Cliff Curd had been concerned all season about having to play tough District 10-AAA opponents Rossview and Clarksville Northwest on back-to-back nights at Gamlin Gymnasium.
The Lady Patriots handled the first end of the double dip perfectly by capturing a 47-46 victory over Rossview on Thursday to move into first place in the district standings. But a fast start by Clarksville Northwest showed Curd his fears were justified on Friday night. The Lady Vikings grabbed an early 10-point lead in the contest that the Lady Patriots could never quite erase before dropping a 49-36 decision on Friday.
Henry County is now 9-6 on the season with a 6-1 mark in district games. Curd said the Lady Patriots played with great effort on both Thursday and Friday nights.
“I couldn’t have been happier with the way the girls battled to find a way to beat Rossview on Thursday. They had a tremendous game with a lot of effort and came out of it with a really big win,” said Curd after Friday’s game with Northwest.
He believes the amount of effort the team expended in beating Rossview may have limited the team some on Friday against Northwest’s tall, quick lineup.
“It just seemed against Northwest like we were just a step slow. We didn’t make as many good decisions about where and whom to challenge. I had been worried about having to play tough opponents like that on back-to-back nights. Northwest really shot the ball well to start the game and we never really recovered. We played them pretty even after the first quarter,” said Curd.
Curd said the bright side is the Lady Patriots have one game left in the first swing around the district on Tuesday at Montgomery Central and they are still tied with Rossview at the top of the district standings. The girls’ varsity game starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday with the boys to follow. The Lady Patriots had a non-district matchup on the schedule for tonight at Calloway County in Murray but that contest has been canceled.
LADY PATRIOTS 47, LADY HAWKS 46
Thursday’s battle was tight from the opening tipoff with neither team leading by more than five points. Henry County took its final lead at 47-46 when Averie O’Daniel sank a 3-point shot with 2:46 left in the contest. Henry County did a good job of both stopping Rossview from scoring again and handling the ball to run down the remaining time in the contest and secure the narrow victory.
Both teams took turns leading in the first quarter with Henry County finishing the frame on top 11-10 thanks to an Avery Cox jumper.
The second quarter was another back and forth battle with the Lady Patriots pulling into a 20-20 tie when Ella Bomar hit her second 3-point shot of the second period with 10 seconds remaining.
Rossview got out in front by as much as four points in the third stanza but the Lady Patriots battled back to tie the game at 34-34 on Bomar’s jumper with 15 seconds left in the frame.
Henry County got to rolling early in the fourth quarter and took a five-point lead thanks partly to baskets by Gracey Pack. Midway through the period, Rossview took the momentum away and held a three-point lead that Bomar erased with a 3-point basket with 4:11 left in the contest. After the Lady Hawks answered with a basket, O’Daniel hit her game-winning 3-pointer.
Bomar hit four 3-pointers in the game and led Henry County in scoring with 16 points. Pack contributed nine points with Abby Grace Alton finishing with eight. O’Daniel tossed in five points with Mary Raye Smith scoring three. Scoring two points each were Aly Diggs, Ta’Maya Easley and Cox.
Rossview got 15 points from Kayla Gilmore and 11 from Ever Walker. Courtney Daniels hit for eight points with Rayanna Grant scoring five and Chelsea Williams adding four. Maggie Croom put in two points while Kristin Edwards scored one.
LADY VIKINGS 49, LADY PATRIOTS 36
Northwest took it to Henry County early and it paid off with a victory for the Lady Vikings. Henry County fell behind 12-2 before settling down and cutting the Lady Vikings’ lead to 21-13 by the end of the first period. Diggs hit a 3-pointer and had seven points for the Lady Patriots in the opening frame. Tamia Scott scored six points for the Lady Vikings.
Henry County kept chipping away at the Northwest lead and got within two points three times in the second quarter. The last time came at 25-23 on an O’Daniel layup. The Lady Vikings finished the quarter with a 5-0 scoring run to hold a 30-23 halftime advantage.
The third quarter was mostly an even swap of buckets with Northwest managing a 9-7 scoring edge that gave the Lady Vikings a 39-30 lead going into the fourth quarter. Diggs sank a 3-pointer for the Lady Patriots in the third period.
Scoring troubles prevented any kind of comeback for the Lady Patriots in the fourth quarter. Northwest posted a 10-6 scoring edge the last frame to win 49-36.
Diggs topped the Lady Patriots’ scoring attack with 12 points in the game while Bomar added six. Pack, O’Daniel and Charly Hutson all tossed in four points. Scoring two points each were Smith, Easley and Shamaya Humphreys.
Northwest’s Scott poured in 21 points while Emiyah Cobb added 12, including two 3-point baskets. Madison King scored eight points while Kayla Howell hit for six and TaKayla Phinnesse chipped in two points.