullman last Friday. The Lady Tigers have won seven regular-season area championships in the previous eight years.
Hartselle got off to a slow start as Cullman jumped out to a 7-0 lead. The Lady Tigers battled back to tie the game at 7-7. After taking a 9-7 lead, Cullman hit a three-pointer to take a 10-9 lead, their final lead of the game. Hartselle scored the quarter’s final four points to lead 13-10 heading into the second quarter.
The Lady Tigers extended their lead to 21-10 midway through the second quarter before the Lady Bearcats scored four consecutive points to cut the lead to 21-14. Hartselle held Cullman to just five points in the second quarter as they led 24-15 at halftime.
Hartselle opened the third quarter with a 9-3 run to push their lead to 33-18 midway through the quarter. Cullman didn’t lay down as they went on a 12-4 to close the quarter and cut the Lady Tigers’ lead to 37-30 heading into the final quarter.
The Hartselle defense dominated the fourth quarter as they held the Lady Bearcats to just one field and four total points as they pulled away for the victory. The Lady Tigers scored 11 points in the quarter from the free-throw line.
Mary Frances Itsede led the Lady Tigers (15-5) with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Hannah Burks added 10 points, while Anna Hampton Burroughs had nine points.
Ally Sharpe led Cullman (13-13) with 20 points. Kadence Hanback added six points.
Hartselle will host the area tournament next week. Cullman and Decatur will play in the first round, with the winner advancing to the finals for a third matchup with the Lady Tigers.
Hartselle 71, Decatur 52
Earlier in the week, the Lady Tigers defeated the Decatur Lady Red Raiders 71-52. Hartselle trailed 18-16 after the first quarter but came back to tie the game at 32-32 heading into halftime. They began to pull away in the third quarter by outscoring Decatur 19-14 to lead 51-46 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Tigers’ defense dominated the final quarter as they held the Lady Red Raiders to six points while scoring 20 to make the final score 71-52.
Burks finished with a career-high 27 points to lead Hartselle. Gracie Hill added 24 points, surpassing the 1,000 career point mark, while Itsede added eight points and 11 rebounds.
Jenny Mitchell led Decatur with 15 points, while Kimora Bailey and Carlee Mitchell scored 10.