The second ranked girls basketball team had a nice week as they played a couple big games. The first game was a conference game on Thursday night against Wadena-Deer Creek, before they hosted a tough sub-section team against Underwood on Saturday.
The Hornets were able to come away with wins in both of these games to up their record to 9-1 on the season and a 7-0 record in the Park Region Conference.
Thursday vs. Wadena-Deer Creek 81-31 win
Head coach Mike Hepola said the game was a great team win on both ends of the court as they were able to jump out to a 44-10 halftime lead.
The first half had a special moment as Ellie Dague scored her 2,000th career point.
The game was a great shooting night for the entire team as the Hornets shot 59.3 percent overall and an outstanding 61.5 percent from 3-point line. The team also finished 100 percent from the free throw line. The second half allowed the Hornets to play a couple different line-ups and they continued to shoot the ball well. Ultimately, the Hornets won by the final score of 81-31.
Hepola said it was a great overall team effort as they all played solid defense and executed on offense as was evident in their outstanding shooting percentage.
Leading the way offensively was Dague with a game high 32 points in just 25 minutes of play. Joining Dague in double figures were fellow seniors Megan Weber with 17 points and Kylie Frederick with 10 points.
Ally Hart and Megan Rinicker each finished with 6 points. Faith Fisher 4 points and Katherine Hansen, Becca Frederick and Grace Hammer all finished with 2 points each to round out the scoring.
Rebounding leaders were Dague with 8 and Kylie Frederick with 5. Kylie Frederick was also Henning’s assist leader with 7 in the game, while Dague had 4. Hart led the team with 3 steals.
Hepola said it was a great team win against a conference opponent that they’ll see again later in the season.
Underwood 63-43 win
On Saturday, Henning hosted the 7-1 Underwood Rockets in a big game with potential seeding implications for playoffs.
Underwood plays a tough 1-3-1 defense and the Hornets knew they would have to be ready for their defensive pressure.
The first half was back and forth. Head coach Mike Hepola said the Hornets turned the ball over too many times, but played solid enough defense to hold a small 30-24 lead going into halftime.
In the second half the Hornets were able to limit their turnovers a bit more and held onto their lead before ultimately winning by the final score of 63-43. Hepola said the score was a little misleading as the game was much closer than that until the last couple of minutes. He said this was one of those games in which the team was happy to get the win, but also knows there is a lot for the team to learn from on both ends of the court.
Henning had a great night shooting once again as they shot over 60 percent from the field.
Offensively four different players finished in double figures. Ellie Dague scored 22, Megan Weber 16, Kylie Frederick 12 and Faith Fisher 11. Ally Hart tallied the other 2 points for Henning.
Faith Fisher continued her solid overall play as she led the team with 6 steals and co-led the team with 6 assists with Dague. Grace Hammer came up huge as the Hornets lost Megan Rinicher to an injury in the first half so Hammer had to step up in the second half. She led the team with 6 rebounds.
Hepola said it was a nice win that showed a couple more items the Hornets need to sharpen up a bit as they move forward.
The pair of wins bring Henning’s overall record to 9-1 on the season. This upcoming week Henning has a pair of Park Region Conference games. On Tuesday, the Hornets will host a New York Mills team that is playing some very good basketball right now and then on Friday Henning will host Verndale.
Currently the Hornets are ranked second in the state and are third in the QRF rankings. Henning is averaging 65.9 points per game on offense, while giving up 40.4 points per game on the defensive end of the court.