Daily photo by John Godbey|
Brewer High’s Courtney Scott (55) applies the pressure to Hartselle’s Lauren Drake during the girls finals of the Morgan County basketball tournament in Priceville on Saturday. Brewer won 66-50.
It’s Brewer girls, Hartselle boys
Tigers complete turnaround after poor results in ’06
By Brooke Milam
PRICEVILLE — A packed house, full hours before the varsity finals at Priceville High, watched Brewer’s girls and Hartselle’s boys capture Morgan County Tournament titles Saturday night.
The No. 2-seeded Lady Patriots beat top-seeded Hartselle’s girls 66-50 before third-seeded Hartselle’s boys took the title with a 56-36 win over fifth-seeded Priceville.
“This county was wide open,” Hartselle boys coach Johnny Berry said after his Tigers cut down the net. “Tonight was just one of those team things and when you play like that special things can happen.”
After losing in the opening round of the county tournament last season and finishing the year with just two wins, the Hartselle boys hardly could be considered a favorite. But Berry said his team believed they were the county’s best.
The Tigers hope to ride the momentum of their first county title since 2003 into their final three regular season games and the Class 5A, Area 13 tournament, which they will host, beginning Feb. 6.
The last time Hartselle won the county tournament, it also advanced to the state Final Four.
“After getting put out in the first game last season, we had to come back and win, and we did,” Hartselle senior Ryne Lindsey said. “We’re not going to overlook the next three games, but the area tournament is definitely the biggest.”
Hartselle’s boys led 12-8 at the end of the first quarter and never gave up their early advantage.
The Tigers had a 22-17 lead at halftime and upped their advantage to double-digits in the third quarter behind solid defense.
Lindsey was given the task of keeping Priceville sharp-shooter Josh Bedwell under wraps and held Bedwell to 10 points.
“Ryne is one of those seniors that went through that two-and-whatever year last season and he really stepped up his defense tonight,” Berry said.
With Bedwell at bay, the Tigers’ offense also took off. Hartselle led 36-26 with one quarter left to play, but some of the Tigers’ best work came in the fourth.
Hartselle’s offense produced more fourth-quarter points than it did in any other period, including a 16-0 run as it outscored Priceville 20-10 in the final quarter.
Hartselle’s Jackson Holmes was named the county’s most valuable player, scoring 12 points in the finals to lead the Tigers.
Victor Stansberry and Alex Brown each added 11 for Hartselle (15-12), while Tyler Young had nine and Lindsey eight.
K.C. Green led the Bulldogs (13-13) in scoring with 14 points, followed by Bedwell’s 10.
Hartselle and Priceville won’t have to wait long for a rematch. The two will play again Monday night at Hartselle.
Berry commended Priceville for a job well done in hosting this year’s county tournament. The scheduled rotation has Hartselle hosting the event next year.
Brewer girls 66, Hartselle 50: Brewer avenged two regular-season losses by taking the county title from defending champion Hartselle.
It marked the Lady Patriots’ 12th county championship since 1990.
“We were ready,” said Brewer’s Andrea Crawford, the most valuable player. “We were really focused and we knew we had to come out with a lot of intensity.”
Crawford led the charge with 17 points and five assists for Brewer (16-7), as each of the 10 Lady Patriots posted points.
Emily Dabbs added 16 points and five rebounds for the Lady Patriots, and Courtney Scott had 13 points and seven rebounds.
“We played everybody and we were just looking for five that had a spark,” Brewer coach Ricky Allen said.
Brewer found that spark in the third quarter.
Hartselle (22-4) led 15-13 after the first and 28-23 at halftime, but the Lady Patriots mounted a second-half comeback.
Brewer began the second half with an 8-2 run before taking a 33-32 lead midway through the third period.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Lady Patriots led 40-33.
“Emily (Dabbs) was our spark plug in the second half — a lot of ability and all the confidence in the world,” Allen said.
Brewer’s coaching staff also noted the defensive play of post player Michelle Tillman in the come-from-behind win.
“(Brewer) played well and we’ve got some work to do,” Hartselle coach Greg Adams said.
Hartselle will host the 5A, Area 13 tournament, which begins Feb. 5. The two teams could meet again there.
Lauren Drake’s 19 points led
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Hartselle, while Mary Virginia
Reeves followed with 11. Jessica Andrews scored nine points on three 3-pointers.
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