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Hawks push West to bitten end; HVA girls lose close

The young Hardin Valley Academy basketball teams continue to get better, though they have yet to earn a win.

The Lady Hawks started off strong, taking the lead and keeping it for 6:30 at the beginning of their Friday, Dec. 5, game against West High School at HVA. They kept it close until the third quarter, when West’s Lady Rebels held HVA scoreless for nearly six minutes.

In the end, that proved to be too much to overcome, and the Lady Hawks lost 55-42.

The boys’ game started out a bit differently. The Rebels dominated the first quarter, and the Hawks found themselves down 25-9. HVA gained momentum in the second half, outscoring the Rebels by 12 points. V.J. Brown’s two-point basket brought the Hawks within three points with just 23.6 seconds left in the game. But the Hawks, too, couldn’t reverse the damage from earlier mistakes, and they lost to the Rebels, 63-57. (More on the HVA boys’ game later in this story)


Lady Hawks head coach Jennifer Galloway said her team did a good job “scoring in the paint,” particularly Haley Keith, a junior guard who ended the night with 13 points.

“Haley had a good night. She was able to get some three’s. She was able to get the ball and drive it into the paint and score,” Galloway added.

“We should’ve given the ball to our posts more. I felt like we didn’t do that enough, but when we did, good things happened.”

The turning point of the game was the third quarter, when the Lady Rebels ran a full-court press, making it difficult for HVA to get the ball down the court.

“It was the reason we had so many turnovers,” Galloway said. “We kind of rushed it on offense, and we weren’t doing what we needed to do on the court.”

Keith said the press was a surprise, but they’ll be ready when HVA plays West later in the season.

“We weren’t expecting it, but we should’ve been. West has always had a quick group of girls, and we probably should’ve known it was coming. We’ll be prepared for it next time.”

Lauren Trent, guard, also scored in the double digits. Four in the second quarter and a couple of three-point buckets in the fourth quarter gave her 10 points for the night.

Of her second half scores, Trent said, “I was trying to give our team a lift and [three-point shots were] open at the time.”

The remaining points were scored by underclassmen.

Sophomore Jennifer Schilling had eight points. Tiffany Cantrell, another sophomore, scored five while freshman Haley Blank added four points.


For Friday’s HVA boy’s basketball team, it’s all about the second half.

Head coach Keith Galloway said, “We came out after the half and played harder. We gave it a good effort in the second half just doing what we talked about doing – defending, boxing out, and being patient on offense, getting good shots, setting screens.

“Our guys just kept trying and we almost did it.”

Nathan Garner, junior, scored 11 points and agreed the first half could have been better.

“The first half was a bit rough. We were trying to run a new offense, work the ball around,” he said.

Guard Dominic Ratliff led the team with 17 points, 11 of which were in the second half. About the first half, he said, “We weren’t hustling to get back on defense, and we weren’t moving and setting picks on offense.”

However, “We came back after the half and tried to get more shots open, so that helped. And we played much better defensively.”

Freshman Sherrius Smith tried to do his part to help the team, even though he didn’t expect it to lead to any points.

“I thought my team needed me to step up, so I did the best I could,” he said. “I wasn’t in a very good shooting mode, but I thought I might be able to help defensively.”

Smith had two late-game steals, one of which resulted in a score. The guard ended the night with six points.

Hunter Smoak and Zach Clevenger also had six points each, while Tevin Gunn scored four and Patrick Meek and Christian Fuller both had two.

Galloway said he was particularly proud of his team because of the way the previous night’s game against Farragut went. The Hawks were held scoreless during the second half.

“I think that’s one of the most heroic things I’ve ever seen, to come back and play that hard after what happened last night,” he added.

“They came back and gave it everything they’ve got. I think it’s a good thing to build on so we can create a program here.”


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