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By Danya Long
For The Leader
The Heritage Hawks girls’ basketball team finished strong in the 2012 Comet Classic tournament that wrapped up on Nov. 23 in Oakwood. The Hawks went 4-1 in the tournament, only dropping the championship game to Shiloh High School to finish second overall.
On Monday, Nov. 19, The Hawks faced off against Milford in their third game the tournament. Both teams started the game off strong, scoring double digits in the first quarter. The Hawks took the lead after the first, with a score of 16-12. The second quarter found Heritage on top again, and held onto the lead going into halftime with a score of 24-17.
In the second half of the game, both teams struggled to find the net. The Hawks still managed to maintain their lead, but only score six points in the third quarter. With the score at 30-20, the Hawks had a cushioned 10-point lead going into the final quarter of the game. Heritage’s offense picked it up in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 points to Milford’s seven. The final score of 42-27 found the Hawks on top to extend their winning streak to three games.
Junior Desirae Westerfield led the strike against the Bearcats with 14 points and nine rebounds for the game. Senior Dallas McCormick added another 12 points for the Hawks and had four defensive steals to help lead Heritage to victory.
With only a short rest, the Hawks hit the floor again on Nov. 20 against Uni High. Heritage looked to continue their winning streak and came out strong once again, outscoring the Illineks 9-7 at the end of the first quarter. The Hawks’ offense stayed strong in the second quarter, but Uni High still came out just barely on top going into halftime with a score of 18-17 in favor of the Illineks.
During halftime, the Hawks got some inspiration and their offense was on fire in the third quarter of the game. The defense managed to hold Uni High to only four points in the quarter, while the Hawks’ offense put up 22 points. The score going into the fourth quarter had the Hawks on top 39-22. The Illineks tried to close the gap that the Hawks held, but didn’t quite get the job done. The final score for the game was 42-30 with the Hawks on top, making it their fourth win in a row.
McCormick put up four three-point field goals in the game and scored a total of 18 points for the Hawks. Senior Mary Happ also made two three-point field goals and contributed 10 points of her own. She also added four steals and six rebounds in the game. Junior Cedar Richardson put up seven points and six steals, and junior Jennifer Lannon added another four steals for the Hawks.
Heritage went into the Championship game in the Comet Classic undefeated, well rested after the holiday, and prepared to take on Shiloh High School on Nov. 23. Shiloh managed to build a sizeable lead against the Hawks by the end of the third quarter, leading 32-17 with only eight minutes left in the game. The Hawks mounted a 13-6 rally in the final quarter, but fell short in the end. The buzzer sounded and the scoreboard read 38-30 in favor of the Raiders, handing the first loss of the tournament to Heritage.
Second place was a great accomplishment for the Hawks in the early season. They also came out of the tournament with a win-loss record of 5-3 on the season.
McCormick put up 10 points in the game for the Hawks, and Westerfield scored five of the 13 points for Heritage in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks took a short break for the weekend to recuperate and focus on their game. They hit the home court again on Nov. 27 against the Salt Fork Storm and will take on Judah Christian High School on the road on Dec. 6.