Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — Just when you thought Tuesday’s contest was all but over, Adena’s Hannah Stark had other plans.
With her team trailing 28-23 and 1:08 remaining on the clock, things looked dim and a fifth win this season seemed out of reach. However, the Warriors’ senior guard was handed two golden opportunities to cut into the late deficit, and she wasted no time in taking advantage of both.
Stark first dialed long distance to slice the lead to two before her teammates created a turnover on the other end. She then scored again, this time from close range, forcing a 28-28 tie with 20.7 seconds remaining.
But she wasn’t finished just yet.
After scoring her team’s only five points in the fourth quarter, she proceeded to score the next and only seven in overtime, including a deep ball at the 3:43 mark and sinking the game-winner with just 9.1 seconds left.
She ended the night with 19 points, leading Adena (5-1, 2-0 SVC) to a gritty 35-33 win at Huntington (0-3, 0-1 SVC) in Scioto Valley Conference action.
“I’ve been here for three years and this is my senior year. We’ve never had opportunities like this in the past,” Stark explained. “It really comes down to who wants it more in the end. I think we did tonight.”
The Warriors didn’t light up nylon by any means. In fact, the team shot just 13-of-66 from the floor. But to Stark’s point, what the Warriors did do was out-rebound Huntington by a 44-30 margin and force 24 turnovers on the defensive end.
They were on the floor chasing every loose ball, they routinely managed to box out their opponent and they, frankly, out-hustled the Huntsmen for 36 consecutive minutes.
“Everything we do starts with the defensive end of the floor,” Adena coach Andrew Day said. “We know that there are going to be night where we struggle shooting. So we have to sit down and guard our opponent and play really, really hard. To these girls’ credit, they’ve bought into that. Every day, they come ready to work and they get after it. They just play so, so hard. To be able to beat a team like Huntington, on the road, that says a lot about how hard our girls play.”
All the way through, the contest was nip and tuck.
Behind six points from Allison Basye, Huntington had a 6-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second, Basye made it an 11-7 lead with a three-point play before Megan Steele later stretched the lead to 16-11 with a 3.
But Adena swung back, using Stark to spearhead a 7-2 run, forcing an 18-18 tie at halftime.
Out of the break, both teams went into a shooting drought. With buckets hard to come by, the pair combined for just 10 points as they entered the fourth tied 23-23.
The next score came with 4:05 left when Basye sank a pair of free throws. She then hit a 3 with 2:54 left to give Huntington a 28-23 lead, a deficit that Adena didn’t seem likely to overcome.
But, as mentioned, Stark had other plans.
She scored the team’s next 12 points, bringing the Warriors back from the dead and willing the team to a two-point victory in overtime.
“We come into practice everyday just excited,” Stark said. “We make practice fun but we work hard doing it. We encourage each other, we’re always cheering for each other and it’s exciting for us to win. Who doesn’t want to win?”
Stark had 19 points and four rebounds while Jadyn Smith ended with four points and nine rebounds. Jenna Martin had two points and six rebounds, Makaela Lovely logged two points, three assists and four steals, and Sydney Foglesong ended the night with four points and nine boards.
For Huntington, Basye led all scorers with 20 points alongside 13 rebounds while Emily Haubeil added three points, eight boards and two assists. Katie Hirsch also chipped in with two points, four rebounds and three assists.
Both teams are back in action Thursday as Adena hosts Paint Valley while Huntington travels to Piketon.
“I think the 5-1 start means we beat a really good team tonight on the road,” Day said. “We’re happy with the start we’ve had but there’s such a long way to go. We have so many things to improve on and get better at. So for us, it’s about coming in the next day in practice and getting better. That’s what we have to do everyday.”
Adena: 5-13-5-5 (7) — 35
Huntington: 6-12-5-5 (5) — 33
Adena: 14-66 FG, 3-13 FT, 4-21 3pt., 44 rebounds (Foglesong 9), 15 turnovers, 6 assists (Makaela Lovely 3). Scoring: Stark 19, Foglesong 4, Smith 4, Martin 2, French 2, Ater 2, Makaela Lovely 2.
Huntington: 10-40 FG, 10-16 FT, 3-10 3pt., 29 rebounds (Basye 13), 24 turnovers, 5 assists (Hirsch 3). Scoring: Basye 20, Steele 4, Haubeil 3, Davis 3, Hirsch 2.