When K.C. Orr took over the Lawrence County program three years ago, he knew he had a rebuild ahead of him. The Red Devils were dominated by youth, with barely any upperclassmen on the roster.
Three years later, his patience paid off.
Lawrence County (15-2) upset top seeded Hatton 57-46 Friday night in the finals of the Lawrence County tournament. The win was the Devils’ first county championship since 2018 and first under Orr.
“It’s all about the kids. It’s about their hard work and the work ethic they put in,” Orr said. “These kids had so many chances to walk out on this program, but they stayed and they worked. This was the result of that.”
Lawrence County had defeated Hatton earlier in the season for the first time since 2018, but this win was different. The Red Devils led from start to finish and their victory was almost never in doubt.
“Hatton is a great team and we wanted to come out, compete and get better,” Orr said. “Once you beat a team like Hatton it gives you a lot of confidence because you know the caliber team that they are. I don’t think people gave us much a chance tonight, but we’re just resilient.”
Sadie Thompson finished the game with 27 points, which earned her the county MVP award, the second in her career. The senior, who was playing in her sixth county tournament, finished her last tournament with a championship.
“This is awesome,” Thompson said. “Words can’t describe how I feel right now.”
Savannah Williams finished the game with 17 points for Lawrence County. Kamie Kirk led Hatton with 19.
Hatton head coach Chasta Chamness had to give props to the Red Devils for their play.
“I’m going to give credit where credit is due, they played really well.,” Chamness said. “I don’t believe we’ll see a team like that again until maybe Birmingham.”
The Hornets fall to 16-3 on the season, and have a lot to clean up from Friday’s loss.
“The biggest thing for us is we didn’t rebound well, we turned the ball over and didn’t finish around the basket,” Chamness said. “It’s a tough loss and we can do one of two things, let it mess our season up or learn from it and get better. If this makes us better then I’ll take this loss.”
Meanwhile, the Red Devils hope the win catapults them to bigger and better things.
“This isn’t the end goal for us,” Thompson said. “We want to win the area and make it to Wallace. Maybe even go further.”