The second ranked and top seeded Henning girls basketball team started their playoffs last week and won a pair of games to advance to this coming week’s sub-section championship against Underwood. Last week the Hornets picked up wins over Hillcrest Lutheran Academy and Mahnomen/Waubun.
On Wednesday night the Hornets hosted the ninth seeded Hillcrest Lutheran Comets, who had beaten the eighth seed Park Christian on Monday night behind some really hot shooting from the floor
Head coach Mike Hepola said the Hornets went into this game with the mindset that defensively they need to get out on their shooters and hold them to one shot. Hepola said the girls did an absolutely outstanding job of that in the first half as they held the Comets to 9 points and had a solid 47-9 halftime lead. That included holding one of their top players who had 30 points the game before to 0 in the first half against Henning. Kylie Frederick and Faith Fisher were assigned to their top two players and held them to just 5 points in the first half. Hepola said it was a great team effort on the defensive end, which helped to lead to one of Henning’s best offensive half of the season.
In the second half the Hornets had a couple let downs on the defensive end and offensive end as well as tried a couple different lineups. Hepola said he thinks the team relaxed a little bit, but still outscored them 24-23 to win by the final score of 71-32.
Offensively the Hornets were led by Ellie Dague with a game high 25 points.
Joining Dague in double-figures were fellow senior guards Kylie Frederick and Megan Weber each with 10 points.
Sophomore guard Ally Hart just missed the double-figure group, finishing with 9 points as she continues to impress the team. Faith Fisher had 6 points, Lyvia Misegades 4, Megan Rinicker 3, Katherine Hansen and Makena Kenyon 2 points each to round out the scoring.
Rinicker had a great game on the boards finishing with a game high 11 reboundsounds. Dague led the team with 4 assists and Frederick led the team with 3 steals. Overall a great way to start the playoff run as the Hornets played really solid defense, took smart shots and got off to that great start which allowed the team to rest their starters a bit in the second half.
Faith Fisher 6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks
Becca Frederick 3 rebounds
Megan Rinicker 3 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Ellie Dague 25 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Ally Hart 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block
Megan Weber 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks
Lyvia Misegades 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist,
Katherine Hansen 2 points, 1 steal
Lily Fraki 1 rebounds
Makena Kenyon 2 points, 4 rebounds
Kylie Frederick 10 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals
On Friday night the Hornets hosted the fifth seeded Mahnomen/Waubun Thunderbirds team that had knocked off the fourth seed Lake Park-Audubon Wednesday night. The Thunderbirds came in having played really well in their first round game. They have a couple really solid players led by their sophomore point guard Kendra Syverson.
Head coach Mike Hepola said the team knew they needed to once again play very solid defense and the Hornets did just that.
Faith Fisher started on Syverson and did a great job, while the other girls did really solid jobs guarding their girls. They also did a good job of helping when needed and that allowed the Hornets to hold the Section’s second leading scoring team (behind Henning) to just 16 first half points. The Hornets led by a score of 41-16 at halftime.
The second half Henning continued to play solid defense and stretched their lead to 41 points at one point, before ultimately winning by the final score of 73-34. This once again allowed the Hornets to rest their starters and main subs a bit, and also allowed Hepola to get all 18 girls into the game with many of them making their varsity debut.
One of the highlights was senior Katherine Hansen nailing a 3-pointer late in the game and watching the starters really excited for her as was the entire gym.
Offensively the Hornets were led again by Ellie Dague who finished with a game high 23 points, she also had a team high 12 assists to finish with another double-double. Megan Weber got her shot going in that first half, which helped the Hornets get that big lead as she finished with 17 points including five 3-point baskets.
Ally Hart had another solid game with 9 points, followed by Fisher with 8 points, Kylie Frederick with 7 points and Megan Rinicker with 6 points. Rounding out the scoring was Hansen with 3 points.
Both Rinicker and Makena Kenyon did a great job on the boards as they each finished with 8 rebounds and were followed closely by Frederick with 7 boards. Dague’s 12 assists led the team along with her 4 steals.
Another great team effort and hopefully the Hornets can continue to play real solid on that defensive end of the floor, which leads to their good offensive execution.
Hepola said he is proud of these young ladies and hopes they will keep it going as they will host second seeded Underwood on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. for the Section 6A North Subsection title. The winner will play the South Subsection champion on Thursday night at 7 p.m. with the site yet to be determined.
Faith Fisher 8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Becca Frederick 1 assist
Megan Rinicker 6 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals
Ellie Dague 23 points, 5 rebounds, 12 assists, 4 steals
Ally Hart 9 points, 1 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Megan Weber 17 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Katherine Hansen 3 points
Lily Fraki 1 rebounds
Alivia Gunderson 2 steals
Makena Kenyon 8 rebounds
Kylie Frederick 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals.