By GREG MENGELT
CHARLESTOWN — After an ugly 56-38 loss to New Washington earlier in the week, Charlestown needed a strong comeback performance on Saturday.
The Pirates overpowered Henryville — a team that earlier upset New Wash — in a 58-39 victory at the Charlestown Sports Complex.
“It was very important to come back out and prove to ourselves that we could be a better team than we were against New Wash,” Charlestown junior guard Kaitlynn Henning said.
“Our players just needed to bounce back,” Charlestown first-year coach Michael Prichard said. “If we played like we did against New Washington, it was going to be a long season. It was hard to watch. I’m glad we bounced back.”
Henning led the 2-1 Pirates with 22 points, running the fast break with efficiency and knocking down a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter when Charlestown outscored Henryville 16-8 to clinch the victory.
“I like to set the tempo fast and get the offense going,” Henning said. “If I have to slow things down, I will. But I like the up-tempo.”
“She’s really important on our team,” senior Megan Brooks said of Henning. “She sets the tempo. You can always count on her to finish.”
Henryville coach Josh Conrad said Henning leading the Charlestown fast break — and his team’s inability to stop her — was the key to the game.
“We gave up 16 points in transition, layups,” he said. “It’s blatant that we’re not getting back on defense and they’re just shooting layups. Whenever you go into a game with two good teams competing against each other, that puts you at a disadvantage right away. We didn’t get back very well.”
The Pirates led from start to finish, grabbing an early 7-4 lead on a Justice Burden 3-pointer. They pushed the lead to 13-7 before Henning nailed a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer.
“It was important to us, as a team, to get off to a good start,” Prichard said. “In the first two games, we were terrible in the first quarter.”
Charlestown got the lead up to as many as 14 in the second quarter at 26-12 on a Henning fast-break layup. Haley Huddleston and Emily Hollis led an 8-0 run late in the second quarter to pull the Hornets to within 26-20. Charlestown junior Shelby Goedeker hit a pair of free throws to give the Pirates a 28-20 halftime lead.
Hollis scored 19 points, including a game-high four 3-pointers, and Huddleston added 16 as the sophomore duo finished with 35 of Henryville’s 39 points.
After a Hollis 3 early in the third quarter cut the deficit to five points, Charlestown put the game away with an 8-0 run, which included four points from Burden, as the Pirates outscored the Hornets 14-11 in the quarter.
A Henning 3-pointer early in the fourth gave Charlestown a 46-31 lead and her second 3 of the period made it 49-33 with 4:52 remaining.
“[Henning] did some nice things today that made me really proud of her,” Prichard said.
“As my shot started to fall, I started to feel it,” Henning said.
The Pirates host Austin in a big Mid-Southern Conference game on Wednesday.
Henryville, which is now 4-2 on the season, will get its shot to bounce back on Thursday when it goes into Lanesville for a Southern Athletic Conference game.
CHARLESTOWN 58, HENRYVILLE 39
Henryville 7 13 11 8—39
Charlestown 16 12 14 16—58
Henryville (4-2): Haley Huddleston 16, Sadie Spears 2, Emily Hollis 19, Abbi Robertson 2.
Charlestown (2-1): Kaitlynn Henning 22, Shelby Goedeker 4, Jessica Farmer 2, Megan Brooks 6, Lauren Crowe 2, Hayley Layton 2, Justice Burden 18, Kim Knight 2.
3-point field goals: Henryville 3 (Hollis 3); Charlestown 4 (Henning 3, Burden).
Free throws: Henryville 3-6; Charlestown 15-21.
Fouled out: None.
Technical fouls: None.
JV: Henryville 32-21.