Highlander girls Slash Patriots, 61-53
HUNTINGTON — Huntington High’s most-effective play Friday night was the missed shot.
The Highlanders scored 18 points off offensive rebounds in a 61-53 victory over George Washington in girls basketball at Lucas-Archer Gym. Madison Slash led HHS (6-4) with 16 points, 10 off put backs as she scored on five of her game-high 14 rebounds.
“Oh, a double-double. That means I get food,” Slash said of a special meal her mom Jennifer agreed to supply as a reward.
Slash said she knew she had to play well against the Patriots (4-5) and that point was emphasized by Highlanders coach Lonnie Lucas.
“Coach told me the day before that I had to play my best,” Slash said. “Before the game, I just prayed that I would. Honestly, I just prayed.”
Slash’s prayers were answered. Lucas might ask her to consult God before each game.
“She played and showed what she can do,” Lucas said of the 6-foot-1 sophomore. “We expect a double-double game every night. She worked for it tonight. She worked hard.”
HHS trailed 20-15 after the first quarter and Kalissa Lacy opened the second period with a 3-point basket to extend the Patriots’ lead to eight, their largest of he night. Slash scored off an offensive rebound 7:27 before halftime to start Huntington High on a 17-6 run to close the quarter. Katie Swann’s drive for a basket put the Highlanders ahead 30-28 and they never trailed again.
Huntington High led by 12 in the fourth quarter after a 3-pointer by Ravyn Woodson with 3:26 to play. George Washington pulled within 58-53 with 54 seconds left, but Alezha Turner made a free throw and Lathaia Jackson made a basket to set the score. Turner finished with 15 points and Jackson 12.
When HHS fell behind early, Lucas said he told his players to continue to work the game plan, which was to drive inside.
“Even when we were missing layups, I told them to keep going, keep shooting layups,” Lucas said.
Those shots began to drop allowing Huntington High to overcome a 32-point, nine rebound effort by Lacy.
“We have a lot of fast people who can penetrate down the lane,” Slash said. “That’s what we needed to do because George Washington is very good.”
The Highlanders also switched defenses throughout, forcing George Washington to adjust. With the
Patriots’ 3-pointers not falling, they went inside, but had four shots blocked, three by Slash, and several others altered. Patriots all-state guard Katy Darnell scored just eight points on 2-for-10 shooting.
The victory tied HHS’ win total from last season when they finished 6-16. Lucas said this team is significantly better.
“That’s six of the first 10,” Lucas said. “We hope to do better than that the second half of the season.”
That second half begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday when the Highlanders play host to St. Albans.
GEORGE WASHINGTON 20 9 12 12 — 53: Lacy 32, Ho 4, Harminson 2, Darnell 8, Smith 4, Harman 3.
HUNTINGTON HIGH 15 19 14 13 — 61: Swann 7, Jackson 12, Turner 15, Slash 16, Goodson 7, Foley 4.