By Jonathan Deal
Winning a game at the Northwest Regional final is an accomplishment only enjoyed every few years even for the best teams in the state.
The Rattlers have raised expectations so high, advancing to the regional final has become a formality and that’s what they did Wednesday night with a 59-52 win over Cold Springs.
It was the eighth consecutive regional semifinal win for Tanner, who will play the winner of Lexington and Vincent in Saturday’s final at 2 p.m.
The defending champs came to play at Tom Drake Coliseum Wednesday and knocked off the No. 9 ranked Eagles thanks to a big first half.
Tanner jumped out to a 17-2 lead to start the game and led by as many as 23 points in the first half before taking a 37-19 lead into the break.
Cold Springs fought back, however, and pulled to within two points in the third quarter thanks to a 16-0 run to start the second half.
Clinging to a one possession lead, Tanner weathered the storm and pulled away in the final quarter for a 59-52 win.
Desmond Love led the way with 20 points and eight rebounds while Blake Whitt scored 10 points and JonJon Fletcher added 9.
Triston Chambers scored a game-high 26 points for Cold Springs.