Hatton returns to Wallace with win over Red Bay

Kailyn Quails goes up for a shot

The words of Queen's "We are the Champions" ripped through the arena Monday night as Hatton's players cut down the net. 

It was a moment of celebration. 

Hatton defeated Red Bay 61-34 in the sub regional matchup Tuesday. With the win the Lady Hornets (27-5) will be returning to Wallace State for the second year in a  row. It was a goal that was set as the standard before the season began, but seems sweeter now that they persevered through losing their star player in the first game of the season. 

"This has been an unreal ride so far. They have more will , more heart and more desire than anybody I've ever coached," said head coach Chasta Chamness. "But I'm going to tell you something. These girls aren't finished." 

The first half was a sluggish as it could get with the game being knotted at the half at just 18-18. 

So with shots not falling on offense, Hatton turned to defense to win the game. 

The Hornets turned on the press in the second half and it worked to perfection. Red Bay managed to hang around with some big threes in the third but eventually the press was too much and Hatton turned a close game into a 27 point blow out. 

"We were sluggish in the first half. We came out in the second half with the mindset that defense was going to win this game and it did," Chamness said. "Turnovers and points off turnovers got us going and they couldn't stop us after that." 

That press defense will be what carries Hatton through Wallace, should they make a run. 

"When we get in a flow and a rythmn with our press it just fuels everything we do," said Chamness. "I knew if we could get into that we'd be ok." 

Hatton returns to Wallace State after a disappointing end to Cold Springs, the eventual state champions last year. They will play the winner of Altamont/West End on Friday at 3. 

Last year the Hornets overachieved on their season expectations by making it to Wallace and were maybe not quite ready for an animal like Cold Springs . This year Chamness feels like they will be more prepared. 

"It's great to be back at Wallace. I feel like we got a taste of it last year and are ready for more this year," she said. "We don't have Cold Springs right off the bat this time, so I feel like if we can get there, get a win in that first game that could really spark us. Then who know, anything can happen at Wallace."

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