John Bruce, Staff Writer
FRANKFORT — Less than one week after Huntington’s Allison Basye beat Adena on a deep 3 at the buzzer, the Warriors had the chance to claim revenge — and win the season series — against the Huntsmen with each team’s life on the line.
In a Division III sectional final, Adena (18-3) made sure the two’s third meeting didn’t come down to a last shot, thanks to a suffocating defensive effort and shot-making ability from some unlikely sources in a 47-36 win.
“This gives us a lot of energy and motivation going into the next game,” Adena’s Sydney Foglesong said. “We know who we are as a team, so we know if we come out and play our best, we can go far in this tournament. That’s our goal. That’s what we want to do.”
Like the two meetings before it, Monday’s game appeared like it would be another titanic contest. On Dec. 9, Adena beat Huntington 48-45 in overtime, before Huntington won a 50-47 decision thanks to Basye’s triple on Feb. 8.
In that most recent contest, Basye (36) and Adena’s Emma Garrison (25) combined for 61 points, which led many to expect something similar in tournament play.
However, it would be a cast of others who ultimately decided the rubber match.
The trio of Foglesong, Caelan Miner and Sydney Ater entered Monday’s contest averaging a combined 13 points per game. But they stepped in a big way for the Warriors, combining for 24 points in Monday’s win.
Foglesong (4.4 points per game) scored the first four points of the night after Garrison went down with an injury in the opening seconds. Ater (3.5 points) knocked down back-to-back jumpers in the second quarter, and Miner (5.1 points) scored the first seven of the second half to help Adena extend its lead.
Garrison’s early injury put the entire Wig Wam in near silence. But three minutes later, the sound would be deafening as the sophomore came trotting back into the game from the trainer’s table.
The first team all-SVC guard made an immediate impact in the game, pulling down rebounds on three consecutive defensive possessions and scoring three points of her own.
The offensive end of the court had not been a major issue for the Warriors when taking on Huntington (16-8) this season, but slowing down Allison Basye on the defensive end was an entirely different story.
In last week’s contest, the three-time SVC Player of the Year went off for 36 points. But that came with the Warriors playing straight up defense on Basye. This time, Adena coach Andrew Day came with a different game plan to slow down the Northern Kentucky signee.
The Warriors took advantage of their depth and athleticism to always have an outstanding defender on Basye, while also having extra-help defenders in their box-and-one defensive scheme. Makaela Lovely, Kiera Williams and Makenna Lovely all took turns guarding Basye, preventing her from getting open shots from the outside.
And, if Basye was able to drive, the help-side defenders were there to slow her and make life difficult for the senior.
“Defense is a really big part of our game,” Foglesong said. “It’s what we work on the most. So when we can hold a great player [like Basye] to just 17 points, it feels good. We have great people coming in and helping us practice, so we get a lot of reps. Makaela, Kiera and Makenna, and all of our defenders, they go against the best. They work hard and they’re great at it.”
In the opening quarter, Basye was a willing passer, but only sophomore Emma Hinshaw was able to connect on the open looks, leading to an 8-4 deficit after one. The Huntsmen would never get any closer, as the role players for the Warriors continued to make shots any time that Huntington could make a run.
Ultimately, it would be Garrison who put the game on ice for the Warriors. The gritty guard took the game over in the late stages to finish with 16 points and nine rebounds, leading Adena to its second consecutive sectional title. Foglesong ended her night with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Basye, who ends her career at fifth on the SVC’s all-time scoring list with 2,139 points, closed out her season with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Hinshaw had nine points and four rebounds to help along the way.
Adena advances to a Division III district semifinal against Fairfield. That game will take place at 3:30 p.m., Saturday at Waverly’s Downtown Gym.
“That Eastern Brown win [on Dec. 23] gave us a lot of confidence and it proved to us that we can beat anybody we want,” Garrison said. “If we got into the [Fairfield] game with confidence, we can [advance].”
Huntington: 4-8-11-13 — 36
Adena: 8-10-16-13 — 47
Huntington: 13-45 FG, 8-12 FT, 2-11 3pt. Scoring: Basye 17, Hinshaw 9, Thompson 5, Moore 3, Baker 2.
Adena: 15-37 FG, 15-24 FT, 2-13 3pt. Scoring: Garrison 16, Foglesong 12, Miner 7, S. Ater 5, Makaela Lovely 2, C. Ater 2, Williams 2.