Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
FRANKFORT — Not too long ago, Adena’s girls were riding a four-game losing streak after beginning the year by winning nine of their first 12 contests.
The Warriors weren’t focused, weren’t playing with a sense of urgency and, maybe most importantly, weren’t paying attention to the “little things,” as coach Andrew Day explained.
However, after the team’s last two performances, that four-game skid seems like ancient history.
Following a 54-36 win over New Hope Christian this past weekend, the Warriors may have turned in their most complete effort this season in Tuesday’s 65-60 over Huntington in SVC action.
It was a victory where they started strong, shot a blistering 53.6 percent from the field and, you guessed it, gave their undivided attention to the “little things.”
“We are a team that’s pretty good when we do the little things right,” Day said after the win. “We can’t afford to not do the little things right. Tonight, we got back to fundamentals and hopefully, we’re starting to see that that’s the energy and effort we need to bring. And when you see the ball go through the net, it definitely helps.”
The ball certainly found nylon early and often. In the first half alone, the Warriors (11-7, 6-4 SVC) shot 13-of-21 from the floor and 7-of-10 from beyond the 3-point arc.
To put it bluntly, Adena put on an absolute shooting clinic en route to a five-point halftime lead.
“We have talked a lot about coming out strong. When we had that four-game losing streak, it seemed like that was the common denominator, where we just didn’t show up ready to play,” Day said. “So we’ve talked a lot the past few days about starting strong. I thought we did that tonight.”
Stark got Adena out on the right foot with a 3 at the 7:33 mark in the first quarter for the game’s first score. But Huntington’s Allison Basye then went on a 4-0 run by herself to give the Huntsmen their first lead.
Adena regained an edge at 8-6 via Jadyn Smith before taking a 19-16 lead into the second.
Basye went on another 4-0 burst to put Huntington ahead 20-19 with 7:32 left in the first half before later making it a 32-31 lead at the 1:56 mark thanks to a pair of free throws. However, all the while, Adena continued to knock down open shots. Smith nailed a triple to put Ahead ahead 34-32 before Stark scored five straight to make it 39-32.
The Warriors eventually took a 39-34 edge into the locker room, fighting off Basye the entire way. Huntington’s star sophomore guard finished the first half with 21 points.
“Allison Basye is an incredible player. She does things that, as an opposing coach, you just have to sit back and tip your cap,” Day said. “We did everything we were supposed to do and she still makes you pay.”
However, in the third, Adena put the clamps on Basye and extended their lead to double digits.
Stark scored with seven minutes left to make it 41-34, Abby French followed suit and Smith dialed long distance for a 46-34 count. Huntington’s first score of the quarter didn’t come until the 2:16 mark, cutting the lead to 51-36 at that point.
But Haubeil’s basket was the start of a late run.
After entering the fourth quarter down 55-43, led by Basye who scored just two points in the third, Huntington (6-9, 5-5 SVC) ripped off an 11-1 run and whittled the deficit to 56-54 with 3:01 to play.
But from that point on, Adena got buckets from Smith and MaKenna Lovely, and hit its foul shots, to close the game out.
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors were 6-of-10 from the charity stripe … a key part to sustaining Huntington’s rally.
“They made a run and we knew they would. But we absorbed the blow and we finished strong, hitting some free throws at the end to help ice it.”
Following Basye’s 34 points was Gracie Davis with eight points and five rebounds while Katie Hirsch also scored eight points. Megan Steele finished with six points and four assists, and Emily Haubeil had four points.
Smith led the Warriors with 20 points and five assists while Stark added 12 points. Also in double-digit scoring was MaKenna Lovely and Abby French with 11 points each while Lovely also tallied four rebounds and two assists.
The Warriors will try and win their third straight game, traveling to Paint Valley. Meanwhile, Huntington attempts to bounce back the same evening, hosting Piketon.
“Paint Valley is a young team and that’s a team that’s improved throughout the year,” Day said. “We have to prepare for what we do well and prepare for their personnel. We’ll do that tomorrow and show up ready to go on Thursday.”
Huntington: 16-18-9-17 — 60
Adena: 19-20-16-10 — 65
Huntington: 22-47 FG, 12-17 FT, 4-12 3 pt., 18 rebounds (Basye 7), 13 turnovers, 10 assists (Steele 4). Scoring: Basye 34, Davis 8, Hirsch 8, Steele 6, Haubeil 4.
Adena: 22-41 FG, 14-23 FT, 9-15 3 pt., 22 rebounds (Ater 5), 20 turnovers, 15 assists (Smith 5). Scoring: Smith 20, Stark 12, French 11, MaKenna Lovely 11, Curry 7, Ater 3, Martin 1.