The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

March 3, 2013

Balance and depth the difference for Tanner

By Jonathan Deal

BIRMINGHAM — Losing your center for all but four minutes of the first half would hurt most teams.

Not Tanner.

After Jace Haggermaker went to the bench with two fouls in the opening minutes of the first quarter, Tanner only got better without its big man on the floor. With four guards on the floor, Tanner used a fast-paced, attack style to wear down a LaFayette team that lacked the quality depth Tanner possessed.

Coming off the bench for Haggermaker, Jon Jon Fletcher proved he was more than capable of starting for any other 2A team in the state. The sophomore started the game on fire, scoring eight points in just 10 minutes of action in the first half.

“During the season, he had some good moments,” Tanner coach Chris Whitt said about his star 6th man. “But it seemed like we had to depend on him a little more late in the regional tournament, and he really stepped up there and gained a lot of confidence in what he was doing.”