Galloway upbeat despite HVA’s 7th-place S.C. tourney finish

Hawks 81

South Pointe, S.C. 59

CHARLESTON, S.C. — De-spite seeing her team finish seventh in the Carolina Invitational at Bishop England High School, Hardin Valley Academy girls basketball head coach Jennifer Galloway was upbeat when she and the Lady Hawks returned home.

“This tournament was great for us,” Galloway said. “Charles-ton is a great town and we saw some good competition and we saw some teams that our girls didn’t know.

“We had to be physical. We had to play a physical game and that will help us when we come back and play the second half of our District [4-AAA schedule],” Galloway added.

That part of the slate will begin tonight [Thursday, Jan. 5], when the Lady Hawks travel to Blount County to face district foe William Blount, with opening tip-off set for 6 p.m.

Hardin Valley will begin the 2017 portion of this season’s schedule on a positive note based on it’s tourney finish.

HVA, with an 8-4 overall record to begin the week, earned seventh place in the Is-land Divi-sion of the event with an 81-59 victory over South Pointe (S.C.) Friday morning, Dec. 30.

“In that game, we were able to play well and not turn the ball over,” Galloway said. “We were playing some very good teams.”

The coach noted that her squad battled some offensive woes during the first two days of the event.

The Lady Hawks lost its first two games in the Palmetto State by a total of three points.

HVA fell in its tournament opener to Carrolton (Ga.) 48-47 Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The next day, Hardin Valley dropped a 35-33 decision to Centerville (Ohio).

“In those first two games, we didn’t shoot well and we turned the ball over,” Galloway said. “We struggled in those games but we had a successful trip because we were playing against good teams.”

Abbey Cornelius, Hardin Valley star junior post who was named to the All-tournament team, scored 10 points in both early-round games.

Against South Pointe, the Lady Hawks had four players post double figures in the scoring column.

Cornelius led the way with 17 points. Lizzie Davis added 12. Symphony Buxton scored 11 while Paige Gentry finished with 10.

“This tournament will really help us,” Galloway said. “We come back and we play William Blount and they are a very good, very tough team.”