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HVA girls, Karns boys grab wins

From end to end, four Hardin Valley Lady Hawks led the way to keep their team perfect in District 3-AAA Friday night — though archrival Karns proved to be a pest.

“I thought we had a huge defensive spark from Emily Cornelius, Taylor Harris and Tiffany Cantrell,” said HVA head coach Jennifer Galloway, whose team won 49-36, improving to 7-3, 4-0 in district.

Adding the scoring punch of Cantrell, a senior guard with 14, and junior post Whitney Moore pumping in 13, HVA pulled away during the game's final 11 minutes Dec. 17 at HVA.

“I felt Whitney hit some big baskets early in the game,” Galloway said, as Moore scored seven of her 13 in the first quarter to help HVA lead 17-8. Cantrell added six.

Much like the HVA boys' second-quarter struggles in a 58-45 loss to Karns (more later in story), the Lady Hawks scored just three second-quarter points, as the KHS girls whittled the lead to 20-17 by halftime.

“We were rushing everything and we were not being strong with the ball,” Galloway said. “I think we were playing sloppy offensively and defensively. I felt like we let them dictate what we were doing offensively.”

Karns, winless overall (0-7, 0-4), scored the first four points of the third quarter to go ahead 21-20 before the teams traded baskets during the next four minutes.

“We kinda got tired there for a little bit, and then they made a run,” Cantrell said. “We just kinda picked it up and finished it out. We started pressing and got some deflections, some steals, and a couple of our girls really picked it up on defense.”

A Cornelius 10-foot jumper put HVA ahead for good, 28-27, with 3:30 left in the third quarter.

A Moore 10-foot jumper and spinning seven-footer, a Cantrell lay-up following a steal, and Harris' fast-break lay-up completed a 10-1 Lady Hawks run for a 36-28 lead after three.

It got no closer than seven points in the final quarter.

Harris finished with seven points for HVA, followed by Cornelius and Kayla Carey with six each. Jennifer Schilling had two points and Jasmine Langston added a free throw.

About the team's strong start to the season, Moore said, “I think people have underestimated us, maybe, just a little bit. I think we've surprised some people.”

Meanwhile, a hard lesson learned against archrival Karns has HVA boys head coach Keith Galloway rethinking his pre-game approach.

“I'm going to take full responsibility for our lack of intensity, because we've got to have higher intensity in practice in order to have higher intensity in the game,” said Galloway after his Hawks (6-4 overall, 1-3 in District 3-AAA) fell apart offensively during the final 20 minutes in its loss to the Beavers (6-3, 3-2).

Hardin Valley’s 8-1 run midway into the second quarter ended with Geo Rivera’s lay-up from a Sherrius Smith drive-and-pass assist, pushing the Hawks to a 20-14 lead at the 3:46 mark.

But a 14-2 Beavers run to end the half put the visitors up 28-22 at the break. The Hawks would draw no closer.

“They were just being more physical than us, we weren't attacking like we should have been,” said Smith, HVA junior point guard who led his team in points with nine.

Other Hawks scorers included Zak Carter with seven, Jalen Carter six, V. J. Brown and Micah Goss five each and Jonathan Franklin four.


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