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Double hoops drama at HVA goes Halls’ way

Despite the heat and pressure applied by an unbeaten varsity team, Hardin Valley Academy girls basketball had three freshmen step up in critical roles late and perform well under pressure.

However, the Lady Red Devils (7-0 overall, 3-0 in District 3-AAA) survived behind 23 points from guard Sydney Carden, winning in overtime 41-38 at HVA Friday night, Dec. 9.

“The freshmen didn’t play like freshmen tonight. They didn’t look like they were hesitant at all,” said HVA head coach Jennifer Galloway of post Lacy Cantrell (six points), starting wing Brooklyn Battle (six) and point guard Taylor Bishop (two).

“They were comfortable shooting the ball, they were comfortable handling the ball. They matched up well on defense.

“We lost, but we had a great effort from everybody tonight.”

Hardin Valley (2-5, 1-2) was led by junior post Kayla Carey, 10 points, and seven from senior post Whitney Moore.

Cantrell said about varsity, “You always have to remember you’re a freshman, you have to know your place. But every time you get on the court, it’s for the team, so you have to play it in a positive way.”

With HVA missing starting point guard Caitlin Mann due to a family obligation, Bishop admitted that seeing extensive playing time as a freshman “is very nerve wracking at first, but once I get out there it’s just very comfortable.” Battle said, “After the first couple of games I got really comfortable. Now I know my spot.”

Meanwhile, a strong defensive third quarter that resulted in a 10-point lead — holding Halls scoreless for the first 5:33 of the period — failed to produce an HVA boys win in a dramatic finish.

Despite 17 points from senior post Tevin Gunn, 12 after halftime, and 14 first-half points from junior post Jalen Carter, the Hawks (3-4, 1-2) fell in the final seconds 55-52 to Halls (6-1, 2-1).

Keith Galloway, HVA boys head coach, said Carter “was killing” Halls in the first half, but added about his team’s overall offense, “We really didn’t execute very well.”

While Carter and HVA guard Jonathan Franklin each got into foul trouble early in the final frame, Halls finished off a 10-0 run to lead 47-46 with 5:47 to play.

Tied 48-48, HVA junior wing Brad Shiflett’s baseline drive and nifty pass to Gunn produced a lay-up and foul shot (three-point play) made it 51-48 with 2:16 left.

However, the final three of Halls guard Stetson Moore’s game-leading 21 points was a long three-point jumper to put Halls up 53-52 at the 25.3 second mark.

After Gunn missed the front end of a one-and-one with 10.7 seconds remaining, Moore sank two free throws. HVA’s Zak Carter (11 points) missed an open-look three-point shot at the buzzer.


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