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Boys’ scoring trio, girls’ post play lead HVA sweep

CLINTON — Only in their fourth seasons of existence, Hardin Valley Academy’s varsity basketball teams haven’t become spoiled when it comes to taking opponents for granted.

Any District 3-AAA road sweep is sweet, even if Clinton’s boys and girls teams earned just three overall wins combined entering play Friday night, Jan. 6, at CHS.

Led by 21-point efforts from posts Zak Carter and Tevin Gunn, plus 19 more from energetic senior point guard Sherrius Smith — who became eligible during the holiday break — the HVA boys overcame a 19-8 early deficit, and down 31-29 at halftime, to win going away, 75-56.

“We knew coming out [at halftime] we had to keep the tempo going up and down and it would be in our favor,” said Hawks head coach Keith Galloway, whose team entered the week 5-8 overall, 2-4 in district.

“We're a little bit bigger and get to the rim better.”

Meanwhile, the Hardin Valley girls had to hang on for dear life “by doing the little things” in the fourth quarter, mainly from junior post Kayla Carey and senior Whitney Moore, to edge the Lady Dragons 45-42.

“They definitely played like veterans tonight, and helped carry us,” said HVA head coach Jennifer Galloway, whose team improved to 5-8, 3-3. “Things that may not show up in the book, but it helped us get the win.”

Carey led HVA with 13 points, joining Moore with key rebounds, steals and blocks in the fourth period.

On the boys’ side, Keith Galloway labeled Smith “a catalyst, he really makes things happen. And he’s a smart basketball player. ... He's as talented as anybody I've ever coached.”

Smith said he “really hit the ground running, I think 17 points,” in his first game back during a holiday tournament in Hendersonville. “It's not really been a problem. I've been practicing and I'm in pretty good shape.”

A second-half key was “tightening up our press, we got a lot of turnovers,” Smith added.

Carter said his Hawks have been “getting down whenever a team is hitting a bunch of shots, but we didn't give up this time and we were able to bounce back and execute on offense and play pretty good defense.” Gunn said his Hawks "knew Clinton was beatable," but had played well in a couple of games lately.

As for himself, Smith and Carter, “We just had that chemistry going,” Gunn added.

Other HVA scorers were Austin Glasgow five, Jalen Carter four, Michael McKinney three and Jonathan Franklin two points.

“Jonathan Franklin played hard, and so did Brad Shiflett, Austin Glasgow, Michael McKinney,” Keith Galloway said. “It was a very physical game, and I thought we held our composure very well.”

Jennifer Galloway said her game “was ugly at times, but I’d rather it be ugly and win than be pretty and lose.”

Junior wing Hannah Cornelius, who finished with seven points, scored HVA's first six of the game, two on 15-foot baseline jumpers.

Clin-ton, with only one win this season, was led by guard Jasmine FuQua, who scored a game-high 14. “She was able to get to the rim a lot, and we had a tough time rotating around,” Galloway said.

A Moore steal caused by Carey's deflection of a pass with one minute to play, and two Moore free throws at the 48.7 second mark, made it 45-41.

The Lady Hawks won despite hitting just 8 of 22 free throws, helping keep CHS hopes alive in the closing seconds. “I was at least pleased that we got to the line 22 times,” Galloway said.

Other HVA scorers were Brooklyn Battle and Lacy Cantrell with five each, Taylor Bishop and Caitlin Mann three apiece, and Taylor Harris two.


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