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The shot, the crown
Harris’ long three-point desperation basket helps Lady Hawks win 1st-ever hoops title

Taylor Harris hit the shot heard around District 3-AAA.

Her 35-foot, desperation three-point basket at the fourth-quarter buzzer allowed Hardin Valley Academy's girls an extra four minutes to make school history.

Forcing overtime, 40-40, against No. 1 seed Oak Ridge (26-6) in the District 3-AAA Basketball Tournament title game Monday night, the Lady Hawks hit 11 of 12 free throws in OT and saw Lady Wildcats star post Meka Booker (26 points) foul out early in the extra minutes.

History was complete, as HVA (21-10) won the school's first-ever basketball championship, 53-44 — this one at archrival Karns High School Feb. 21.

“It's kinda surreal right now,” Hardin Valley head coach Jennifer Galloway. “I'm so happy for the girls, especially the fact that the past two years we've had a combined win total of 12.”

Inbounding the pass near mid-court with four seconds left in regulation, “What was going through my head was find L.T. [Lauren Trent], our three-point shooter, or take the shot,” said Harris, a junior point guard. “I was looking to win a championship — let's take it home.”

The No. 2 seed Lady Hawks won behind tourney MVP Kayla Carey, a sophomore post who came off the bench to match Harris for most HVA points with 14.

“It feels great, I can't describe it,” said Carey, whose last-second lay-up beat Halls 42-41 in the semifinals Saturday, Feb. 19.

Harris, also an All-tourney choice, didn't quit with her dramatic three-pointer: she went 8-for-8 at the foul line in OT and scored all 14 points after the third period.

HVA defense did the rest with Booker out, forcing a handful of OT steals.

Senior forward Jennifer Schilling, also named All-Tournament who scored two points, said, “I just think we knew what we could achieve, and we came out to get it.”

Senior wing Tiffany Cantrell, with 10 points and two critcal steals late in regulation, said, “We just kinda kept the faith, we all really wanted this really bad.”

Trent, a senior wing, had seven points.

“Two years ago, when we won four games, it was awful; but we knew at that point it was going to come for us,” Trent said.

Senior post Emily Cornelius, a defensive specialist who scored two, said, “It's finally paid off, all our hard work. I'm really excited,” she said.

Junior post Whitney Moore scored four for HVA.


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