Madisonville North Hopkins High School completed a 15-point fourth quarter comeback versus Hopkins County Central High School Friday to gain their fifth win of the year 45-44.
A young trio of underclassmen led the Lady Maroons. Sophomore Courtney Peyton had a team-high of 15 points, getting 11 in the critical fourth quarter. Eighth-grader Camryn Lagrange earned 11 with freshmen Kara Franklin adding 10 points. The Lady Maroons scored 24 points in the first three quarters, and responded by having 21 in the last to get the win.
“Sometimes, this team is timid in big games to start,“ said North Head Coach Jeff Duvall. “But I am so proud of how our team responded. They fought themselves back in the game, and won it.”
The game started slow and chippy, as expected with intense rivalry games. Both teams found the basket quickly to make the game 2-2 in 30 seconds but followed it up with a four-minute scoreless stretch to start. Both teams traded baskets from there on out, with the first quarter ending with the Lady Maroons up 10-9.
In the second quarter, the Lady Storm responded, holding the Lady Maroons scoreless in the first five minutes and to just two in the quarter. Yet, Central failed to capitalize on their amazing defensive quarter, scoring only eight point themselves, going to the half ahead by only five.
“In that first half, we weren’t even there,” said Duvall. “We were getting beat in the boards and not making a lot of shots.”
The same trend continued in the start of the second half. Central played intense defense, not allowing North to find an easy shot, while the offense slowly found its way as the game went along. The Lady Storm increased their lead to 15 points, but failed to pull away after that. Their stout defense effort wasn’t followed on the offensive side.
“We just struggled offensively in that first half to capitalize on our defense,” said Central’s Head Coach Todd Webb.
In the fourth quarter, North went on to 12-0 to take the lead with three minutes left, making the game intense. The lead changed four times after the Lady Storm lost their big lead, with North capitalizing on the change of momentum. In the final minutes, it was the Lady Maroons’ defense stepping up that forced Central to take bad shots from the outside.
“We just got stuck shooting threes and not rebounding in the fourth quarter, and that’s what cost us,” Webb said.
“I told them it would be a game of runs, and ours came at the end. I told them we couldn’t get down when they were ahead,” Duvall said.
The Lady Storm had a chance to take the game, having the ball back with 10.5 seconds left. Madison Grigg attacked the basket, but missed her shot. Lagrange got the rebound off the rim and was fouled to seal the game.
Keke Ikeard had a game high of 16 points in the losing effort for the Lady Storm, who fall to 10-10 on the year.
Next up for Central is a trip to Caldwell County Tuesday, where they will look to maintain a winning record on the year. The Lady Maroons play again today when they host Calloway County at 2:30 p.m.