The Lady Hornets made Hancock County fans proud when they won 54-43 over Monroe County during an opening round game of the All “A” Classic Statewide Tournament at EKU in Richmond on Wednesday, Jan. 25.
Ella House scored four baskets and Bailey Poole hit two 3’s to help Hancock County build a 16-15 first quarter edge. Sophia Newby scored twice in the second frame and Lily Roberts reached the scoring column for HCHS, but Monroe County won the period and took a 29-25 lead into the halftime break.
The Lady Falcons pushed the lead to seven points before House scored on a layup and Roberts hit back-to-back shots. Poole hit a jumper and House hit 1 of 2 from the line to tie the game at 35-35.
Roberts gave Hancock the lead in the fourth then Emma Morris canned a “3”. Roberts also hit from beyond the arc and the Lady Hornets were up 43-35. House and Poole were deadly at the foul line as the girls built a double-digit lead and Roberts hit two free throws to help seal the win for Hancock County.
The Hornets shot 51% from the field and made 14 of 20 from the charity stripe. Monroe shot 31% and made 13 of 20 from the foul line.
House finished with 17 points, four rebounds, two assists, three blocks and two steals. Roberts had 16 points, six boards, four assists and four steals, and Poole had 14 points, two assists and four steals. Newby had four points and five boards, Morris had three points, two boards, three assists and two steals, Kendra Keown had two boards and two assists, Ansley House had four rebounds and Izzy Ross had one.
The Lady Hornets’ run came to an end with a 34-33 loss to Whitefield Academy during a quarterfinal game on Friday at EKU.
Ella House and Poole both scored for HCHS in the first quarter and the game was tied at 7-7 at the first horn.
The Lady Wildcats went on a 12-2 second quarter run before Roberts splashed a “3”. Roberts again hit from long range and trimmed Whitefield’s lead to 21-15 at intermission.
Whitefield pushed their advantage to 12 points in the third until two Poole 3-pointers brought the Lady Hornets back to within two points (30-28) in the fourth. Roberts hit two foul shots and later scored a layup on an assist by Morris that made the score 34-32 with just four seconds remaining in the game.
Ella House then stole the ball and was fouled with one second on the clock. She hit the first free throw, but the second missed as the game ended.
“I’m so incredibly proud of this group. My heart breaks for the girls to see this All “A” end the way it did for us,” HCHS coach Kevin Husk said. “They played so hard and the second half defense in both games was incredible, especially when you consider the caliber of thems you’re playing in the state tournament. I believe this is only the third time in history a Lady Hornets team has advanced past the first round so there’s a lot to celebrate.”
Hancock shot 34% from the field and made 5 of 9 foul shots. Whitefield shot 26% from the field and made 11 of 17 from the line.
Roberts had 14 points, six boards and two steals, Poole had 12 points and four boards and Ella House had seven points, five boards and five assists. Ansley House had six rebounds and Morris had four. Layni Roberts and Newby had one board each and Keown dished one assist.
“The cheerleaders deserved to be celebrated for their success and support of our team,” Husk said. “That cheer team, the pep band, pep club and the entire community rallying behind these girls will be something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
“One thing I’m certain of is that we’re not finished. We still have goals and plans for the post season. I’m excited to see how we respond in the next few games because I think this team is finally understanding just how good we can be.”
By Steve Wimmer