Faith Fisher throws a pass across the court during last week’s game against the Perham Yellowjackets. The Hornets won the game by a score of 69-57.

Henning edges Perham, Menahga in recent action

The varsity girls basketball team had a nice week by getting a couple wins against teams that came into the games undefeated and strong teams from Class AA to bring their overall record to 5-1 and 4-0 in the Park Region Conference.  

Head Coach Mike Hepola said he is proud of the team as they know they still have plenty to work on and get better and are working on some different rotations, but are playing hard when they are out there and beat a couple real solid teams this week.  

On Tuesday the Hornets hosted Perham, a team who came in with a 3-0 record. Hepola said the team knew they really had to play a solid game to have a chance to beat the Yellowjackets.  

Photo by Chad Koenen
Grace Hammer posts up a Perham defender during Henning’s non-conference win over the Yellowjackets last week. 

The first half was really tight and Henning ended up holding a slight 27-25 lead going into halftime. In the second half we made a couple adjustments defensively and that got us going a bit and they were able to extend their lead out to 16 points at one point. Perham is a team that loves to shoot 3-pointers and they hit a few down the stretch, but the Hornets held on to win by the final score of 69-57.  

Hepola said it was a great team win as Henning’s defense was definitely the key to their run in the second half. The Hornets forced the Yellowjackets into 17 turnovers, with 9 of them coming by steal.  The Hornets did a great job from the free throw line all game and especially down the stretch as they ended up 24-31 on the night as a team.  

The Hornets didn’t go as deep on their bench as normal with their starting five of Faith Fisher,  Ellie Dague, Megan Weber and Kylie Frederick all playing over 30 minutes and Megan Rinicker 28 minutes. However, the Hornets got some great play from Ally Hart, Becca Frederick and Grace Hammer, as well when they did get their chances and that was huge for the team. Hepola said this team has been great as far as accepting their roles and understanding it may change night to night depending on their opponent and the type of game they end up in. Hepola said the Hornets will continue to build on some different rotations.

Hepola said defense was huge in this one and Fisher led the way with 5 steals and Weber added 2.  

Offensively, the Hornets were led by Dague with 34 points on 9-16 shooting including 4-8 on 3-pointers and 12-13 on free throws. She also had 5 huge assists when Perham did try and take her away including a few to Megan Rinicker who joined her in double-figures with a season-high 10 points on 5-6 shooting.   

Fisher just missed double-figures with 9 points on 3-7 shooting to go along with her outstanding defense and steals as mentioned earlier as always. Weber added 8 points including some big free throws down the stretch to help seal the victory. Hart continues her strong season off the bench adding 6 points, while Kylie Frederick had 2 points to round out the scoring.  

Dague finished with a double-double as she added 10 rebounds to her 34 points. Weber added 6 rebounds in the win and led the team with 6 assists and Dague had 5.  

Thursday night the Hornets traveled to Menahga to take on a tough and undefeated Braves team that is always one of the top teams in the conference. Hepola said it was a great team win once again and our athleticism and getting out and pushing the ball was huge in the first half as the Hornets built a lead of 32-25 at the break.  

The second half Henning didn’t move the ball on offense real well and had too many turnovers. Hepola said the Hornets will continue to work on that, but they made enough plays to win by the final score of 53-47.  

Just like their game earlier in the week, defense came up huge at the right times and held the Braves to only 29 percent shooting. Henning’s free throw shooting down the stretch allowed the Hornets to finish the victory as we went 15-19.  

The reserves came up huge again for the team as Henning played 8 minutes without Dague, who was in foul trouble and also were able to rest a couple of the others a bit more. Hepola said he knows these other girls are more than capable when given the chance and that’s huge for the team as they move forward.  

Offensively, the Hornets were led by guards Dague and Weber with 15 and 13 points respectively. Kylie Frederick had 7 points and sophomore guards Fisher and Hart both had 6 points. 

Rinicker 4 points and Becca Frederick 2 points rounded out Henning’s scoring.  

Defensively Fisher continues to do a good job on their point guard and came up with 4 steals. Dague led the team with 4 assists, Rinicker 3 and Fisher 2. Weber led the team with 7 rebounds and Rinicker grabbed 6.

The two victories bring the team’s overall record to 5-1 and 4-0 in the Park Region Conference.  This coming week the Hornets have a pair of conference games against solid teams from Pillager on Tuesday who is 3-1 in the conference and Sebeka on Thursday. Both of those are home games.