Two fourth-quarter runs helped Locust Grove get a crowd-hushing 41-38 victory over Hilldale Tuesday at the Hilldale Event Center.
A 9-0 Hilldale run at the start of the final period seemed to give the Hornets some relief against the Lady Pirates as they would lead by 8 with 3:55 left in the game. But in a span of 40 seconds, Locust Grove acted off five Lady Hornets turnovers to make it a 30-29 game.
“They started pressuring heavy. We had to make strong moves to get out of the double team. We wanted to meet the ball in the middle and get a pass. Unfortunately some things just don’t work out,” said Hilldale coach Scott Hensley, whose team fell to 5-5.
Hilldale would fight back and led by three with 1:25 to play but Bailey Holman hit consecutive 3s to put Locust up 37-34. The Lady Pirates (7-2) extended it to six before Hillary Calvert’s buzzer-beater for 3, her only successful shot of the day, ended the scoring.
Holman led Locust Grove in scoring with 17 and Kirkhart led Hilldale with 13. Emily Dowdy and Kenzie Mize both finished with 8 for the Lady Hornets.
Locust Grove 67,
The Hornets (2-6) tried to mount a rally, but a 23-7 first period was the poison that made it insurmountable against Locust Grove (8-1).
Hilldale outscored the Pirates by 7 in the third after trailing 37-21 at the half to make it a 51-42 game, but couldn’t get any closer.
Tyler Rowland led Locust Grove with 15.
Bill Muse was a big part of the Hornets; unfinished comeback as he would rack up 17 points and would be the highest scorer in the game.
“Defense was the key the whole way. Locust is a great team. They have a lot of great shooters, give them all the credit,” said Muse. “But we kept fighting hard and chipped their lead some. If we can play with that intensity the rest of the year, we will be fine.”