By David Knox
TRUSSVILLE – After looking at film of her Huskies’ loss to Scottsboro, Hewitt-Trussville coach Tonya Hunter said her team couldn’t have made a shot if the basket were an ocean.
Monday, the hoop must have looked that big to her girls.
The Huskies bounced back from that disappointing first round loss in the New Year’s Shootout at Bryant Bank Arena by drowning an overmatched Fairfield team 68-41 to advance to the consolation championship game.
“We wanted to win this tournament, but we didn’t play our best the first night,” Hunter said. “But we bounced back, played a lot better and shot the ball a whole lot better.”
The Huskies wasted no time in proving who the big dogs were. Fairfield’s Jalisa Torrance made a free throw for a 1-0 Tigers lead, and that would be their last lead. Bailey Berry quickly answered with a 3-pointer, and the Huskies raced out to an 8-1 lead as London Coleman hit another trey moments later. Coleman tallied seven points in the quarter and freshman point guard Morgan Kirk added 10 as Hewitt took a 26-5 lead after a quarter. Fairfield couldn’t get into any rhythm against the hosts’ pressure defense, and the good shots they took couldn’t fall.
Fairfield settled down offensively in the second period, led by the play of Akia Muse and Brianna Pritchett, but Hewitt-Trussville outscored the visitors 16-13 and led comfortably 42-18 at the half.
Fairfield continued to aggressively hit the offensive boards and outscored Hewitt-Trussville 14-7 in the third quarter as Muse scored seven points, but the Huskies turned a 17-point margin into as much as a 29-point lead in the fourth quarter as Kimberly Duffett scored seven points and Kirk added five in the final eight minutes.
Kirk led the way with a game-high 17 points, Duffett added 13, Coleman scored 11 and Christina Till tallied 10. The Huskies knocked home nine 3-pointers. They also made 19 of 27 free throws.
Muse scored 15 and Pritchett 14 for Fairfield.
Hewitt-Trussville will face the winner of the Fort Payne-Gadsden City game, which is scheduled for later Monday. That game will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday.