R.C. Hatch boys team in the finals again
Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 4, 2004
Birmingham – The R. C Hatch High School Bobcats won a nailbiter Tuesday, 76 – 73 over the Pisgah High School Eagles.
For the second straight season the Bobcats advanced to the championship game of the state’s class 2A boys. And for the second straight season they will match up with Calera.
The door is now open for R C Hatch to become the first Alabama boys high school team to win seven state championships.
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It wasn’t so until Bobcat senior Quinton Collins sank one of two free throws with :31 seconds left in the game to give them the victory.
“I kept telling myself to relax,”, said Collins after the game. There were 13 lead changes and seven ties that kept the first half of the game up for grabs. The first half ended with the Bobcats up 39 – 34, with senior Fredrick Lewis (15 points) and eighth grader Frankie Sullivan (11 points) providing the offense.
The Eagles tied the game at 45 with 5:59 on the clock in the third quarter. The Bobcats at that point went on a 13 – 0 run to open a double digit lead.
In the fourth quarter, with Bobcat senior Billy Campbell on the bench with five fouls, the Eagles came back to tie the game at 70, then go up one on a free throw with two minutes to go in the game after being down 62 – 50 to at the start of the quarter.
An exchange of baskets and a Sullivan free throw tied the game at 73 with 1:02 to go in the game. Pisgah didn’t score again as they missed two free throw attempt with :14 seconds left.
Lewis dropped in two of two free throw attempts with just six seconds on the clock to put Hatch up three. The Eagles got one more shot off, but failed to connect.
“We knew they (Pisgah) had a lot of talented,” Lewis said at the end of the game. Final score: 76 – 73.
Lewis led the Bobcats with 23 points. Collins added 20 including five three pointers. Sullivan contributed 14 points and 8 rebounds.
Senior Billy Campbell pulled down a game high 14 rebounds to go along with his 10 points.
The Bobcats out rebounded the Eagles 44 – 28.
For the Eagles Jen Stevens topped all scorers with 27 points. “Our boys never gave up, they played hard,” said an emotional Pisgah coach Woody Beard.