PREP BASKETBALL: Hatton edges Cold Springs 54-48 in NW Regional Semifinal

Cold Springs’ Tanner Kilgo posted 12 points in the Eagles’ 54-48 loss to Hatton Monday night. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

BREMEN, Ala. – Cold Springs’ postseason run continued on its home floor when the Eagles hosted Hatton in the Northwest Regional Semifinals Monday night. The Hornets jumped out to an early lead over Cold Springs, but the Eagles maintained their composure and came back to take the lead at halftime. They led most of the way in the second half but couldn’t fight off a late rally from the Hornets and their season came to an end with a 54-48 loss to Hatton.

Not unlike the Lady Hornets before them, the Hornets built a 9-0 lead right out of the gate. They extended their lead to 12-0 before Roberto Ayala and Micah Calvert each drained three-pointer to get Cold Springs on the board and cut the lead to six midway through the first. Hatton pulled ahead 16-7 as the period went on but a pair of Tanner Kilgo free throws and a layup from Ayala just before the buzzer made it a 16-11 game going into the second.

A steal by Ayala led to a Seth Williams three-pointer that cut the lead to 19-15 early in the second quarter and the Eagles weren’t done. Back to back baskets by Kilgo trimmed the lead to one midway through the second quarter and after Hatton responded on the other end, Kilgo scored two more buckets for Cold Springs to keep the Hornets lead at 24-23. However, the Eagles got the last laugh of the period when Williams drilled a corner three in the final seconds of the half to give Cold Springs its first lead of the night at 26-24 going into the locker room.

A pair of Adam Hill free throws stretched the lead to 28-24 at the start of the third quarter and he scored a basket inside to keep the Eagles in front by four with just over five minutes remaining in the period. Brody Peppers laid one in to make it a 32-36 game with less than three minutes to play in the third and Williams buried another three from the right wing to give Cold Springs a 35-28 advantage late in the period. Williams knocked down yet another trey with less than a minute on the clock to make it 38-28 and the Eagles went into the final frame leading Hatton 38-31.

Williams stayed hot when the fourth quarter began, knocking down another three-pointer to make it a 41-33 game. A reverse layup by Kilgo added to the lead but the Hornets rallied and managed to trim the lead to 43-40 midway through the fourth. Peppers put one in off the glass to make it 45-40 but a basket and a pair of free throws from the Hornets made it a 1-point game with just under three minutes to play. Another Hatton free throw tied the game at 45 and the Hornets laid one in around the two-minute mark to take a 47-45 lead, their first lead of the second half. Hatton went back to the line with just over a minute remaining and netted two free throws to extend its lead to four. Hill buried a three with 35 seconds on the clock to cut the lead to 51-48 but the Hornets hit their free throws the rest of the way and kept Cold Springs off the board to hold on and win it 54-48.

Williams led the Eagles with 15 points in the loss, followed by Kilgo with 12, Hill with nine and Ayala with five. The loss brings a close to a stellar season for Cold Springs that included both an area and county championship.