Hatton knocks off Mars Hill, advances to Sweet Sixteen

Hatton senior Ridge Harrison shakes off a defender. Harrison scored a game high 31 points. 

For the first time in eight years the Hatton Hornets are headed to the Sweet Sixteen. 

Hatton punched their ticket there Saturday night, knocking off Mars Hill in a classic 58-55. 

"This is huge for us. Our guys right now are playing with confidence and believe that we can get this done," said Hatton head coach Justin Henley. "We play at Cold Springs on Monday. I think we can win but we've got to go do it, and with the confidence our guys are playing with, I think we have a good chance." 

Saturday's game wasn't for the feint of either fanbases' heart. The biggest lead of the game from either team was five as both squads stayed neck and neck throughout the game. 

But in the end, it was Hatton that made the clutch plays that allowed them to pull ahead and get the win. 

"I'm so proud of these guys," said Henley. "They (Mars Hill) had only won five or six games , but they had lost 10 games to playoff teams. We knew it was going to be tough and our guys just kept battling. They fought, we fought and we just made a couple plays at the end." 

Senior Ridge Harrison was a catalyst in helping the Hornets secure the win. Harrison finished with a game high 31 points, including the go ahead shot in the game's closing minute. 

"We're going to lean on Ridge, but tonight he was on another level," Henley said. "I told him that shot he made to put us up 55-53 was a grown man shot." 

Harrison has started for Hatton for four seasons, but Saturday was his first ever sub-regional game. In response he delivered possibly his best performance of the season. 

"I thought I played alright, still need some improvement," Harrison said. "It was a good team win. It was a tight game, but we're an older team with a lot of seniors, so we've been in these situations before." 

Kris O'Dell finished the game with eight, while Carter Reed and Brayden Stafford both had six. Luke Crowder led Mars Hill with 24

Hatton travels to Cold Springs on Monday for the first round of the regional tournament. 

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