By KEVIN HARRIS
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.
Providence bounced back from a 20-point loss at Oldenburg Academy on Friday in the pool play round by beating Medora in the third-place game on Saturday, 55-34.
Senior Meredith Endris and junior Taylor Smallwood each paced the Pioneers (2-1) with 12 points. Teammates Michaela Hoke and Nichole Tucker each tallied eight. Providence led 22-5 at the end of the opening quarter and 35-12 at halftime.
“I was just excited with the way we came out after a bad loss,” Pioneers’ coach Brad Burden said. “I was excited with our defensive pressure and offensive execution. If we can cut down on our turnovers, I think we’ll be OK.”
Providence will visit Shawe Memorial on Tuesday.
HENRYVILLE TIPOFF TOURNAMENT
OLDENBURG ACADEMY 45, HENRYVILLE 33
Oldenburg Academy 16 12 8 9—45
Henryville 6 4 8 15—33
Oldenburg Academy (3-0): Kristen Ricke 8-15 2-3 18, Ella Lamping 4-8 4-6 12, Cora Weisenbach 5-14 0-1 11, Anna Dickman 1-1 0-0 2, Rachel Fairchild 1-5 0-0 2, Sarah Gutman 0-2 0-0 0, Brittany Harrell 0-1 0-0 0, Briana Tindall 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-47 6-10 45.
Henryville (3-1): Emily Hollis 5-19 1-2 12, Chelsea LaMotte 4-7 0-0 9, Lesha Dallas 1-2 3-6 5, Tami Burgin 1-3 1-3 3, Jasmine Harrell 1-9 0-0 2, Abbi Robertson 0-3 2-2 2, Bethanie Harbold 0-3 0-2 0, Sadie Spears 0-2 0-0 0, Sammy Hunt 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 12-49 7-15 33.
3-point field goals: Oldenburg Academy 1-3 (Weisenbach 1-2, Ricke 0-1); Henryville 2-12 (LaMotte 1-3, Hollis 1-6, Harbold 0-1, Harrell 0-1, Hunt 0-1).
Rebounds: Oldenburg Academy 30 (Dickman 7); Henryville 41 (Burgin, Harrell 8).
Turnovers: Oldenburg Academy 22, Henryville 28.
Fouls: Oldenburg Academy 12, Henryville 15.
Fouled out: None.
PROVIDENCE 55, MEDORA 34
Providence 22 13 11 9—55
Medora 5 7 6 16—34
Providence (2-1): Meredith Endris 12, Taylor Smallwood 12, Michaela Hoke 8, Nichole Tucker 8, Sara Gryboski 5, Lillian Hughes 4, Marlee Karem 4, Abby Hunt 2, Elizabeth Aubrey 0, Kelsea Kramer 0, Kacie Pace 0, Claire Shannon 0.
Medora (2-2): Ashley Lambert 11, Hannah Elkins 10, Monika Bevers 4, Carley McCammon 3, Jadelyn Dean 2, Megan Weddell 2, Mariah Campbell 1, Montana Wheeler 1, Justice Dean 0, Kylee King 0.
3-point field goals: Providence 3 (Endris 2, Hoke); Medora 5 (Elkins 2, Lambert 2, McCammon).
Free throws: Providence 8-12, Medora 7-13.