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Hawks seek ‘consistency’ after setback versus Halls

Hardin Valley Academy boys basketball team fell short of a win in its Tuesday, Dec. 9 game against Halls, losing 65-50.

“It’s frustrating that we can’t get any consistency,” head coach Keith Galloway said. “We played really well against West [Friday, Dec. 5], and I think if we played like that all the time, we’d have a good chance at winning.

“We didn’t do a good job of boxing out late. We didn’t do a good job of guarding. When you don’t do that, you can’t win games,” he added. “But we did a better job of not turning the ball over as much. I thought we did a good job of making them turn over the ball.”

Tevin Gunn, HVA forward, said, “One thing that wasn’t working too well was our zone defense. We tried hard, and obviously we didn’t come out with a win. You can’t help but be disappointed.”

Galloway had the boys playing man-to-man defense initially, but switched to zone defense and then back to man to man later.

“I thought we could match up with them,” he said. “When we went zone, we were losing their shooters. They hit a couple of threes and got up on us a little bit. I went back to man-to-man hoping to keep their shooters from making shots.”

Still, the Hawks kept within 10 points of the Red Devils throughout most of the first three quarters, trailing 16-13 after one.

Garner said he and Hunter Smoak, guard, “Have been working together since pre-season, trying to get to know one another. I saw what he was doing and I just took off down the court.”

The score was 32-24 at the half.

Foul shots, particularly in the second half, were a factor in the Hawks’ loss. The team had six fouls in the third quarter alone.

“They had 20 more shots at the free throw line than us,” Garner, playing guard, said. “That was ten points that we could’ve kept them from getting, and the game would’ve been much closer.”

Tyler Baker, a small but fast guard, said the fouls weren’t the result of a lack of effort: “I think we are trying to play hard every time out. Sometimes that results in a foul.”

Galloway added, “When we aren’t in a good position, we make up for it by fouling. We have to get better, and that comes with practice and more experience.”

A couple of players particularly stood out in the game.

“Tevin, a freshman, played really well,” the coach said. “He had eight points and had a lot of minutes. He got a couple of steals and two blocked shots. I was proud of him. Nathan Garner was our leading scorer [15 points]. I thought he played pretty well with the exception of little mistakes here and there. Nathan is going to be a good player for us.”

The remaining points were scored by Sherrius Smith, Ratliff and Smoak with six each, Baker with five and Zack Clevenger and V.J. Brown with two each.

Overall, “I’m proud of the guys. They get out there and play. They want to do well. We’ve just got to get back on track and make sure we’re just focusing on getting better and don’t focus on the win column,” Galloway said.

“There’s a difference between goal and purpose. Our goal is to win, but our purpose is to get better every day. If they go out there with that mentality, they will get better.”


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