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R.C. Hatch Bobcats make it to finals

BIRMINGHAM &045; It’s hard to imagine anyone giving the R.C. Hatch Bobcats headaches.

White Plains did that Monday night &045; for a little while, at least.

After switching defenses to counter the Wildcats’ outside shooting, Hatch went on to win 71-54 at Birmingham and advanced to the 2A state championship game.

Frankie Sullivan scored 33 points and pulled in 10 rebounds, both game highs. He began to shoot aggressively when Hatch (27-1) got behind in the first quarter.

Josh Mickler led the Wildcats (26-6) with 24 points, and Carlton Caver scored 14. Caver was named co-captain in place of Bradey Munroe, who died a week ago from cancer.

White Plains not only wanted to honor their late team member, they expected to stop Hatch on its way to a third consecutive state title.

The Bobcats outscored the Wildcats 22-9 in that department and also held a 19-2 edge in fast-break points.

Mickler hit a couple of 3-pointers to help White Plains take an 8-3 lead early. The Wildcats shot 33 percent in the second half, and Hatch began to pull away.

Both Rodney Scott and Demarcus Porter scored 11 for the Bobcats, and Nicholas Johnson scored 10.

Johnson, who also had nine blocks, added more of an inside presence after scoring just three points over two games in the regional tournament.

The Bobcats will play the winner of the Barbour County-Tanner game Wednesday at 8 p.m.