What’s better than opening area play with win?
How about a win on the road against one of your biggest rivals?
That’s what Hartselle did Tuesday night. The Tigers visited Decatur and left with a 64-48 victory in the Class 6A, Area 14 opener for both teams.
“We’ve been really playing well the last 10 or 11 games,” Hartselle coach Faron Key said. “Seems like every game we have somebody step up. Tonight was no different.”
This time it was Ryan Dunn and Kohl Key leading the Tigers. Dunn scored 17 points and Key had 15.
Hartselle never trailed against Decatur after opening with the first five points of the game. The Tigers opened the second quarter with a 9-0 run to stretch the lead to 24-14 at halftime.
The lead got to as many as 12 in the third quarter and it was 38-27 heading into the final quarter.
That’s when Decatur made a move. The Red Raiders opened with five quick points, including a 3-point basket from Ellis Dickman, to trim the deficit to 38-32 with 7:30 left to play.
It looked like a fantastic finish was brewing, but things went a little sideways thanks to some spoken words and maybe a little over aggressive play. There were two technical fouls called on Decatur and one on Hartselle. Several intentional fouls were also called.
The quarter turned into a free throw contest with Hartselle hitting 16 of 19 and Decatur six of nine.
“I love Decatur’s competitiveness. I really do,” Key said. “Things just got a little out of control on both sides.”
Jayden Brown led Decatur (10-11) with 18 points. Isaiah Slaughter had 12. The Red Raiders hit two 3-point baskets on the night and were 10 of 16 on free throws.
Hartselle (11-9) hit three 3s, but was 21 of 26 at the free throw line.
The Tigers are back in area play Friday when they host Cullman. Decatur is home vs. rival Austin.
Hartselle girls 65, Decatur 19: It was all Tigers. Hartselle led 18-4 after one quarter and 32-6 at halftime.
Masyn Marchbanks led Hartselle (13-6) with 15 points. Gracie Hill added 13. Ten Tigers found their way into the scoring column. Hartselle hit 10 3s.