Early deficit too much for Lady Hawks; second-half struggles doom HVA boys

FOUNTAIN CITY -— Hardin Valley Academy’s girls basketball team had its struggles against one of the most improved teams in the area.

The end result was a 51-39 loss at Knoxville Central Saturday, Dec. 7.

The Lady Hawks (3-3 after the loss) fell behind late in the first quarter and never really recovered, as the Lady Bobcats had a productive offensive night.

“They were a very good offensive team,” HVA head coach Jennifer Galloway said. “And it took us a while to get adjusted to some of the stuff they were doing.”

Kate Bass, senior guard, led HVA with 10 points. Malaka Grice, senior post, added nine. Maddie Norris and Tori Adams, both seniors, had eight points each. Senior Allie Sexton finished with four.

“We need to work on trying to stay focused on playing good, hard-nosed defense,” Galloway said. “This is our last game before we start play in our district and nothing’s going to be easy there.”

Senior forward Ashton Blair had a game-high 15 points for Central (3-5). win).

For a little more than a half, Hardin Valley Academy’s boys basketball team was embroiled in a competitive game against Knoxville Central.

But things went downhill in a hurry for the Hawks Saturday night, Dec. 7, in North Knoxville.

“It was a game where we battled, but we had some careless turnovers and then they did what they wanted to do inside,” HVA head coach Shane Chambers said after his team fell 84-50.

The Hawks actually trimmed Central’s advantage to 34-31 when Jack Niezgoda buried a 3-pointer on HVA’s first possession after halftime — before things went south quickly for the Hawks (2-4 record beginning the week).

“Tonight it was tough, but we’ve been playing some really good teams and these games will definitely get us ready for the competition that we’re going to see in our district,” said Niezgoda, who scored a team-high 16.

Greg Moore tossed in a game-high 26 points for the Bobcats, as Central improved its record to 5-4.