MOC-Floyd Valley pulls away for win over Lady Blackhawks
HINTON — Basketball is often a game of runs and in Saturday’s girls basketball non-conference tilt between Hinton and MOC-Floyd Valley, it was the Lady Dutch who had one more run in them than their opponent as they pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 53-43 win.
“A three point lead gets up to six and eight and then we start scrambling and some of our inexperience, instead of really working a good shot, we take a quick shot,” Hinton Head Coach Matt Leary said. “It’s all just part of the learning process. We’ve got a couple juniors that have played a long time, still got a lot of sophomores and freshmen we’re plugging in there, too.”
Hinton played from behind for most of the game, getting down by double digits in the first quarter, but they kept finding a way to claw back into the contest.
“I was proud of our effort,” Leary said. “They had a couple eight point leads in the first half that we whittled away and battled all the way back, we just couldn’t quite get over that hump.”
After being down 16-6 in the first quarter, the Blackhawks ended the frame on a 7-0 run and despite going over three minutes into the second quarter without scoring again, Hinton was still right within reach at halftime as Ashlyn Kovarna hit a shot with about 10 seconds left before halftime to pull the team to within one at 25-24 entering the intermission. It was part of a double-double performance for Kovarna who finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds as she already had her double digit allotment of rebounds by halftime.
Leary liked what he saw from the freshman as she posted a career best in scoring while continuing to grow in her position on the offense.
“That was definitely what she knows she’s capable of,” Leary said. “Being 5’9”, she’s got long arms, athletic. Just if we can get consistency there.”
Hinton held a brief lead early in the second half as Bella Badar hit back-to-back 3-pointers for the team which first tied the game and then gave the Blackhawks the lead. She finished with 10 points as she made three total treys in the contest. The only other 3-pointer for the team came from Natalee Junck whose only made basket tied the game once more at 37 apiece.
On the other side, it seemed as though the Lady Dutch couldn’t miss from the perimeter as they got six of their seven 3-pointers from Kiernan Groendyke who was the team’s best 3-point shooter entering the game, but had posted just 12 through her first seven games. Leary said those threes seemed to always come right when his team was starting to get back into the game.
“Heading into this game, I don’t think she’d hit six in a game up to this point,” Leary said. “We knew she was their best outside threat. That was kind of the mentality we had was to make their perimeter girls beat us. We didn’t want No. 33 (DeHaan) to beat us. We kept DeHaan bottled up decently with seven at halftime, but as the fourth quarter went on she got six in the fourth quarter on offensive rebounds. Definitely Groendyke’s six threes were at big opportune times where we made a little run and she would answer.”
Groendyke cashed in on three in each half which included a 3-pointer to answer Badar’s back-to-back treys which tied the game and then retook the lead after Junck hit hers. The final one made it a six point game near the six minute mark in the fourth quarter and Hinton’s offense stalled from there, only scoring six points in the fourth quarter.
Groendyke ended with 18 points, all from her 3-pointers, while Jazlin DeHaan cashed in on 17 points, mostly from mop-up duty on offensive rebounds.
One of the differences in the game was free-throw shooting as the Lady Dutch made 10-of-13 in the game compared to 3-of-7 for the Blackhawks. Anna Coffee had two of those makes for Hinton as part of her 10 points in the contest.
The win takes the Remsen-Union grad Tanner Hilbrands’ coached team to 5-4 on the season.
Hinton drops to 3-3 as they are scheduled to have one more game Tuesday before the holiday break with a game at Akron-Westfield.