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Horizon girls show flashes of good basketball in losses at Hawks Invitational

Horizon guards Fionna Marsalis (left) and Kaitlin Wenz (right) are the girls’ key players this year.

Photo by RJ Chavez.
Horizon guards Fionna Marsalis (left) and Kaitlin Wenz (right) are the girls’ key players this year.

After the Horizon girls basketball team opened their season with a 58-43 home loss to Stevenson, they had a great opportunity to get that first win of the season when they hosted Triad on Friday, Dec. 1 at the annual Hawk Invitational tournament.

However, Triad would be too much for the Hawks to handle and the girls would fall by a score of 52-38.

By halftime, the Hawks had dug themselves a big hole, down 29-15.

In the first half, the girls had a hard time handling Triad’s pressure, from full court to half court defense, and with limited ball handlers, the Hawks tried to put the ball through the air to beat the pressure, but bad passes led to scores in the open court for Triad.

And when the Hawks did advance the ball up court, they found openings at the hoop and were able to convert — the problem was they couldn’t get many looks.

The Hawks came out of halftime and opened the third quarter with a quick four points, in large part due to their 2-3 zone defense that forced Triad into some bad decisions with the basketball.

As the Hawks cut the lead down to 10, Triad called a timeout early in the third quarter.

The timeout would halt the Hawks 4-0 run.

Triad came out of the timeout swinging the ball around in their half court set, making the Hawks defense work. Eventually, Triad would find an opening in the Hawks 2-3 zone defense along the three-point line and knocked down a triple.

The three-point basket was the start of a 10-0 third quarter run for Triad and it pushed the Horizon deficit to 20-points.

Down 39-19, the Hawks were able to end the third quarter on a positive note as they went on a 4-0 run heading into the fourth.

And the girls translated the confidence they gained from that 4-0 run in the third to their best quarter of this game in the fourth.

The girls came out flying around in their 2-3 zone defense and forced Triad into some tough shots.

As the defense got some stops, the Hawks became very efficient on the offensive end.

The girls went on a 11-0 run midway into the fourth quarter and forced Triad into four turnovers during this run.

After some transition layups and a three-point basket for the Hawks, Triad was forced to call a timeout with two minutes left as Horizon cut the Triad’s lead to 10.

But the girls had just built too much of a deficit early on and were unable to come back and get the victory, losing their opening game of the Hawk Invitational by a score of 52-38.

Although the Hawks came out on the losing side of this game, they made the game exciting at the end.

They had the home crowd engaged and fed off the excitement they were generating in the building.

If they can find a way to translate that four-minute span of terrific basketball at the end of their game against Triad to a full game, you’ll see this team not only competing, but winning games.

With the loss to Triad, the girls played in the consolation game of the Hawk Invitational on Dec. 2 against Damascus Christian.

Horizon would end up losing this game by a score of 48-30 and are now 0-3 on the season.

Next up for the Hawks they will travel to Triad on Dec. 14 to compete in the Triad tournament. They will face Powers in the opening round, followed by Prairie City on Dec. 15 and a rematch against Triad on Dec. 16.

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