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Henry heats up in Hawks’ win

By Robert Edmonds – sports@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL — An emotionally intense girls basketball matchup between crosstown rivals Skyline and Warren County on Tuesday night ended in a decisive victory.

Skyline trailed only once in the game — early in the second quarter — before taking control again and steamrolling the Wildcats en route to a 51-27 win.

“This game has so much emotion in it,” Hawks coach Jim Kenney said. “It’s big for bragging rights in the town and all the little things. I think both teams were nervous and tentative to start the game.”

Early in the second quarter, a basket by freshman Alesha Adams gave Warren County an 11-10 lead after her team battled back from a six-point deficit. Unfortunately for Warren, the resurgence didn’t slow Skyline, but rather caused the Hawks to make a response of their own.

Led by Jenny Norman, the Hawks went on an 11-1 run to finish the quarter. Norman first found Oshene Kelly for a score under the basket to give the Hawks a 12-11 lead. She then scored four points during the run, but failed on two foul shots in an attempt to further extend the lead.

“I told the girls that we have to approach this game as if it was any other regular season game that we play,” Kenney said. “That’s hard for them to do, but I think they settled down and played very good defense and played our game.”

Leading 20-12 at intermission, Skyline came out in the second half with hopes of taking control, and they did just that. Hawks leading scorer Taylor Henry found her shooting stroke, starting with a 3-pointer to open the half. Henry later knocked down another 3-pointer and added four more points to extend Skyline’s lead to 37-19 at the end of the quarter.

“I started off shooting a little cold,” Henry said. “Once I got that 3-pointer to fall, I was able to turn it on and get hot from the floor.”

Henry continued her hot streak in the fourth as the junior racked up 19 of her game-high 28 points in the second half. With the Wildcats coming up short on the offensive end, the Hawks capitalized and extended their lead.

“We had no answer for Taylor [Henry] in the second half,” Wildcats coach John Kelly said. “She opened it up from the outside with her 3-point shooting, and then was able to get some drives and lay-ins because of the threat.”

“We settled down and we came out and took this game in the second half,” Kenney said.
Skyline used Henry’s threat on the outside to create opportunities in the paint. Henry twice scored on the pick-and-roll and got other teammates involved with the Hawks using the opportunity to go deep on their bench.

After a tough district win Monday night, Kenney was impressed by his team’s second-half performance to keep the momentum going.

“Last night’s game was big,” Kenney said. “It was a district game and we were able to pull it out. Tonight was similar. We started off slow and then we got going in the second half.”