BIRMINGHAM – Hatton had made a living this postseason of coming back to win games. Unfortunately, their luck ran out.
The Hornets fell to Lanett 83-48 Wednesday in the Final Four of the 2A state basketball tournament. The loss brought to an end the Hornets first trip to the state tournament since 1999.
Hatton stayed neck and neck with the Panthers, trailing just 15-12 early in the second quarter.
However, the game quickly got away from them.
The Hornets committed 13 turnovers in the first half, which Lanett turned into 17 points. Hatton was also 0-10 from the three-point line, allowing Lanett to take a 39-21 halftime lead.
“Turnovers killed us and being 0-10 from the three-point line didn’t help. That’s not something we’re great at, but we usually make one or two,” said Hatton head coach Justin Henley. “They got us playing a little faster than we wanted to after the first quarter. We struggled to make a shot and it just kind of got away with us.”
Hatton picked it up offensively in the second half, but could never find a run. The Hornets cut the lead down to 16 three times, but Lanett extended back to 20 each time.
“We had our opportunities. We stopped them multiple times early but we couldn’t capitalize,” Henley said. “The third quarter was pretty even, but when you’re down 18 you have to be able to make a run.”
Hatton stars Ridge Harrison and Kris O’Dell both had strong days, finishing with 23 and 14 points respectively. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get on the same page as Harrison scored 19/23 in the second half, while O’Dell scored 13/14 In the first half.
Still, Henley says credit to the win all goes to Lanett.
“They’re a very good basketball team,” he said. “Their point guard is great and their big guys are hard to score against. They 1re just a tough team to beat.”
Hatton ends the season 18-8, winning their first area championship since 2004 and advancing to the Final Four for the first time since 1999 in the process.
“I had a small part in it, but most of the credit goes to these kids,” said Henley. “They just decided they were going to compete, and when you do that you can make a run like this. I’m so proud of them and the season they had.”