Hinton girls drop ranked matchup to Unity

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

ORANGE CITY — Double doubles from Ashlyn Kovarna (18 points, 14 rebounds) and Bailey Boeve (11 points, 10 rebounds) weren’t enough for Hinton’s girls basketball team Friday night.

Second-ranked (Class 3A) Unity Christian received 23 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, seven steals and four blocked shots from Gracie Schoonhoven during a 62-55 War Eagle Conference victory over the No. 15 (Class 2A) Blackhawks.

Hinton Head Coach Matt Leary had a plan against an athlete who he describes as “one of the best players in the state, regardless of class.”

“Gracie was very active,” said Leary. “She’s 5-11, she’s long. She reads passing very well. When we’d go on a run, she was a run-stopper with a steal or getting a big basket or a making a play on transition. We fronted her and backed her on the post.”

This was a game of runs. Hinton (9-3, 3-2 WEC) rallied from a 10-9 first-quarter deficit to go on a 10-2 run in the first two minutes of the second quarter which included a 3-point field goal from both Natalee Junck and Aubree Lake.

Meanwhile Boeve’s offensive rebound basket and Lake’s three both came off turnovers, Lake’s giving the visitors a 19-12 lead.

Reserve Jaeleye Woudstra hit a pair of 3-pointers as Unity rallied from a 26-16 deficit to go on a 12-2 run in the final 2:16 of the second quarter to knot the game 28-28 at halftime.

Consecutive baskets from Kovarna and Boeve started the third quarter as Hinton entered the game’s final eight minutes with a 46-40 lead. Unity (8-2, 5-0 WEC) went on a 12-1 run to begin the fourth quarter and from there, never trailed.

Hinton, bidding for its first win over the Knights since a 61-55 decision on Jan. 17, 2014, crept within 54-52 as Boeve hit a free throw after she was fouled on a basket to complete a three-point play with two minutes left, but Katelyn Zevenbergen’s three-point basket began an 8-3 run to end the game.

“Even though we lost by seven, it was closer than that,” said Leary. “I think we had them on the ropes. I thought we executed our game plan. We have nothing to hang our heads about. It was a very fun game. The environment was almost tournament-like.”

Boeve and Kovarna each recorded their third double-double of the week. Boeve has six on the season, two more than Kovarna, who has had four in a row. Junck’s 17 points included 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.

Lake had nine assists and four steals while Kovarna had three steals. Boeve had one blocked shot for Hinton, which will play at Trinity Christian Thursday, then host Harris-Lake Park Friday.

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