Henryville shocked New Washington with a strong second-half comeback, 36-31 on Friday.
Throughout the first two quarters, both New Washington and Henryville were locked up in a defensive battle. Neither team was able to get anything going offensively and turnovers were a issue for both sides.
New Washington’s Ashley Johnson got off to a fast start and helped the Mustangs out to a 11-5 lead after the first.
New Washington continued its solid defense in the second quarter and was able to control the pace of the game. Both teams struggled to score and New Washington ended the second with just nine points in the quarter.
With under a minute left in the second quarter, Henryville had just scored one point before sophomore Emily Hollis connected for back-to-back 3s, stopping the Hornet drought and getting them within 20-12 at the break.
“We didn’t play the last minute of the half.” Mustang coach Terry White said. “Hollis is a good ball player. We didn’t want to give her any good looks, but her dribble-drive was there and we were not hedging on the ball screens.”
The third quarter was the start of what would be a reverse of the first half.
Holli,s who sent the Hornets into the half with the momentum, now had her swagger and came out guns blazing. New Washington struggled to get anything going and found itself searching for answers.
Henryville, who came out of the locker room a different team, kept rotating pressure on New Washington and played an intense style of defense, holding the Mustangs to eight points in the quarter to get within 28-24 heading into the final period.
The fourth quarter was a repeat of the third, but Henryville had all the momentum. Its tight defense and a raucous crowd forced New Washington into bad shots and the Mustangs were unable to stop the run.
The Mustangs were held to just three points in the fourth, while Hollis made play-after-play giving Henryville the lead early in the final stanza.
From there, Henryville never relinquished the lead and won its Southern Athletic Conference opener over the defending SAC champions.
“Defensively, we played a really nice game.” Henryville coach Josh Conrad said. “We were able to make New Washington take some tough shots and we competed for rebounds. Offensively, we struggled in the first half but did a much better job being ready to shoot in the second half. This was a very nice win for us, New Washington is good, well coached team.”
Hollis led Henryville with 20 points on which 12 were in the second half. Haley Huddleston had nine points, three rebounds and two steals for the Hornets and junior Lesha Dallas chipped in with six points and two rebounds.
“Emily is a really good player when she plays under control and takes balanced shots.” Conrad said.
Ashley Johnson finished with 14 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Senior Caroline Ricks added seven points and 10 rebounds in the Mustang defeat.
“We didn’t stay focused again,” White said. “We didn’t maintain our intensity, and when they made their run, we didn’t make any adjustments.”
New Washington plays again today as it hosts Madison Shawe. Henryville will travel to take on 1-0 Charlestown — an upset winner over Corydon Central on Friday — next Saturday.
HENRYVILLE 36, NEW WASHINGTON 31
New Washington 11 9 8 3—31
Henryville 5 7 12 12—36
Henryville (4-1, 1-0 SAC): Emily Hollis 20, Haley Huddleston 9, Lesha Dallas 6, Abbi Robertson 1.
New Washington (1-2, 0-1): Ashley Johnson 14, Caroline Ricks 7, Emilee Holloway 6, Lexie James 2, Kaitlyn Schindler 2.
Rebounds: Henryville 13 (Huddleston, Robertson 3), New Washington 22 (Ricks 10).
Assists: Henryville 5 (Hollis 2), New Washington 7 (Johnson 3).
Free Throws: Henryville 4-7, New Washington 2-6.