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SATURDAY, JANUARY 27, 2007
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Hartselle's Tyler Young drives past Falkville's Josh Henderson in the Morgan County Tournament on Friday night. Hartselle won 59-53.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Hartselle's Tyler Young drives past Falkville's Josh Henderson in the Morgan County Tournament on Friday night. Hartselle won 59-53.

Hartselle, Priceville in Morgan crown game

By Brooke Milam
bmilam@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

PRICEVILLE — Playing Falkville in the Morgan County Tournament on Friday night, the Hartselle High boys basketball team proved just how far it has come from last year's two-win season.

Third-seeded Hartselle downed second-seeded Falkville 59-53 and advanced to play host Priceville in the finals Saturday night at 7, giving the Tigers a shot at their first county title since 2003.

Brewer High's Genie Browning drives past Danville's Bethany Evans  in the Lady Patriots' 102-41 win Friday night.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Brewer High's Genie Browning drives past Danville's Bethany Evans in the Lady Patriots' 102-41 win Friday night.
Hartselle coach Johnny Berry said his team had specific benchmarks to chart their improvement and the county tournament played an important part after clinching the 5A, Area 13 title a little over a week ago.

"The first thing was to win the area. Then you've got to go win your county — you've got to go beat your buddies," Berry said.

Berry's statement held special meaning for Tiger seniors Jackson Holmes when Hartselle faced Falkville in the semifinals Friday night. Holmes played for Falkville as a freshman.

"They're all my friends, and they're a heck of a team," Holmes said of Falkville.

But the win meant plenty to Holmes, regardless of the opponent.

"It's huge especially after last season and everything we went through," Holmes said. "It's a big time to be playing well."

The Tigers join the Hartselle girls team in the final round, which will meet Brewer for the girls championship Saturday night at 5:30.

Brewer's girls scored a 102-41 win over Danville earlier in the night.

Falkville's boys led 12-9 at the end of a back-and-forth first quarter.

A 3-pointer by Hartselle's Alex Brown tied the game at 14 early in the second. Still, Hartselle couldn't grab the lead until going on a 7-0 run to finish the first half with a 26-22 halftime advantage.

"I think that 7-0 run was the difference in the game," Falkville coach Yancey Randolph said.

Hartselle's 37-29 advantage midway through the third was the biggest lead of the contest.

Falkville had narrowed the Tigers' lead to 41-38 heading into the final period, and two straight baskets by the Blue Devils' Thomas Holt put Falkville ahead 42-41 with 6:10 left.

"(Falkville) stepped up and made some big, big shots," Berry said. "They were ready to play. They got that lead there in the fourth quarter, but we couldn't panic."

The lead changed hands four times in the final period.

Falkville went ahead 44-41 midway through the fourth, but neither team led by more than six points the rest of the way.

Hartselle was the last to take control, but the Blue Devils came as close as three points with 12 seconds left to play.

"I really thought our defense was good enough that we could play with them and I thought we played pretty well defensively," Randolph said.

Victor Stansberry led Hartselle in scoring with 16 points, followed by Holmes with 12 and Brown with 10.

Luke Bole and Tyler Young each added nine points for the Tigers.

For Falkville, Heath Alford led all scorers with 20 points, while teammates Steven Lindsey and Joseph Lacy each scored 10.

Brewer girls 102, Danville 41: A big first quarter turned into a big game all around for the Lady Patriots, which advanced to Saturday night's finals for a rematch of last year's girls county championship game.

The Lady Hawks couldn't handle Brewer's hot shooting, and every Lady Patriot contributed at least a basket.

Brewer made 15 of 29 from 3-point range.

Andrea Crawford led Brewer in scoring with 22 points, and teammate Emily Dabbs had 19 points, seven assists and a team-high four 3-pointers. Also for the Lady Patriots, Morgan Crawley had 16 points, and Courtney Scott and Genie Browning each had 10.

Brewer was up 22-6 after the first quarter and the lead had swelled to 47-19 by halftime.

The Lady Patriots broke the 100 point-mark on a Crawley 3-pointer with 12 seconds left.

Alaina Fitzgerald's 14 points led Danville, and Lauren Simmons followed with nine.

Danville coach Paul Wilson said although his team is disappointed, they have the Class 3A, Area 11 tournament to look to, which the Lady Hawks will host.

"The score may not show it, but we didn't quit,"
Wilson said. "We aren't going to let this game define our season."

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