Photo of Hailey Hardaway by Ginger Tester.

Basketball Ends in Hardeman County

Hailey Hardaway’s 35 second half points amid a furious comeback by Bolivar ended in heartbreak as the Lady Tigers fell 76-74 to Memphis Mitchell in the semifinals of the Region 8AA basketball tournament in Ripley.
“She’s been with me almost as long as D.J. Smith,” said Bolivar Coach Rick Rudesill about Hardaway, who finished her career with 2,079 points, the third most all time in Bolivar history and was named to the all-district, all-district tournament, and all-region teams in 2018-2019. ‘The first time I saw her play, I went to see D.J. at the city gym and I was like, “Who is that little girl out there just wearing everybody out?’ She’s something special and I’m going to miss her.”
Trailing 44-24 in the middle of the third quarter, Hardaway hit a three-pointer at the start of the comeback and tied the score at 74 with a three pointer with two seconds remaining. Bolivar (15-12) fouled on the inbounds pass by Mitchell and the two free throws spelled defeat for Bolivar. Hardaway led Bolivar with 39 points, while Carly Daniel had 14 points and 8 rebounds.
The Bolivar Central boys team (16-9) led at home at the half 24-21, but a 19-point second half saw the boys end their year in the first round of the Region 8AA tournament, losing 49-43. Jeff Norment had 15 to lead Bolivar.
The Middleton boys (8-17) traveled to Union City for their first round region game, and hung close through the first half, trailing 23-20 at the break. Union City outscored the Tigers 16-9 in the third en route to a 58-47 win in the first round of the Region 7A tournament.