News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Hartselle leaders step up at Brewer
Reeves, Drake clutch
in late-game situation

By Josh Cooper · 340-2462

FLORETTE — Near the end of Hartselle High’s 44-40 girls basketball victory over Brewer, Lady Tigers coach Greg Adams knew where the ball
was going. Almost everyone in the gym did.

With Brewer post players Courtney Scott and Michelle Tillman in foul trouble, Adams turned to Mary Virginia Reeves and Lauren Drake in the lane to lead Hartselle to the win. They combined for eight points in the final quarter.

“During the game if you caught the ball, they would foul you,” Reeves said. “It helped us out a lot that they were in foul trouble.”

Reeves finished with 16 points, and Drake had eight as the second-ranked Lady Tigers moved to 19-3 overall and 5-0 in Class 5A, Area 13. Jessica Andrews chipped in 10 points, three of which coming on key foul shots in the fourth quarter.

Andrea Crawford had 16 points to lead Brewer (11-7), and Heather Childers added nine.

According to Adams, Hartselle must defeat West Point on Tuesday to wrap up the area championship.

Early on, it appeared that Hartselle needed some luck to pull past the Lady Patriots.

Brewer shot out quickly in the first quarter, jumping out to a 14-2 lead.

“We just had problems adjusting,” Adams said. “We were not matching up their shots.”

Adams added that Hartselle came out in a defense that left Lady Patriots players wide open to hit jumpers. Once that problem was fixed, the Lady Tigers clawed back into the game.

The Lady Tigers went on a 10-2 run to start the second quarter and tie the game at 16.

The rest of the way, the two teams battled back and forth, with no team really establishing itself.

But in the fourth quarter, with Scott and Tillman in foul trouble, Reeves and Drake went to work.

Their production, coupled with Brewer’s offense going cold — the Lady Patriots did not hit a field goal in between the 6:07 mark and 50-second point — enabled the Tigers to take a 41-35 advantage with one minute re-

But Brewer cut the Hartselle advantage to two points at 42-40.

With time running out, Crawford missed a free throw, and as the ball came down, both Hartselle and Brewer went down in a pile to grab it.

The referee called jump ball, and the possession arrow pointed the Lady Tigers’ way.

Jessica Andrews drew a foul and hit both of her free throws with 8.2 seconds left to seal the win.

Overall, the Lady Tigers shot 6 of 8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

Hartselle boys 53, Brewer 51: Talk about a turnaround.

Hartselle completed its comeback from last year’s two-win season by clinching the best record in 5A, Area 13.

"The tiebreaker is convoluted, but we locked it up," Tigers coach Johnny Berry said afterward with a smile. "I did the math before the game."

According to Berry, Hartselle (11-11, 4-1) has the toughest strength of schedule and defeated all the necessary teams head-to-head and done whatever else was needed to clinch the area.

But it would have been all for naught if they did not defeat the Patriots.

The Tigers had a six-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but let Brewer back into the game.

With 1:17 remaining, Hartselle tried to keep the ball and a 48-46 lead.

That was when Brewer started to foul the Tigers, but Hartselle made all of its important free throws.

That, and Brewer missing a lay-up with 12.5 seconds left which would have cut the lead to two points, sealed it for the Tigers.

Brewer's Alex Brown hit a 3-point basket with no time left to account for the final margin.

Hartselle's Alex Brown led all scorers with 15 points, while Tyler Young helped out with 10.

Rusty Boyd led the Patriots with 12, and Chris Humphries chipped in with eight.

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