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Hawks battle ORHS tough before losing

The Hardin Valley Hawks showed several promising signs of improvement in its Wednesday, Feb. 4, basketball game against District 3-AAA rival Oak Ridge.

As first reported at Farragut First Edition, Feb 4, while HVA lost by 31 points at ORHS, the Hawks kept this game closer.

Though losing 68-49, HVA led the Wildcats for the first four-and-a-half minutes of the game.

“We just came out with the momentum. I don’t think they expect us come out hard,” Sherrius Smith, who had 18 points in the game, said.

Hawks head coach Keith Galloway said, “We came out and played hard. They missed a couple of shots and we kept them off the board. That’s a big deal, and then we hit a couple of shots.”

The momentum shifted when Hawks forward Tevin Gunn committed a foul, giving Oak Ridge, 14-6 overall and 12-3 in the district, the opportunity to tie the game 7-7. They did, and then scored the next seven points. At the end of the first quarter, the Hawks were down 16-10.

“We are really streaky with our shooting,” Galloway said. “I told the guys they sometimes get a mental block when things don’t go well, but they’ve got to go out there and kind of lose themselves in the game with what we’ve taught them.”

With 1:49 left in the half, HVA leading scorer Dominic Ratliff, who had 23 points in the game, broke the drought with a foul shot. It was 33-19 Oak Ridge at halftime.

“The last part of the second quarter killed us. It’s killed us in over half the games this year. We get down 13 or 14, and it’s harder for us to come back from that,” Galloway said.

Whatever Galloway told the boys in the locker room worked, because the Hawks came out strong in the third quarter, scoring 17 points in just over four minutes and bringing them within eight points of the Wildcats.

Of the comeback, Smith, a freshman, said, “We just came out and knocked as many points off their lead as possible.”

Galloway said, “I think we came out, had a good time playing, doing what we do well. We fought our way back. I know [Oak Ridge head coach Ricky Norris] got frustrated with his guys. We had a great team effort, and I was really proud of our guys.”

Ratliff added, “We were hustling, getting back on defense. We shot 50 percent in the third quarter, a lot better than we did in the first half. We started to come back, but then we got tired and started to make more turnovers.”

The Hawks have yet to win a game (0-20 after this loss), but Galloway said they are trying hard to change that. “It’s the end of the season and we’re looking for a win. Everybody’s starting to get a little chip on their shoulder, which is a good thing. That’s why they came out here and played hard tonight.”

The regular season ends for HVA at 3-AAA rival Karns Friday, Feb. 13.


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