SPRING VALLEY – There isn’t a basketball coach anywhere that isn’t trying to coax four good quarters from his or her team on a given night. In lieu of that, sometimes one really good quarter is enough.
The Hall Lady Red Devils trailed visiting Kewanee by eight points with 2 minutes, 41 seconds left in the third quarter, but then used its full-court press to outscore the Lady Boilermakers 29—9 the rest of the way for a 49-37 victory here in Red Devils Gymnasium on Monday night.
Hanah Hart, limited by Kewanee and Hall’s own out-of-sync halfcourt offense, popped in eight points in the third quarter to start her team back, then added nine more points in a 22-9 fourth period. She finished with 21 points and a whopping 18 rebounds and contributed to a defense that forced 24 Boiler turnovers on the night.
In fact, in the 10 minutes from the time the Devils was down seven to the final horn, the Hall press forced Kewanee to turn the ball over a momentum-switching 10 times.
“We started off well, hit a couple of shots and were up 6-0 right off the bat and had some good energy,” said Hall coach T.J. Orlandi, his club now 11-7 on the year, “but then we just stagnant offensively. Kewanee played good defense, too, and we were having trouble getting it to Hanah in some space where she could get some shots. We were also a little weak with the ball and they were aggressive and were taking it away from us off the dribble … The (Gracey) Damron girl was guarding her and she’s a good player.
“But in the second half, like we did against Putnam County on Saturday – and maybe I should start going to this sooner – we put the press on and it energized us and got them a little out of sorts … It was our defense creating some offense, spreading things out and creating the space we wanted for Hanah.”
After those treys by Jaclyn Cinotte and Teanna Cattani started Hall off on the right foot, it struggled, despite Kewanee missing ace center Aillynn Duarte for the game with a knee injury. Hart didn’t get her first shot attempt until over four minutes in and by then, Kewanee (10-9) had caught up and when Adriana Contreras hit a buzzer-beating 3 to tie it at 11-11.
The Boilers netted nine of the next 11 points in the second stanza and it took a Hart putback of her own miss to get HHS within 20-15 at the break.
Another Contreras trey at the 2:41 mark opened up that 28-20 advantage, but a 3-pointer and converted steal by Hart around a putback by Cinotte cut the deficit to just one heading to the final quarter.
That’s when Rachael Kobold, who played “her best game of the season,” Orlandi said, sank a putback and a layup off her steal to continue the run. Hart and Cinotte each added a free throw and the latter a lay-in off a Kobold steal to complete a 15-0 Devils run, making it 37-30 hosts halfway through the period.
But the clincher came with 2:10 remaining when Hart took Zoe Morris’ sideline inbounds pass inside and finished a three-point play, taking a four-point Hall lead out to seven.
“If you’ve looked at any game we’ve played, you’d see that the other team’s press has given us fits,” said Kewanee coach Jessica Shipley. “We’re just trying to keep our cool and get the ball to halfcourt … We didn’t close out some of the things we did in the first half. We held Hart to (five) points in the first half, but let her score (16) in the second. Those are differences in games where we’ve slipped back where we could say ‘If we would have done this differently, we coulda won.’ The main reason for that is a lack of practice and injuries.”
At Spring Valley
Hall 49, Kewanee 37
KEWANEE (37) – Contreras 3-6 0-0 7, Damron 6-15 5-8 18, Schafer 1-4 0-0 3, Sheets 0-2 0-0 0, Heeren 1-7 2-3 4, Camacho 0-2 0-0 0, Tondreau 1-1 0-0 2, Crabtree 1-5 0-0 3. Totals 13-42 7-11 37.
HALL (49) – Hart 7-19 6-9 21, Morris 0-5 1-2 1, Foster 0-2 2-2 2, Cinotte 4-19 5-6 14, Cattani 2-5 0-0 5, Kobold 3-5 0-0 6, Mautino 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 16-55 14-19 49/
Kewanee (10-9) 11 9 8 9 – 37
Hall (10-7) 11 4 12 22 – 49
3-point goals – Kewanee 4-18 (Contreras 1-3, Crabtree 1-3, Damron 1-4, Schafer 1-4, Sheets 0-2, Camacho 0-2), Hall 3-19 (Hart 1-2, Cattani 1-2, Cinotte 1-11, Morris 1-4). Rebounds – Kewanee 33 (Damron 10, Hall 44 (Hart 18). Turnovers – Kewanee 24, Hall 8. Total fouls (fouled out) – Kewanee 18 (Schafer), Hall 9.