The Lady Hornets season came to an end after a 55-40 loss to Breck County in an opening round game of the girls 11th District tournament at Harned Monday.
“I’m really proud of this team,” HCHS coach Kevin Husk said. “After losing to Breck by 33 and 26 no one would have said much if it happened again. This is a great group of girls that put a lot of heart into tonight’s game.”
Breck’s Skyler Tucker had the hot hand early when she made two 3-point baskets in the first quarter. Ella House scored five points for Hancock County but the Lady Tigers got five from Isabel Grimes and four from Caroline Lucas to lead 18-9.
The Lady Hornets buckled down defensively in the second period, holding Breck to 10 points in the frame. Bailey Poole splashed two 3’s for HCHS and Emma Morris hit a shot from beyond the arc as Hancock County won the quarter and trimmed the lead to 28-20 at halftime.
“We probably executed our game plan tonight better than we have all season,” Husk said.
The Lady Hornets got another “3” from Poole and a basket from Lily Roberts early in the third. Tucker countered with a long range shot and Kayleigh Huffines scored twice on the inside to keep Breck ahead 39-27.
Hancock County continued to fight and Roberts and House reached the foul line three times each after hard drives to the basket. Roberts connected on 5 of 6 from the stripe while House scored five points down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Breck County offense. Huffines and Grimes combined for 12 fourth quarter points to push the home team on to Thursday night’s finals where they’ll meet Meade County in the title game. The Lady Waves defeated Cloverport 85-21 in an earlier first round matchup.
“Breck did a good job late going inside to Huffines once we had to go man-to-man,” Husk said.
House led the HCHS offense with 14 points. Poole scored 12, Roberts 11 and Morris three.
Huffines finished with 17 points to lead Breck County.
“This group has been through a lot in a year’s time,” Husk said. “We’ve dealt with covid for a second season, injuries to several and we’ve had a lot of turnover in our roster. We lost three important seniors last year then we lost Karmin Riley and Audrey Gorman. Emma Morris, Alexis Gay, Kendra Keown and Layni Roberts were all thrown in the deep end and had to figure out what varsity basketball looked like while playing a lot. Lily Roberts and Ella House had to step up offensively by handling the ball and scoring like they’ve never had to before. Bailey Poole was every team’s number one priority to stop this year and that’s a lot of responsibility, too. With all that, these girls took it all in stride and showed a lot of character. While I wished we had won more games and were heading to the region tournament I can honestly say that this group has grown so much both individually and collectively as a team.
“I’m excited to go root on several of these girls in track and on the softball field this spring and then get to work this offseason. Having this group back together is going to be exciting.”
The Lady Hornets finished off the regular season with a 46-36 victory over Grayson County at Leitchfield Friday.
The Lady Cougars grabbed an early 10-9 advantage then won the second frame 12-11. Poole kept Hancock County close by sinking three 3’s in the second period.
The Lady Hornets began their comeback in the third. Poole, House, Roberts, Alexis Gay and Kendra Keown all scored for HCHS during a 15-7 run that put Hancock ahead 35-29 after three. The girls sealed the win in the fourth by sinking 9 of 12 free throws.
Hancock County shot 31% from the field. They made 3 of 15 from beyond the arc and 17 of 22 from the line.
Grayson County shot 42% from the field. They made 6 of 15 from long range and 8 of 13 from the stripe.
Poole led with 18 points and two rebounds. Keown scored nine points with three boards, House had eight points and four boards, Roberts had six points and five boards, Gay had four points and three boards, Morris had one point and two boards, and Jadan Roberts grabbed one rebound.
Sydney Perkins led GCHS with 16 points.
By Steve Wimmer