HERRIN —Coming off a disappointing two-point loss to Pinckneyville on Monday night, the Harrisburg Lady Bulldogs rebounded to beat Herrin, 61-42, on the second day of the Herrin Holiday Hoops girls basketball tournament.
"We played really well tonight, beating a very good Herrin team on its home floor," said Harrisburg coach Jake Stewart. "I’m proud of how my kids got back into this tournament."
Matty Hawkins and Jessica Hopson led Harrisburg with 15 points each as the Lady Bulldogs improved to 11-3 on the season.
Vienna, who beat Pope County, 71-22, in the first game, and Pinckneyville lead the tournament at 1-0. The tournament resumes Wednesday, with Pinckneyville playing Pope County at 6 p.m., followed by Harrisburg playing Vienna.
Herrin (7-6) took a 7-2 lead on a 3-pointer by Emma Deaton, but Karsyn Davis got those points back on a 3-pointer of her own. With Herrin leading by four, Davis sank another 3 to cut the lead to one, but Deaton responded with her second 3 to regain the four-point margin with 1:04 left in the quarter. Davis finished with 11 points.
Hawkins cut the lead in half with a put-back and then Lotte Miller was fouled with 0.9 seconds left and made her first, but missed her second to leave Herrin ahead by one going into the second quarter.
"What turned it around for us was, defensively, we decided to guard people," Stewart said. "We did a really good job of double-teaming Hannah Groutage, who is an amazing player, and hoped they didn’t make shots on the outside while we made our outside shots. We also did a good job of not turning it over against their zone."
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Hopson opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer from the left corner and Toni Crisp followed with a layup, and Harrisburg led by four just 33 seconds in.
Harrisburg led by three when Davis hit her third trey. Miller followed with a layup and the Lady Bulldogs held an eight-point lead with 4:09 left in the half.
A 3-pointer by Madison Russell pulled Herrin to within three with 2:02 left, but Lydia Miller and Hopson scored to give Harrisburg a seven-point lead at the break.
"I don’t think we came ready to play," said Herrin coach Bill Green. "We let them shove us around all night long and just took it. They punched us in the mouth and we didn’t punch back. Hats off to them."
Harrisburg extended its lead to 15 halfway through the third quarter, but a one-handed shot by Chelsea Smith and Deaton’s fourth of five 3-pointers cut the lead down to 10 with three minutes left. However, a 3-pointer by Hopson extended the lead back to 13 with 1:50 remaining.
After Groutage scored on a rebound, Lydia Miller scored on a free throw with 3.9 seconds left in the quarter, and that started a 13-0 run that lasted for the first 4:50 of the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Deaton led the Lady Tigers with 15 points, with Groutage and Grace Lehnhoff finishing with eight points each.