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November 10, 2012

H.S. GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Henryville commits 28 turnovers to fall in Tipoff Tourney final, 45-33

HENRYVILLE — On Saturday night at Furnish Gymnasium, the Henryville girls’ basketball team tried to avenge last year’s loss to Oldenburg Academy in the championship game of the Henryville Tipoff Tournament.

But a slew of turnovers prevented the Hornets from paying back the defending champion Twisters.

Henryville committed 28 turnovers, with 17 coming in the first half, to fall to Oldenburg Academy in this year‘s tournament final, 45-33.

Hornets’ coach Josh Conrad said the miscues were too much for his team to overcome, as Henryville trailed by 18 points at halftime and by as many as 24 points early in the fourth quarter.

“[The turnovers] were more of our lack of effort tonight,” Conrad said. “We were not positioned low to the basketball and not cutting to our passes. [Handling the ball] is one of those things you’ve got to do from the get-go.”

The Twisters’ defense had a lot to do with the Hornet errors, too. It did not matter what defense Oldenburg was in, whether it was its zone full-court press or its half-court man-to-man, because it forced Henryville turnovers. The Twisters (3-0) did a good job of moving their feet and spreading their arms to create deflections.

Conrad expected Oldenburg to apply that kind of stifling pressure throughout the contest.

“We talked about that heading in,” Conrad said. “We got back on our heels early and they had more intensity than we did.”

The Hornets (3-1) made a late run, but it was too little, too late. Trailing 43-19 in the final period, they scored 14 unanswered points to pull within 10 points. Henryville senior guard Chelsea LaMotte scored seven of her nine points during the spurt, which included a 3-pointer.

Freshman guard Emily Hollis led the Hornets with 12 points, shooting 5-of-19 from the field. Conrad credits Hollis’ chemistry with Henryville senior point guard Jasmine Harrell for helping the rookie get the ball in the bucket on Saturday.

“She does a good job of positioning herself, and a lot of that goes to Jasmine. In transition, they do a good job of finding each other,” Conrad said. “[Hollis] can definitely shoot the ball. Tonight, she didn’t get into the flow until the end. But she has a chance to knock down some shots.”

Conrad says there are some benefits to playing a tournament at the start of the season.

“You get to see a lot of defenses and personnel early on. It allows you to see a lot of different things,” Conrad said. “They’re really a fun group to coach. We have a lot of things to work on, but they are good things to work on.”

Henryville will travel to New Washington for its Southern Athletic Conference opener on Friday.

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