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James says ‘bye’ to HVA gym with win

Kaitlin James will go down in Hardin Valley Academy girls basketball history as THE first-ever honoree on a Senior Night.

And it couldn’t have happened against a better opponent.

James, the team’s only senior and starting point guard who transferred from Karns in 2008, won praise from her coach during her final game at HVA Feb. 12.

James’ former school, the archrival KHS girls, came calling and hung close for a while before the Lady Hawks won going away. The 52-37 victory Friday allows Hardin Valley to finish the regular season 7-9 in District 3-AAA with eight wins overall.

“It was definitely a different experience coming from Karns over to here,” said James, who scored four points Friday. “But I’ve enjoyed it very much.”

Given that her final home win came against Karns, James added, “I love it, that was my favorite game of the season.”

HVA head coach Jennifer Galloway said of James, “She’s an example of someone who puts the time in and continues to give a ton of effort and not quit. That has benefited her, and she’s reaping the rewards.

“She’s had a great senior season,” Galloway added. “Tonight, I thought the team played hard in her honor.”

Meanwhile, a furious fourth-quarter HVA boys rally, led by Dominic Ratliff’s 15 points in the final 4:53, put the Hawks within range of an historic victory.

Karns, having never lost to the archrival Hawks in HVA’s two seasons of existence, almost blew an 18-point fourth quarter lead before hanging on to win 54-50. (More on the HVA boys later in this story)

Tiffany Cantrell, Lady Hawks junior forward, scored a game-high 13 points Friday followed closely by Whitney Moore, sophomore post, with 12.

Kristin Lane scored eight, Lauren Trent added seven, Jennifer Schilling tallied four and two points each came from Kayla Carey and Jasmine Langston.

Galloway, whose girls finish No. 6 in 3-AAA entering next week’s district tournament, play No. 3 Campbell County beginning at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, at Powell High School. The final two rounds finish up at Halls.

Unhappy his boys team “pouted” about its slow start and didn’t get going until the fourth quarter, HVA head coach Keith Galloway said he told Ratliff, “it’s up to you” to lead the fourth-quarter rally.

Ratliff ended with a game-high 21 points. Tevin Gunn, sophomore forward, scored 12 for HVA, followed by Wakefield and Smith with five each, Jonathan Franklin with three, and V. J. Brown and D.J. Kellogg scoring two apiece.

“I felt like Hunter Smoak [senior guard] played hard,” Galloway said. “Sherrius Smith [sophomore guard] played hard. V.J. Brown [sophomore guard] did some good things on defense, and Justin Wakefield [senior guard].”

“I want to mention all my seniors and how much I appreciate them and how hard they played,” Galloway added. “Jordan Greenlee [guard], Mike Jones [guard], and Devon Burton [forward].”

Karns (12-12 overall, 7-9 in district) was led by big post Andrew Burroughs’ 14 points.

Finishing last in District 3-AAA (2-14) with four wins overall, HVA was No. 9 seed entering tourney action Wednesday, Feb. 17, at Halls versus either Powell or Halls.


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