Top 10 games of the 2018-19 school year

Ridge Harrison fights off defenders

Summer is here and school is over which means the time has come for me to try and survive until sports starts back up in the fall. 

So in the meantime, I thought we’d look at the best of the best of games I covered from this past school year. 

Please note this list is made of games I covered in person.

10. Hatton vs Decatur Heritage/Winston County (volleyball)

Playing through a season with no seniors usually isn’t easy until the following season, but Hatton made it work. The Hornets had a solid 2018 campaign after their 2017 led them to the state tournament. 

The peak of the season came when Hatton knocked off Decatur Heritage and Winston County in the same night. Heritage was an area foe and a top 10 team, while Winston was the No. 2 team in the state. It didn’t come easy but Hatton showed just what their young team was capable of on this night. 

9. Lawrence County vs Russellville (football)

The rivalry between the Red Devils and the Golden Tigers always provides fireworks and this one was no exception. 

A year after earning their first win over Russellville  since 1945, the Devils returned to Tiger stadium to try and get another win. 

What ensued was an offensive explosion that saw quarterback Austin Blankenship throw for over 500 yards and touchdowns of 25, 49, 65 and 67 yards. 

Unfortunately for Lawrence County, four turnovers and two 60+ yard touchdowns called back proved to be their undoing. The Red Devils threw a pick trying to tie the game, trailing 39-32 with under four minutes to go. Russellville went on to win 53-32. 

The score was misleading as, save for the last 3 and 1/2 minutes, this was an offensive slugfest that went back and forth all night. 

8. Lawrence County golf tournament 

Who says golf isn’t entertaining? On a day that saw Lawrence County golfers trying to battle, not just each other, but mother nature as well, the top golfers of the county put on a show. 

Hatton’s Connor West fended off two LC golfers who were on his tail the whole match. 

The peak of excitement came when West overcame a bad start to the third from last whole, with an amazing shot to keep his lead. 

7. Lawrence County tournament finals (Hubbard vs Lawrence boys/Hubbard vs Hatton girls)

Okay, so I cheated here by grouping these two together, but what’s the harm. 

The truth is the finals of this year’s county tournament were both good and deserving of a spot. 

Hubbard winning both games, 55-48 in the girls and 61-60 in the boys, was also a cool story. 

The Lady Chiefs overcoming the odds to beat the Hornets, who were once again the top seed and the favorites, and the Chiefs come from behind win over the Red Devils all made for compelling drama. 

6. East Lawrence vs Colbert Heights (baseball)

The Eagles almost put themselves behind the eight ball in their quest for a playoff berth, but it turns out they were just trying to make things exciting for the fans in attendance. 

In a series they needed to win, East Lawrence went down 4-0 early in game one. However, this set the stage for a monumental comeback that saw them pick up the win 5-4. 

5. R.A. Hubbard vs Falkville (football)

Full disclosure, I’m not much of a defensive struggle type of football fan. Honestly, I much prefer the chaos of an offensive shootout like the aforementioned game in this article. 

Still, I know a good game when I see one and this one definitely was. 

The best part about it was it lived up to expectations. Hubbard and Falkville were both undefeated and the top two teams in the region so this game pretty much decided the region championship even though it was week 5. 

Hubbard’s defense stonewalled Falkville’s high powered offense but mistakes by the Chiefs kept Falkville going. In the end the scoreboard read 19-6 Falkville, but only because the Blue Devils intercepted a desperation heave on the last play of the game and instead of taking a knee, returned it for a score. 

4. East Lawrence vs Phil Campbell (softball)

Who doesn’t love a good 10 inning game, especially when it involves two teams trying  to get to regionals. 

East Lawrence had already beaten Phil Campbell three times, but the Bobcats pulled out all the stops in this one. 

Ultimately, the Lady Eagles got it done 7-5 to move on to Florence. 

3. Lawrence County vs Russellville (baseball)

Like I said this rivalry always has fireworks. 

The Red Devils got their first win over the Golden Tigers in a while, and it was fun to watch. 

Lawrence County took the lead, let it slip away and then got it back in the final inning with a squeeze play to tie and then a walk off wild pitch. 

2. Hatton vs East Lawrence (basketball) 

New Hatton head coach Tanner Tesney certainly made a big first impression, knocking off East Lawrence for the first time in a few years on his very first night. 

At the beginning it looked like the Eagles would roll to a win like usual, but Hatton hung around and then late in the game bursted through to steal the win at home 72-68. 

1. Hatton vs Lawrence County (basketball)

Sometimes the semi finals of the county basketball tournamemt can hold more excitement than the finals and that was certainly the case. 

The game had a good start but when Ridge Harrison weaved through and slammed a dunk down in the second, you knew this game was different. It was one of those wow moments you’ll never forget. 

Hatton came to play and almost pulled off the upset, that is until Lawrence County staged a late comeback that concluded with Sabatian Terry sinking the game winning free throw shot to win 67-66. 

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