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Solid start not enough for HVA versus Beavers

Hardin Valley Academy’s boys had a solid start to their Thursday, Jan. 15 basketball game against their new rival, Karns, at HVA.

The Hawks even led the Beavers at one point in the second quarter, but it didn’t last, and they lost the District 3-AAA game, 80-61. (Story first reported on Farragut First Edition/

The Hawks kept the game close early. Halfway through the first quarter they held Karns, now 10-3 overall, scoreless for two minutes.

“We had a great quarter,” HVA guard Dominic Ratliff said. “We played really hard. This is our big rivalry, so we wanted to win.”

Hardin Valley tied the game, 12-12 when junior Nathan Garner made a bucket with 1:47 left on the clock. Garner led the Hawks, falling to 0-14 overall, with 20 points, followed by Ratliff with 15 and Sherrius Smith with 10.

Karns senior Collin Crane, who led the team with 25 points at the end of the night, hit a three, giving KHS the lead after one quarter.

Smith, a freshman, stole the ball from Karns and made an easy layup to tie the game yet again. With a three-point goal by guard Hunter Smoak, the Hawks took the lead, 23-20. But the Beavers never looked back following a 17-1 run that made it 37-24 at halftime.

What happened? Turnovers and full-court pressure.

“In two minutes we turned the ball over five times, and they got several buckets,” HVA head coach Keith Galloway said. “When teams press us, we like to hurry and get the ball down the court and then hurry and shoot. We need to slow down, but we’re getting better at it.”

“I think we shot the ball pretty well tonight, better than we have been,” Galloway added. “If we didn’t turn it over so much, we’d have more chances to shoot, and we’d be more effective ... they’d have fewer chances to score.”

Garner said playing Karns gave the Hawks some extra energy. About half of the HVA players are connected to Karns in some way, either transferring from KHS or from Karns Middle School.

“We really wanted to beat Karns, probably more than anybody else we’ve played,” Garner, who chose to transfer from Karns, said. “We started off really well.”

Galloway agreed: “The kids have been thinking about playing Karns for awhile now. They were really excited. We play so hard and with so much heart. I don’t think you could find another team playing harder than we are.”

The Hawks lost to Central, another region game, 61-35, earlier in the week.


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