Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
FRANKFORT — At the conclusion of Tuesday’s game, Adena freshman Emma Garrison went immediately to the locker room, grabbed a basketball and went back out to work on her shot.
Garrison, just one of the Warriors’ new talents, scored five points in a 52-44 win over Huntington. But evidently, that wasn’t good enough for the youngster. So she did something about it.
When you’re looking for a reason as to why Adena is still undefeated, there’s Exhibit A.
“I think one of the things we’ve sort of established in our culture is that we never want to be a team that’s outworked on any night,” Adena coach Andrew Day said. “We want to be the team that plays harder. To their credit, the girls have bought into that. I’m so proud of our effort and just how hard we play and the way we get after it.”
Garrison, alongside fellow freshman Kiera Williams, both started for the Warriors (5-0, 2-0 SVC) on Tuesday, who were without usual starting center Sydney Foglesong.
Those two combined for 14 points and seven rebounds, giving Jadyn Smith some much-needed help on the offensive end. Smith scored a game-high 18 points.
“They’ve really embraced the challenge of varsity basketball, both mentally and physically,” Day said of his two freshmen. “Emma and Kiera both played well, but Jadyn was special tonight. She’s our leader. She’s the one our girls look to. They follow her lead. So for her to come out and play that well early, it opened up opportunities for some of our other girls to make shots.”
Smith scored the game’s first bucket with 7:29 left in the first quarter before dropping back-to-back 3’s midway through, putting the Warriors on top 15-7. Altogether, she had 12 points in the first quarter alone and helped Adena take a 17-9 lead into the second.
With 3:07 left in the first half, Garrison extended the lead to 25-12 before Williams nailed a triple to make it a 31-14 ballgame. Huntington (0-2, 0-2 SVC) answered with a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to 33-21 at halftime.
More of the same took place in the third while Williams, Garrison, Smith, Makaela Lovely, Rylan Willis and Cheyenne Ater all scored. By the start of the fourth, Adena led 46-31.
The Huntsmen started the fourth on a 5-0 run, thanks to Katie Hirsch and Megan Steele, and eventually trimmed the lead to single digits. But the hole they had dug was much too deep to climb out of.
Statistically, Huntington had three players in double-digit scoring figures. Carly Dyer had a team-high 12 points, Hirsch added 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Allison Basye finished with 11 points and 10 boards. Steele also helped out with eight points and four assists.
Holding Basye under wraps was a key coming into the contest for Adena. Makaela Lovely, who guarded Basye for a good chunk of the action, helped the Warriors check that box.
“I told my staff that if we could hold [Huntington’s Allison Basye] to 20 points and make her really work for those points, we’d feel good about it,” Day said. “For our girls to embrace that challenge, I’m happy with it. Makaela Lovely, in my mind, is one of the best defensive players around. She just gets after people and makes things happen for us.”
Smith’s 18 points and five rebounds led the Warriors while Williams added nine of her own. Makaela Lovely finished with seven points, four rebounds, five assists and six steals, Garrison added five points, seven rebounds and three assists, and Ater had seven points and 10 boards.
While Huntington gets back to action on Saturday at home against West Union, Adena will travel to Paint Valley on Thursday in conference play. The Bearcats are also undefeated.
“It’s going to be an incredible challenge for our girls,” Day said. “We have to match what [Paint Valley] does on the glass because they are dangerous when they get on the glass. We have to be ready for that challenge.”
Huntington: 9-12-10-13 — 44
Adena: 17-16-13-6 — 52
Huntington: 19-47 FG, 5-14 FT, 1-9 3pt., 33 rebounds (Hirsch 12), 22 turnovers, 10 assists (Steele 4). Scoring: Dyer 12, Basye 11, Hirsch 10, Steele 8, Thompson 3.
Adena: 19-53 FG, 9-17 FT, 5-16 3pt., 29 rebounds (Ater 10), 12 turnovers, 8 assists (Maka. Lovely 5). Scoring: Smith 18, Williams 9, Maka. Lovely 7, Ater 7, Garrison 5, Willis 4, Make. Lovely 2.