Hardin Valley Academy’s girls basketball team continued its winning ways Friday night, Jan. 5. But the Lady Hawks had to work for their latest victory.
For starters, they were in a hostile environment at Farragut High’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium.
Making things worse, HVA lost starting point guard Paige Gentry in the second quarter with a leg injury.
But the Lady Hawks held on late, nabbing a 43-42 District 4-AAA victory.
“I think our team showed so much toughness. We had to win this game without Paige and this is a tough place to win,” Lady Hawks head coach Jennifer Galloway said. “... Lizzie [Davis] did a good job running the point after we lost Paige.”
Hardin Valley improved to 15-2 overall whle keeping its perfect league record, 7-0, intact.
The Lady Hawks featured a stifling defense out of the gate, surrendering just two points to the Lady Admirals [9-7 overall, 4-3 in the district] in the first quarter.
The Lady Ads finally got their offense clicking in the second stanza, pulling to within 16-13 when sophomore Claire Wyatt converted an old-fashioned 3-point play with 0.8 seconds left until halftime.
After halftime, Farragut opened the third quarter with a 13-2 run, which was culminated when Brooke Christian buried a long-range jumper with 1 minute, 54 seconds remaining in the third stanza that made the score 26-18.
Farragut held a slim 26-22 lead heading to the final frame. The Lady Admirals led by as many as five points twice. A 3-pointer by Carbaugh gave the home team a 29-24 lead with 7:22 left, then Wyatt nailed a long-range jumper to make it 32-27 a short time later.
But the Lady Hawks came storming back. Autumn Fields knocked down a pair of 3-point baskets to highlight an 11-0 Hardin Valley run to lead 38-32.
With the Lady Hawks up 41-34, Farragut went on a 6-1 run to cut the deficit to 42-40 after Morgan Carbaugh sank a free throw with just under a minute to play.
Abbey Cornelius would answer with a foul shot, making it 43-40 with 30.2 seconds to go. Christian would score the game’s final basket.
Cornelius scored 13 to lead the Lady Hawks. Davis had 11. Malaka Grice added eight and Fields six.
Wyatt had a game-high 14 points for Farragut. Carbaugh added 11 and Christian finished with 10.
“This was a tough one,” Christian said. “... They’re rebounding really hurt us. We really wanted this game bad. But we’ll see them again.”