Phoenix Staff Reports
INOLA – For the Hilldale Lady Hornets, it got better after the first quarter, but it was not good enough.
After being down 14-3 to Inola after the opening period, Hilldale rallied to cut the deficit to 45-42 on Hillary Calvert’s 3-pointer with 29.1 seconds left in the game, but the Lady Hornets wouldn’t get any closer in losing to the Lady Longhorns 52-42 in the Class 4A, Area IV District 6 championship game on Saturday.
Calvert finished with 13 points on 3 of 11 shooting from 3-point range. Disappointment was evident on her face as she walked out of the locker room after the game.
“I never did give up on us,” she said. “I had confidence we could come back, but this isn’t the result we wanted.”
The Lady Hornets, now 16-8 for the season, play Wagoner (3-21) at Wagoner at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in regional action.
Hilldale never led in the game. Except for the three-point deficit at the end of the game, the closest it got was 31-29 on Casady Mills’ second 3-pointer in the third quarter with 46.7 seconds remaining.
Katie Kirkhart led the Lady Hornets in scoring with 16 points on six-of-eight shooting from the floor.
Still, the Lady Hornets’ start proved costly.
Kirkhart’s 3-pointer with 2:18 left in the first period was Hilldale’s only points of the quarter.
Coach Scott Hensley pointed to himself for the loss.
“We weren’t ready to play and that’s my fault,” he said. “I didn’t have us prepared like we needed to be. Inola played well and did really good job.”
After Calvert cut the deficit to three, the Lady Longhorns scored the game’s last seven points to take the victory.
Stevie Rutherford led all scorers and paced the Lady Longhorns with 22 points in making 8 of 13 shots from the field, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
Kristen Mootry had eight and Lauren McDaniel added seven points for Inola.
Inola (14-9) faces Muldrow (19-5) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the regional in Wagoner.
Inola 57, Hilldale 53, OT
It was a situation that Hunter Harrison hadn’t been through before.
With Harrison and the Hilldale Hornets trailing 55-53 with eight seconds left in overtime, he was asked to miss a free throw on purpose after missing his first attempt.
The Hilldale senior, though, crossed the free-throw line too early – a violation – and the Hornets lost in overtime to the Inola Longhorns in Class 4A districts at the Inola Indoor Sports Arena on Saturday night.
The plan, Hilldale coach Jeremy Rogers said, was for Harrison to miss, the Hornets get the rebound and put a shot back up in the attempt to tie the game. It didn’t work out.
“I let my team down,” Harrison said.
The Hornets fell to 5-18 for the season and play Wagoner (9-15) at 3 p.m. Thursday at Wagoner in regional action.
Rogers was proud of how his team had a chance to pull this game out.
“We were the big underdogs,” he said. “We played hard when nobody gave us a chance to win this game. We played them to the end.”
Harrison finished with 13 points and was one of three Hornets in double figures.
Bill Muse, Jr. led the way 17 points, sinking five 3-pointers. Brad Campbell added 10.
Campbell, a 6-foot-1 junior, sank two free throws with 11.2 seconds left in regulation, tying the game at 51-51.
Travis Hall of Inola then tried a jumper with 3.3 seconds left in the game that fell short and the game went into overtime.
Taylor Mootry provided the difference in the game as he sank two free throws with 6.4 seconds left in the game.
Casey Gill, a 6-5 junior, led the Longhorns (16-8) with 15 points. Brett Shaw and Aaron Davis had 11 each. Inola plays Muldrow at 8 p.m. in Wagoner on Thursday.
The Hornets fell behind 44-39 in the fourth quarter, but they climbed back into it as Harrison scored five points and Campbell made a couple of free throws to cut the Inola lead to 48-47 with 3:20 left.
Dylan Rowan’s basket for the Hornets with 58.3 seconds left tied the game at 49-49.
Inola’s Gill put his team ahead 51-49 with 42.0 seconds left in regulation and then Campell sank the free throws and the game went into overtime.