The Lady Hornets entertained the crowd at HCHS with a thrilling, 51-47 barn burner win over Madisonville-North Hopkins Monday.
Hancock County (15-10) took control early on with Bailey Poole and Ella House leading the way. Poole scored three 3-point baskets while House connected inside and hit 6 of 6 shots from the line. The result was a 16-11 lead for the home team.
The second quarter belong to Lily Roberts. The junior scored inside, outside and from the line before the game was stopped to recognize her for scoring her 1,000th career point! The halftime score was 24-15 in favor of the Lady Hornets.
Hancock County continued to dominate the game during the third period and Poole was at it again from beyond the arc. The senior buried two more 3’s and Emma Morris splashed a long range bomb to help push the Lady Hornet lead to 39-27.Madisonville’s Amari Lovan got a rebound with four seconds left in the third and she raced down court. She put up a shot from half-court that hit the backboard, bounced off the rim and went in the basket. The visitors cheered but the referee waved off the shot, saying she did not get it off in time.
Madisonville’s bench and fans went crazy and a technical foul was called on the coach. A fan had to be ejected from the gym before Poole hit 1 of 2 from the line.
Hancock’s lead was enough now that coach Husk elected to keep the ball moving on offense in order to run the clock. The strategy worked for while before the Lady Maroons began to close the gap with drives to the basket and two timely 3’s.
Roberts answered with a big 3-point basket before House stroked two foul shots that gave Hancock County a 49-42 lead with less than a minute on the clock. Roberts later knocked down two free throws that made the score 51-42 with under 30 seconds… but it wasn’t over yet. Lovan drove the lane and scored a conventional 3-point play and the Lady Maroons scored again with 10 seconds left.
Madisonville got the ball back after a missed foul shot but their final 3-point attempt was off the mark and the Lady Hornets escaped with the win!
“I thought we showed a lot of heart and toughness against Madisonville-North Hopkins. They’re a top 3 team in Region 2 and I really liked how we executed the game plan defensively in the first half to almost perfection,” HCHS coach Kevin Husk said. “Bailey, Emma and Lily all hit big shots down the stretch at key times for us.”
Coach Husk went on to talk about Roberts’ milestone accomplishment. “It was a great night for Lily (scoring her 1,000th career point). She’s an incredible player but an even better person. I’m honored to be one of her coaches and proud of her for how she treats her team and peers. I’m glad my own kids have someone like Lily and her teammates to look up to.”
Poole led all scorers with 20 points that included five 3’s. Roberts had 16, with two 3’s, House 10, Morris three, and Kendra Keown and Alexis Gay scored one point each. Lovan and Destiny Whitsell led Madisonville with 14 points each.
Bailey Poole scored 24 points and the Lady Hornets got right back on the winning side of the scoreboard when they knocked off Apollo 59-48 here Saturday.
The E-Gals took control early on by winning the opening frame 15-10. Hancock recovered to win the second quarter (15-12) but still trailed 27-25 at halftime. Poole and Ella House both buried 3-point baskets for the Lady Hornets during the period.
Poole knocked down three 3’s during a third quarter in which Hancock County won 17-8. Lily Roberts and House both scored for the Lady Hornets while the team defense did an excellent job.
Hancock County sealed the win from the foul line in the fourth as Poole was an amazing 10 for 10 down the stretch. Roberts was 4 for 4 and Emma Morris was 1 for 2 from the stripe.
Hancock shot 34% from the field and made 22 of 29 free throws. Apollo shot 36% from the field and made 12 of 14 foul shots. Poole was 4 of 8 from 3-point range and 12 of 12 from the line in scoring 24 points. Roberts had 16 points and two rebounds, House had 10 points and five boards, Ansley House had three points and four rebounds, Kendra Keown had three points, Sophia Newby had two points and one board and Morris had one point and four boards. Alexis Gay had one rebound.
Lane Kennedy led Apollo with 24 points.
By Steve Wimmer