The Huntland Hornets players and coaches pose with their regional championship plaque after beating Community High School in the championship game 67-66 in overtime Thursday.
The Huntland Hornets beat the Community High School Vikings 67-66 in overtime Thursday at Eagleville High School to win the regional championship for the second time in three years.
The Hornets trailed for most of the night but rallied to tie the game up in the final minutes before eventually winning in the extra period to capture the Region 5A title.
The Vikings controlled the first quarter of play as early foul trouble put several key Huntland players on the bench early. The Hornets trailed 20-15 after one quarter.
The second quarter was dead-even between the two squads with neither gaining or losing much ground. The Hornets trailed 34-29 at halftime.
The Hornets made up a bit of ground in the third quarter as they were able to slow down the Vikings’ offense and chip away at the deficit. They still trailed 45-42 entering the final quarter.
The fourth quarter featured plenty of offense on both sides with the two teams doing everything they could to win. The Hornets took a 61-59 lead with less than a minute to go, but the Vikings tied it back up with four seconds to go to force overtime.
The Vikings struck first in overtime, but the Hornets scored six straight points to take control of the game. Free throws by Will Rector and Trey Kelley in the final 30 seconds brought the Hornet lead up to four points to put the game away.
The Vikings hit a 3-pointer as time expired, but it was meaningless as the Hornets won the game and the regional title by one point.
Rector led the Hornets with 27 points for the game, followed by Zach Stovall with 13 points and Trey Kelley with 12 points.
Following the conclusion of the tournament, Rector, Stovall and Rahul Patel were all named to the all-tournament team for Huntland.
With the win, the Hornets will move on to a sectional tournament matchup Monday at home against Columbia Academy with the winner advancing to the state tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.