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Lady Hornets win share of OVC title

Coal Grove Lady Hornets’ Baylee McKnight (4) takes aim as she hits one of her five 3-pointers in a 53-51 win over the South Point Lady Pointers on Thursday. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

COAL GROVE — The wait is over.
For the first time in 12 seasons, the Coal Grove Lady Hornets are hoisting an Ohio Valley Conference championship trophy.
The Lady Hornets held off a furious fourth quarter South Point Pointers’ rally for a 53-51 win and earned a share of the OVC basketball title along with the Fairland Lady Dragons.
“Even though it’s a tie, we will take it,” said Lady Hornets’ coach Rick Roach.
“This is by far the most unselfish team I’ve coached. That doesn’t show up in the scorebook, but it does in my book.”
Coal Grove (18-4, 12-2) was leading by 11 points after three quarter and stretch the difference to 20 points in the fourth quarter before South Point began to rally.
“We beat (South Point) early in the season after a comeback in the second half,” said Roach. “This game was close in the first half because of the outside shooting of McKnight and Whitt. We came out and took a big lead early in the third. Dolen was excellent on the boards”
Baylee McKnight hit five 3-poitners and scored 19 points to lead the Lady Hornets. Destiny Dolen added 10 points while Addi Dillow and Kaleigh Murphy had eight each.
Emilee Whitt had a red-hot hand as she hit six 3-pointers and scored 27 points for the Lady Pointers (15-6, 10-4). Emilee Carey added eight points.
Coal Grove led 13-8 after the first quarter as McKnight hit a 3-pointer and scored five points with Murphy adding four. Whitt and Carey each hit 3-pointers for the Lady Pointers.
The lead went to 29-22 at the half as Dolen and Murphy had four points and Lauren Crum and McKnight hit 3-pointers.
Whitt had three treys and scored seven points in the quarter.
McKnight knocked down three triples with Dillow and Dolen getting four each. Carey hit a 3-pointer and had five points with Whitt added a 3-pointer.
Whitt scored 11 points as South Point rallied in the fourth quarter.
But McKnight each hit a pair of foul shots with five seconds left to give the Lady Hornets a five-point lead and not only seal the win but the league title.
“South Point decided to have a little comeback of their own. We squandered away a 20-point lead and my girls quit believing they could win,” said Roach.
“I told my girls this was our game to win. In the last minute, (South Point) started fouling and we started getting a little confidence back.”
Next up is the sectional tournament at Jackson on Monday. Coal Grove plays Rock Hill at 6:45 and South Point faces Southeastern at 8:30.
South Point 8 14 14 15 = 51
Coal Grove 13 16 18 6 = 53
SOUTH POINT (15-6, 10-4): Emilee Whitt 2 6 5-7 27, Jaden Howard 0 0 0-0 0, Sarah Roach 0 0 0-0 0, Maddy Khounlavong 2 0 1-3 5, Emilee Carey 1 2 0-0 8, Diamond Crawley 0 0 2-2 2, Kate Mundy 2 0 1-4 5, Ashley Perkey 2 0 0-1 4. Totals: 17-54 9-17 51. 3-pt goals: 8. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Khounlavong.
COAL GROVE (18-4, 12-2): Addi Dillow 3 0 2-3 8, Baylee McKnight 1 4 2-2 19, Kaleigh Murphy 4 0 0-0 8, Destiny Dolen 4 0 2-2 10, Lauren Crum 1 1 1-2 6, Abbey Hicks 0 0 0-0 0, Jaiden Griffith 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 20-60 7-9 53. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.