“I am so happy for our girls tonight,” exclaimed coach Broc Adams about the Sr Lady Hornets’ very first win of the season last Friday night against the Waldron Lady Bulldogs. “It’s been a tough year and wins have been hard to come by, but this group has done nothing but come right back to work the next day and continue working to get better and Friday night, that work finally paid off!”
On January 15, the Hackett Sr Lady Hornets hosted the Waldron Lady Bulldogs to what everyone knew would be the hardest, closest, and most intense conference game of the year so far. Both Waldron and Hackett were 0-6 in conference play going into this match so to say EVERYTHING was on the line would be an understatement! The Lady Hornets held a solid 10 point lead to end the 1st quarter 16-6. And although the Lady Bulldogs were able to add 8 more points to the board, it wasn’t enough to overthrow Hackett who held the top side of the score 30-14 going into the half.
But as the second half of the game got underway, the Lady Bulldogs came to life defensively with their bulldozer blocks, high paced steals, and rapid rebounds. The Lady Hornets were undeterred though and able to stand their ground by ending the game with the same 10 point lead that they started the match with and netting a final winning score of 45-35. “It’s a true testament to the character of this team and how they care for each other to be able to stick together through adversity,” stated Coach Adams. Offensively, Madeline Freeman led the team with 8 points followed by Teonna “Better Than” Best, Kyleigh Hill, and Mackenzie Mendenhall who finished the match with 7 points each, Madi Taylor with 6, Brooke Holt with 5, Faith Thomas with 3, and Tori Blanton with 2.
“The girls continued to battle to the final whistle,” explained Lady Bulldog coach, Joshua Atchley. “We just have to eliminate the ‘my bad’ plays. Those plays where we understand the task at hand and we just take that possession off. We aren’t built to overcome too many of those and right now we are making them.” Four Lady Bulldogs netted points for Waldron with Rheagan Sanford scoring 14, Jessica Ozuna making 11, Summer Imperiali securing 6, and Kadance Espinoza taking home 4. Defensively, Waldron scored big with 32 rebounds, 24 deflections, 5 blocks, and 13 steals.
Espinoza made 4 rebounds, 6 deflections, 5 steals, and 1 block, Sanford snagged 2 rebounds, 10 deflections, 6 steals, and 2 blocks, Ozuna earned 6 rebounds, 6 deflections, 2 steals, and 2 blocks, Summer Imperiali netted 7 rebounds, Jinjer Ward and Bianca Hinojosa each scored 4 rebounds and 1 deflection, and Molly Richmond secured 5 rebounds.
Photos courtesy of Bridget Freeman