D200215 hatton girls

Hatton's Kailyn Quails (11) shoots as Altamont's Tiana Shelton (3) defends during the Northwest Regional semifinals Friday at Wallace State Community College. [DAN BUSEY/DECATUR DAILY]

HANCEVILLE — Some of the offensive stats don’t look great.

Only 10 made field goals (accounted for by just two players). A 1-for-12 effort from 3-point range.

Asked if she would have thought her team would win with such numbers, Hatton girls basketball coach Chasta Chamness said “Not really.”

Those struggles are not what Hatton expects. What the Hornets do expect, however, is to win, and they beat Altamont 44-36 in Friday’s Class 2A Northwest Regional semifinal.

The Hornets (28-5) advanced to play defending state champ Cold Springs on Tuesday for a trip to Birmingham and the state semifinals.

“We got into man in the second half, played better defense,” Chamness said. “Rebounded the ball better, finished around the basket, and free throws really helped us today.”

That last part is an understatement. Hatton made 23 of 37 free throw attempts. Altamont (17-9) was only 4 for 11.

Junior forward Kami Kirk, who is 6-foot-1, scored 18 points and added nine rebounds for Hatton.

Originally guarded by 5-10 Kalia Todd, Kirk was later guarded by a 5-6 player when Todd got in foul trouble. Asked when she realized she might be able to take over, Kirk drew laughs when she answered “when I realized that (number) 15 was like two feet shorter than me.”

Kirk is strong and moves well and scored several times on cuts to the basket for layups. With Hatton trailing 26-17 early in the third quarter, she scored on a 3-point play.

“She took over there for a little while,” Chamness said.

Brianna Quails had a putback, Emma Czervionke made a foul shot and Kirk scored five straight points. Kailyn Quails made a foul shot, and Hatton had scored 12 unanswered points to go up 29-26.

After a pair of Altamont baskets, Brianna Quails put Hatton ahead 31-30 with a basket at the 6:26 mark of the fourth quarter and the Hornets led the rest of the way.

Kirk continued to score down the stretch and finished with six of Hatton’s field goals. Brianna Quails had the other four. But others kept Hatton in the game with defense and free throws. Dagen Brown had six points, Kailyn Quails five, Mallory Lane four, and Grace Ann Johnson and Czervionke one each.

Altamont, meanwhile, got points from three players — Todd (16), Tiana Shelton (14) and Zoya Bashir (six).

“Their depth is probably the most impressive thing,” Altamont coach Matt Kirkpatrick said of Hatton.

Hatton will need to find its shooting touch for the regional final Tuesday, but the Hornets found other ways to win Friday.

“I’ll take it. We’re playing Tuesday,” Chamness said with a smile. “So, we’ve got some work to do … I’m glad to just still be working.”

Contact Craig at Craig.Thomas@TimesDaily.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TD_CraigThomas


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