By Anthony Rhoads
Going into the fourth quarter of Friday night's game at Luella High School, it looked like the Henry County girls were headed to another disappointing loss this year but they overcame a 14-point deficit to beat Luella 54-52.
"I'm proud of what they did," Henry County head coach Carl Caputa said. "They didn't quit. They're going to be a heck of a ball club if they can continue do things I know they can do and if they believe in themselves. We knew it was going to be a tough rivalry game. Win, lose or draw, it was a great game."
With 1:08 remaining, Henry County's Keyah Sadler nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 52-52. With 57 seconds remaining, she made a free throw to give the Ladyhawks a 53-52 lead.
In the waning seconds, Henry County Shana Hunter stole an in-bounds pass and made her way to the basket but was fouled. She made a free throw with 13 seconds remaining to seal the victory for Henry County.
Sadler and Hunter led Henry County with 17 points each.
"I think that's just what we needed," Caputa said. "We haven't played well in the third quarter all year and it was the same tonight. We were behind but our girls had a lot of tenacity. We didn't come back in one big spurt but we kept chipping away at it and that's good. It's something I think they can do every time."
Luella led 17-13 at the end of the first quarter and 28-23 at the end of the half.
Luella managed to extend its lead in the third quarter and at one point, led by 14. Luella carried a 47-36 lead into the fourth quarter.
Ashley Guy led Luella with 14 and Alethia Daniels added 12.
Henry County 72, Luella 55 (boys): Greg Lindsey led Henry County with 30 points, 23 of which came in the second half. Herman Mains added 19 and Marvis Duffie scored 13.
Larry Bacon led Luella with 15 and Jeremy Ringfield scored nine.
Luella led the entire first quarter but Henry County's Herman Mains hit made a basket at the buzzer to make the score 20-18, Luella. Mains scored 10 points in the first quarter.
With 5:15 remaining in the half, Henry County's Marvis Duffie scored to bring his team within two (26-24). Luella then went on an 11-4 run to lead 38-28 with 2:20 remaining.
Luella went into halftime with a 36-31 advantage.
Henry County came back and led 52-51 at the end of the third quarter. The Warhawks then outscored Luella 20-4 in the fourth quarter.