Hunter splits pair with HV

By Tim Chambers
STAR Correspondent
Playing the role of underdog, the Hunter Tigers took on the gigantic task of knocking off league leader Happy Valley in girls basketball action Tuesday afternoon inside the Tiger den.
Hanging on for dear life in the fourth quarter, the Warriors (7-1) survived the upset with a 26-24 win over Huner to clinch the league title.
"It was a good win," stated Lady Warrior head coach Dana Hill. "We are looking forward to the district and regional tournaments."
Both teams battle on even terms in the first quarter as Hannah Colbaugh of Hunter and Amber Dugger Happy Valley had the only buckets for their perspective teams.
Each team displayed a more potent offensive attack in the second quarter, with Hunter holding a slim 12-10 lead at the half. Hannah Banks provided the offensive spark for the Warriors while Andrea Lewis, Brittney Nidiffer and Brittney Westberry stepped up big for the Lady Tigers.
Neither team could pull away in the third frame as Westberry continued her outstanding play for Hunter while Dugger and Summer Ward were standouts for the Warrior offense. Hunter held a slim 18-16 lead after three quarters of play.
The fourth quarter provided more excitement that a porcupine in a helium balloon factory. With Banks, Ward and Courtney Byers stepping up on offense, Happy Valley was able to take the lead near the end of the game and hold for dear life to eck out a win.
Banks topped the Warrior scoring with eight, followed by Dugger and Ward with seven and six, respectively. Nichole Hardin was outstanding on the defensive end for Happy Valley.
Westberry led the Tigers with eight while Colbaugh and Nidiffer accounted for four.
Tiger coached Tammy Taylor commended Westberry for her overall play on both ends of the floor.
"She played with alot of hustle," stated Taylor. "Overall the entire team played well, we just lost a close one."
Hunter 39
Happy Valley 21
Coach Chris Collins and his team of Tigers were able to salvaged a split with the Warriors, winning in convincing fashion.
Hunter raced to a 17-6 lead at halftime after holding a slim 5-1 lead after the first quarter. Jeff Wilson was the workhorse for the Tiger attack with 10 first half points.
Happy Valley tried to find its offense with Anthony Hollifield and Nathan Whitson providing some punch. Meanwhile, Hunter continued to roll behind the dynamite duo of Cody and Jesse Smith, along with Hunter Taylor.
Bryant Collins continued to run the Hunter offense to perfection in the fourth quarter as he, along with Wilson, Nick Papantoniou and Dustin Carden, kept the Tigers out in front.
Bradley McVey helped the Warriors stay within striking distance while Nick Payne contributed to the cause.
Wilson led all scorers with 17 for Hunter followed by Taylor with six.
Hollifield and Whitson with five each paced the Warrior attack.