HHS outlasts Dragons, 53-42
HUNTINGTON - Huntington High’s guards proved to be the difference with high pressure defense and speedy offense and it helped the Highlanders girls basketball team to a 53-42 home win over Ohio Valley Conference power Fairland Dragons Monday.
Lataiha Jackson scored nine points in the win for Huntington High but played only the second half after HHS head coach Lonnie Lucas made the sophomore sit out the first two quarters. When she got in the game, Jackson sparked the Highlanders offense as it pulled away from Fairland in a tight game.
The two teams battled to two ties and four lead changes through the first quarter that abnormally low-scoring considering the speed of Huntington (4-2) and the three-point shooting of Fairland (4-3). The Dragons had trouble getting shots inside the paint to fall through the hoop rather than roll around the rim while Huntington struggled with turnovers and finding a consistent scorer.
Fairland led 8-6 at the end of the first period but Huntington made its move in the second period finding the right stroke from behind the three-point arch. A layup by Katie Swann tied the game at 11-11 and then with 1:50 to go before halftime Marianna Patterson hit the first of two three-point shots that gave Huntington an 18-17 lead.
Patterson’s second three-pointer gave Huntington a 21-17 lead before Allie Marshall got a field goal on Fairland’s last possession of the first half to cut the lead to 21-19 at the break.
Jackson entered the game then to start the third quarter and along with Alezha Turner and Swann scored 13 of the Huntington’s 15 points in the third period.
“I just came out and did what I had to do to make a difference,” Jackson said. “I think we still could have been a better team by playing to our full potential. We could’ve done better.”
With Jackson in the game Huntington was able to step up its defensive pressure and limit the damage Fairland could do with its outside shooting.
Harlie Lyons hit two threes in the fourth quarter while Jenna Stone added another to get the Dragons within 36-33 of Huntington after trailing in the third period by as many as nine points. Madison Slash scored a field goal that halted a Fairland scoring run while Marshall picked up her fourth and fifth fouls midway through the final quarter.
With 1:53 left to play in the game, Huntington was back up by eight.
“We were quicker and that showed,” Lucas said. “We played a lot at their pace and when we did they beat us.”
Marshall, who scored 10 points in the game, said Fairland became “flustered with (Huntington’s) pressure and defense.”
She added that the Dragons struggled to get back in transition to contain Huntington’s points off turnovers.
FAIRLAND 8 11 8 16 - 42: Lyons 12, A. Marshall 10, Warnock 2, Thompson 6, Stone 8, E. Marshall 2, Roland 2.
HUNTINGTON 6 15 15 17 - 53: Swann 5, Jackson 9, Turner 15, Foley 2, Slash 9, Goodson 7, Patterson 6.