HAZEL GREEN — The team that produced the most wins in a single season in Albertville girls basketball history played its last game together Monday night, falling to No. 1 Hazel Green 37-22 in the Class 6A subregional playoffs.
The Trojans (31-2) led 8-4 and 18-15 at the first-half rest stops. Hazel Green outscored the Aggies 6-0 in the third period to open a 24-15 advantage at the final rest stop.
“I thought we followed our game plan about as good as we could,” Albertville head coach Matt Nelson said. “It was a three-point game at halftime, and we had opportunities to have the lead if we had gotten a few easy ones that we missed to go down.
“Hazel Green is back-to-back state champs for a reason. They are really big inside and their guards can drive and shoot it, so we tried to slow the game down and make them defend for long periods of time. Our goal was to make them have to hit outside shots.
“In the first half, they only made one or two from outside, but in the second they made three or four 3s, and that was really the difference.”
Hazel Green’s Maggie Telaga sank four treys in the contest, three of them in the second half, and finished with 14 points. The Trojans’ Farrah Pearson scored eight of her 14 points in the fourth quarter.
Sarah Rutledge’s seven points led the Aggies, who finished with a 24-4 record.
Hannah Sanders contributed five, Savannah Rutledge and Jayden Watkins four each and Grace Kelley two.
“I can’t express enough how proud I am of this team,” Nelson said. “It’s been a joy to work with them and watch them develop as the year has gone by.
“It’s gonna be tough to see our three seniors [Savannah Rutledge, Kelley and Sanders] go, because they are as good as they come on and off the court. To be able to win the county tournament and set the school record for wins is something they can look back and say they helped accomplish something no other Aggie team has.”