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’Ridge blues
ORHS rallies past HVA girls, Wildcats ground Hawks

While Oak Ridge’s full-court defensive pressure was a huge factor in Hardin Valley Academy’s failed attempt to pull a girls basketball upset Tuesday night, HVA head coach Jennifer Galloway pointed to her team’s biggest problem.

“They were able to get into their press because they got rebound after rebound and made shots,” Galloway said about failures on the defensive boards resulting in ORHS second-, third- and sometimes fourth-chance points late in a close game.

Add in a handful of late turnovers forced off Lady Wildcats defensive pressure, plus the aggressive offensive mindset of ORHS guard Whitney Mitchell (20 points) and post Meka Booker (15) and the result was a 47-38 Oak Ridge win Feb. 1 at HVA.

While the Lady Wildcats solidified their lead in District 3-AAA, (13-1, 17-5 overall), Hardin Valley fell to 14-9, 9-4.

Meanwhile, the HVA boys rallied late in the first half from a double-digit deficit before a poor third quarter snowballed into a 80-55 Oak Ridge win. The Hawks, led offensively by Sherrius Smith (16 points) and Tevin Gunn (12), fall to 7-16, 2-11.

Lonnie McClanahan (32 points) and Wilt Thompson (20) were a two-man ORHS wrecking crew.

With the exception of rebounding, the HVA girls “followed our defensive gameplan … everybody was on the same page,” Galloway said.

The Lady Hawks actually held a small lead the majority of the game and went up 35-31 on a 10-foot jumper by Taylor Harris with 5:40 to play.

No Lady Hawk reached double figures scoring. Harris, point guard, led with eight points, followed by post Kayla Carey with seven.

“I thought Kayla Carey did a good job tonight,” Galloway said. “I thought Tiffany [Cantrell] played well, gave us a solid defensive effort.”


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