The Henning girls basketball team got their 2021 season started this past week with two away games and came away with a 1-1 record.

On Thursday night the Hornets traveled to New York Mills to begin its conference season. The Hornets came away with a 65-54 victory.  Head Coach Mike Hepola said the team knew going into the game that their defense needed to be solid as the Eagles had an advantage in size. The girls did a nice job and jumped out to a 36-26 halftime lead.  

Photos by Chad Koenen
Above: Ellie Dague takes a shot over a pair of outstretched arms against New York Mills last week. Dague finished the game with a team-high 17 points. Below: Ally Hart gets a steal during the first half of Thursday’s game against New York Mills. 

The second half saw NY Mills make a couple runs, but the Hornets were able to hold the lead and finish with the 65-54 win. Hepola said it was a very nice overall team win with a ton of good contributions including Ally Hart having a very solid overall game in her first extensive varsity action.

Offensively the Hornets had four different girls in double figures and were led by senior Ellie Dague with 17 points. She was followed by sophomore Faith Fisher with 13, senior Megan Weber with 12 and sophomore Ally Hart with 10. Rounding out the scoring was Kylie Frederick 6, Becca Frederick 4 and Megan Rinicker 2.

Weber finished the game with a double-double as she grabbed a team high 10 rebounds.  Dague and Hart both came up with 4 steals to lead the team in that area.

On Saturday the Hornets traveled to Pelican Rapids to take on the Vikings. This is a game both teams wanted to schedule as both teams were state teams last year. 

Pelican Rapids was 30-1 last season and was in the consolation championship game in Class AA when the state tournament was abruptly ended due to COVID-19. 

Hepola said the Hornets didn’t play real well in the first half as they were a bit passive and fell behind 30-19. In the second half the girls came out more aggressive and were able to take a lead.  Pelican Rapids then hit a couple huge 3-pointers and Henning wasn’t able to score a couple trips and ended up having to foul before falling by the final score of 59-51.

The Hornets made some adjustments and the girls showed a great amount of fight in the second half. Hepola said he hopes the Hornets can learn from this game against a good opponent. 

Individually Henning was led offensively by their three returning starters who were all in double digits with Dague finishing with 19 points, Kylie Frederick with 12 and Weber with 10.  Rounding out the scoring was Fisher with 4 and 2 points from Becca Frederick, Hart and Grace Hammer.

Dague and Kylie Frederick led the team in rebounding with 9 and 7 respectively.  

Hepola said this game was scheduled to test the Hornets and  they weren’t up to the test in the first half, but showed great fight and look to build on that as they head into a run of conference games.  

The Hornets will travel to Verndale on Tuesday and then host Bertha-Hewitt on Friday for their  first home game.