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Wildcats feel sting of defeat

The Tharptown Wildcats boys and girls basketball teams ended their seasons last week, with both teams being eliminated by the Hatton Hornets. The varsity boys were eliminated 55-50 in a comeback attempt that fell short in the quarterfinals, while the varsity girls lost a one-point heartbreaker in the semifinals 45-44.

BOYS

The Tharptown Wildcats staged a fourth-quarter comeback attempt that fell just short, succumbing to the Hatton Hornets 55-50 in the quarterfinals of the Class 2A, Area 16 tournament.

Hatton led Tharptown 13-11 and extended that lead to 27-23 at halftime. Hatton appeared to be pulling away late in the third quarter, leading 37-27 going into the fourth quarter. Tharptown’s leading scorer Winston Nolen had been held to just four points going into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Nolen got hot, hitting four three-pointers to add on to two three-pointers by Carson Petree, cutting Hatton’s lead to three points.

That was as close as Tharptown would get before falling to the Hornets.

Nolen ended the game with 16 points. Edward Lopez scored 13 points, with 11 of those coming in the first half. Lopez fouled out early in the fourth quarter. Colton Simmons added 12 points, Petree eight points and Hayden Moss one point.

GIRLS

The Tharptown Wildcats led the Hatton Hornets for much of the Class 2A, Area 16 semifinals but, after falling behind on a couple of free throws, couldn’t get a final shot to fall, losing 45-44.

Tharptown held a one-point lead as Hatton’s Josie Harville drove down the sideline with less than 10 seconds to go in the game. A foul call sent Harville to the line, where she sank two free throws to win the game.

Harville would end the game with 27 points.

Gracie Montgomery sank two of her game-high four three-pointers in the first quarter, scoring eight points to give Tharptown a 14-12 lead. Both teams scored one field goal each in the second quarter – Brooke Daily for Tharptown and Harville for Hatton – giving the Wildcats a 16-15 lead at halftime.

A pair of three-pointers by Montgomery and Aly Vandiver helped Tharptown extend that lead to 35-31 at the end of the third quarter, but Hatton would outscored Tharptown 14-0 in the fourth quarter to get the win and advance to the finals, ending the Wildcats’ season.

Montgomery ended the game with 18 points. Catie Dawson, Shaylee Wieting and Adrianna Borden scored six points each. Daily and Vandiver added four points each.

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