Tigers claim large school division championship

By Ivan Sanders

"To be or not to be" was a famous Shakespearean line. On Monday at Hunter, that line could have been "To 'T' or not to 'T' -- that is the question."
   On a night where the Hunter Tigers honored their eighth graders in their last game at home, the Tigers wrapped up the large school division by defeating the visiting Warriors of Happy Valley 55-47 in the Tiger Den.
   "The emotions are always high when these two teams get together," stated Warrior mentor Rik Anderson. " Tonight was a night to honor their eighth graders, so I knew their adrenaline would be high early."
   And high it was, as the Tigers pounced on the Warriors like fresh kill in the first quarter, going up 18-9 behind "Big Cat" Charles Peters' 10 points.
   The Warriors got their feet back under them in the second period as Todd Caldwell scored five and Michael Sims contributed four in the period to pull the Warriors within four at the intermission, 28-24.
   Whatever Coach Anderson told his boys at the half must have worked because the Warriors came out and went on an 8-0 spurt over the next 1:30 to take a 32-28 advantage.
   "We started shooting outside shots and that was not what we wanted," stated Tiger coach Mike Dorsey. "During the time-out, I told the boys to calm down and have fun."
   The Tigers heeded Dorsey's instructions and systematically clawed their way back into the lead, 34-32 at the 3:30 mark of the third. The Warriors would not be denied, as they fought back to take a one-point lead at the end of the third quarter, 41-40.
   Sims showed the way for the Warriors in the period with six points. Ryan May came alive in the quarter, scoring five of his seven points for the Warriors.
   The fourth quarter began with an unusual course of events, as Anderson was hit with a technical by the official.
   When Paul Waters stepped to the line to shoot, the Warriors called a time-out and Anderson spoke briefly with both officials. When play resumed, the official wiped off the technical foul and gave the ball to the Warriors on the alternating possession to begin the quarter.
   The Tigers seemed to feed off the unusual circumstance, and behind 11 fourth-quarter points from Peters, wrapped up another regular season crown.
   "Seeing how that I coached all of them last year makes for a big rivalry," stated Dorsey with a smile. "They always play better against us, I guess because they know all my plays."
   Said Anderson: "In a big game like this, it comes down to execution both on offense and defense. We missed a couple of assignments, and in a game like this it could come down to a couple of possessions one way or the other."
   With the victory, the Tigers record stands at 15-2 overall and 7-0 in the conference with one game left at Johnson County on Tuesday. The Tigers enter tourney play as the number one seed, while the Warriors will be the second seed.
Eighth Grade Girls

In a game that was scratch and claw from start to finish, the Lady Tigers prevailed to take the win 34-23 from the Lady Warriors.
   The game was tied 21-all entering the fourth quarter of play. That's when the Lady Tigers turned the heat up in the already hot Tiger Den to hold the Warriors to two points in the period, while they blistered the nets for 13.
   Jordan Muratore was the contest high-scorer, recording 11 points for the game. Logan Wagonseller had another stellar night for the Lady Tigers with nine points and several steals.
   Amber Duncan paced the Lady Warriors with nine points on the night. Hannah Banks added five and Emily Good contributed four for Happy Valley.
   "We played with 100 percent output on both offense and defense," stated Lady Tiger head coach Tammy Taylor. "We have had some girls slacking, but they all stepped up big tonight."
   Taylor added: "We have been working hard on rebounding and hitting our free-throws, and we did both in this game. I really think the key was when we went to our press defense."
   "The 13-2 run was big in the fourth," stated Lady Warrior coach Dana Hill. "We just fell apart with about four minutes left, and they really hit the boards hard."
   Sallee Taylor chipped in six points for the Tigers, while Kristen Grindstaff and Amy Colbaugh added four each. Sam Canter and Randi Williams netted a bucket each and Ashley Stewart added a free throw for the Lady Warriors.