MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

January 29, 2013

Hilldale girls grab No. 13, Wagoner boys hold on

Hillary was in the news again Tuesday night.

But it wasn’t the Hillary in our nation’s capital, it was Hillary Calvert of the Hilldale Hornets who came off the bench and sparked the Lady Hornets to a 42-36 Verdigris Valley Conference victory against Wagoner at the Hilldale Event Center.

The senior forward, who is coming off the flu,  knocked down 11 of her 14 points in the final quarter to propel Hilldale to its 13th victory of the season.

“Hillary is working her way back into shape,”  Hilldale coach Scott Hensley said. “She felt terrible tonight, but she came in and played a heck of a game.”

Calvert, who also had a key rebound late in the game for Hilldale, was glad to see her shots start falling.

“The shots weren’t falling in the first half so I just had to step up and make some shots,” Calvert said. ‘My teammates did a good job of working the ball around and making good passes to me when I was open.”

The game also marked the first time in this century that the Lady Hornets (13-6) played at home while being ranked in the top 20, drawing the No. 19 spot in Class 4A this week according to Okrankings.com.

“It is nice to be ranked,” Hensley said. “It’s a blessing to be able to coach a bunch of young ladies that work as hard as they do.”

The teams see-sawed with the lead in the first half with Hilldale on top 12-4 after the first quarter, but Wagoner outscoring the Lady Hornets 14-7 in the second quarter to trim the Hilldale lead to just one at halftime, 19-18.

Wagoner used a 2-3 zone, forcing Hilldale to shoot from the outside, while using a double post on offense to outscore the Lady Hornets 16-7 in the third quarter. Wagoner owned a 34-25 advantage at the end of three. But then Calvert sprang into action.

Calvert converted a pair of 3-pointers in the first minute of the fourth quarter to cut the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to just three points.

Hilldale ran off five more points to take a 36-34 lead and Wagoner tied it at 36-36 with 4:10 left to play. But that would be it for the Lady Bulldogs as they committed five turnovers down the stretch and went 0-for-3 from the free throw line, all on the front end of one-and-one situations.

Hilldale, meanwhile, was six-of-eight from the free throw line, including both ends of a one-and-one by Calvert, to put the game away.

Senior floor leader Leah Gragg, who kept Hilldale going in the first half with a three from beyond the arc, also had 14 points to join Calvert in double figures. Cherokee Ridge was the leading scorer for the Lady Bulldogs (2-16) with 12 points and Gabby Roberts had 11.

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