The No. 2-seed Hayden varsity boys defeated the No. 3-seed Corner Yellow Jackets 72-56 in the opening round of the Class 5A Area 12 Tournament Thursday night. Hayden led 17-12 after the first period, but Corner took a 28-25 advantage into intermission.
The Wildcats took control early in the third quarter when Blount County MVP Collin Chappell hit three 3 pointers and Nathan Morgan added another three pointer. When the dust settled at the end of third quarter, Hayden had a 48-41 lead.
Hayden had 24 points in the fourth quarter, half of those coming from the free throw, to seal the 16 point victory.
The Wildcats had four players in double digits. Senior Korbin Register had 18, Morgan added 15, Chappell 14 and Carson Rickels 11. Silas Miller contributed 9 and Jason Witt had 2.
The wins earn the Wildcats a trip to the Class 5A Area 12 Championship game Saturday night at No. 1-seed Center Point.