Hopkinsville had this game circled on the calendar.
The Tigers remembered the heartbreak they felt after Kale Gaither nearly singlehandedly defeated them in the Second Region semifinals.
This time around, it was very different.
Hoptown finished with five players in double figures as the Tigers handled the Madisonville-North Hopkins Maroons 75-61 on Friday night in Tiger Gym.
The Tigers set the tone defensively in the first quarter, holding the Maroons to just six points in the first eight minutes of play as Hopkinsville led 16-6 after one.
While Madisonville did score 11 in the second quarter, the Tigers’ offense turned it on, scoring 21 points in the second and with just 16 minutes to go, Hoptown had a 20-point lead on the 2021 Second Region runners-up.
Madisonville tried to claw closer in the second half but the gap was far too large for the Maroons to overcome, still falling by 14 in the game.
Gaither, who scored 38 in last year’s Second Region semifinal matchup, still tallied 23 in the loss. Danye Fraizer was the only Maroon in double figures with Gaither. He finished with 13.
Bubba Leavell led the Tigers with 14 points. Daisjaun Mercer (13), Antonio Williams (13), KC Cabiness (12) and Isaiah Manning (10) were all the double-digit scorers for the Tigers in the win.