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Lady Hornets hold off SP to win OVC thriller, 59-56

South Point Lady Pointers’ Emilee Whitt drives to score two of her 26 points in a 59-56 loss to the Coal Grove Lady Hornets on Thursday. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

COAL GROVE — There’s an old 1956 war movie called “Attack.” Coal Grove Lady Hornets’ coach Rick Roach might have to dust it off and have his team watch it.
Unhappy with the way his team played in the first half, Roach told them to get aggressive in the second half.
Evidently, they listened and held on for a 59-56 Ohio Valley Conference win over the South Point Lady Pointers on Thursday.
“We played non-aggressive in the first half because of foul trouble. Luckily, (Abbey) Hicks came up with some big 3’s to give us a small lead,” said Roach. “At the half, I explained that we needed to start attacking the rim and we did in the second half.”
Going to the rim helped the Lady Hornets use their size advantage to get rebounds and then late in the game forced South Point to foul.
However, the Lady Hornets didn’t take total advantage of their free throw attempts. They were 17-of-33 for the game and just 3-of-8 from the line in the third quarter and 10-of-19 in the fourth quarter.
“I knew coming into the game we had the opportunity to outrebound South Point. (Kaleigh) Murphy, (Jaideyn) Griffith and (Rylee) Harmon did a great job boxing out and coming up with the ball,” said Roach.
South Point (3-4, 3-2) suffered another close loss and wasted a 26-point performance by Emilee Whitt.
“I’m so proud of these girls. They played so hard. Coal Grove did, too,” said Lady Pointers’ coach Dave Adams.
“They out-rebounded us. When you get outscored by 15 at the foul line, it’s hard to overcome. But we still had our chances at the end and we couldn’t get a shot to fall when we needed it.”
The Lady Hornets were up 10-9 after the first quarter. Hicks got hot and hit three treys as she scored 11 points in the second quarter to give Coal Grove a 28-24 halftime edge.
Addi Dillow and Murphy scored 5 points each in the third quarter and Coal Grove was up 45-37.
Coal Grove led by 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but Whitt scored 12 points and battled back to tie the game 52-52 with 1:46 left.
Sarah Roach put up a 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer that just missed and they Lady Hornets held on for the thrilling win.
Dillow finished with 20 points and Hicks had 17 for Coal Grove (7-1, 6-0).
Besides Whitt, Maddy Khounlavong had 12 points for South Point (3-4, 3-3).
Coal Grove goes to Oak Hill on Saturday and South Point visits Lewis County, Ky., on Monday.
South Point 9 15 13 19 = 56
Coal Grove 10 18 17 14 = 59
SOUTH POINT (3-4, 3-3): Emilee Whitt 9 2 2-6 26, Sarah Roach 2 0 0-0 4, Maddy Khounlabong 3 2 0-2 12, Emilee Carey 1 1 0-0 5, Sydney Markel 0 0 0-0 0, Diamond Crawley 0 3 0-0 9, Kimrie Staley 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-51 2-8 5. 3-pt goals: 8-24. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: Khounlavong. Rebounds: 6-O, 9-D = 15 (Whitt 6, Roach 4). Assists: 6 (Whitt 3, Khounlavong 2). Steals: 5 (Whitt 2). Turnovers: 4.
COAL GROVE (7-1, 6-0): Ellie Holmes 1 0 3-4 5, Addi Dillow 5 1 7-10 20, Caitlin Dillon 0 0 0-0 0, Kaleigh Murphy 3 0 3-4 9, Abbey Hicks 1 4 2-7 16, Rylee Harmon 2 0 2-8 7, Kenadee Keaton 0 0 0-0 0, Jaidyn Griffith 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 17-56 17-33 59. 3-pt goals: 5. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.