The Hill climbs to victory

Published 1:32 am Sunday, February 6, 2022

By Tim Gearhart

For The Ironton Tribune

A block here. A steal there.

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Then you add a 26-point shooting performance by Hazley Matthews and you get an upset 53-39 victory by the Rock Hill Redwomen over Coal Grove’s Lady Hornets in Ohio Valley Conference play.

We had to put a lot of personal stuff to the side tonight and stay focused on what we are trying to do here at Rock Hill,” Redwomen Coach Eric Bailey said after the game, played on The Hill.

The first quarter saw Rock Hill take a slight lead at 17-15. But the lead changed hands several times before the buzzer.

The second quarter saw increased defensive efforts on both ends of the court. The result was Coal Grove winning the quarter 9-6 to take a 24-23 lead to the locker room at halftime.

Matthews, who had 8 points in the first half, opened the third quarter with a pair of 3s, one from each corner. Rock Hill, with the Risner girls back in the lineup for the first time in a week, clogged the path to the basket, blocked shots and picked up a few steals.

Coach Bailey said the team discussed “strategies to enhance their second half performance.” Whatever they were, they worked.

Hayden Bailey found the range for another 3 and the result was a 15-4 run by the Redwomen – and Coal Grove never recovered. The Lady Hornets made 16 shot attempts in the third quarter. Only Kaleigh Murphy connected, with a 3 and a foul shot.

With new confidence, Rock Hill finished the game with a 15-11 effort. Bailey hit her second 3 pointer and Emma Harper found the range for a 3. Matthews made 5 of 6 from the foul line in the final quarter along with a deuce.

“The girls on this team all care for each other and it’s been so much fun seeing them grow,” Coach Bailey said.

The win touched off a loud celebration of the first victory over Coal Grove in a while.

Coal Grove placed two players in double figures. Murphy rolled up 20 points, while Abbey Hicks added 11. Matthews was Rock Hill’s leading scorer with a game high 26. Hayden Bailey had 13.

J’Lynn Risner returned to the lineup and had 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists and a steal. Matthews had 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal. Hayden Bailey had 3 steals, Aleigha Matney had 3 rebounds and an assist and Hope Easterling 3 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal.

Coal Grove   15   9     4   11   =   39

Rock Hill        17   6   15   15   =   53

Coal Grove: Kelsey Fraley1 0 0-2 2, Elli Holmes 1 0 0-0 2, Kaleigh Murphy 2 3 7-8 20, Abbey Hicks 3-1 2-2 11, Rylee Harmon 1 0 0-0 2, Kenadee Keaton 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 9 4 9-12 39. Fouls: 18. Fouled Out: None.

Rock Hill: Hayden Bailey 3 2 1-4 13, Emma Harper 0 1 0-0 3, Hope Easterling 2 0 0-0 4, Hazley Matthews 5 2 10-13 26, Hayleigh Risner 1 0 0-0 2, J’Lynn Risner 2 0 1-2 5. Totals: 13 5 12-19 53. Fouls: 15. Fouled Out: None.