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Lady Hornets get historic victory against Garaway

By TODD REED News Leader Sports Editor Published: February 1, 2017 12:37 AM
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History was made last week when Garaway visited Malvern for a girls basketball showdown with second place on the line in the Inter-Valley Conference.

Kelsi Hulit poured in a game-high 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds; Tara Tucci added 17 points, six boards and four assists; and Hunter Martin chipped in with 12 points, four assists and three rebounds in leading the Lady Hornets to a 65-62 victory.

The win was the first-ever for Malvern against the Lady Pirates.

"This was the best win that I've ever had the pleasure to coach," commented Head Coach Doug Wackerly. "We had to overcome some adversity, but the girls stepped up. The four seniors probably played their best game together as a unit.

"I hope it's a moment everyone will remember forever, beating Garaway for the first time in school history. I know that I'll never forget the girls' excitement after the game was over."

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A high-scoring first quarter set the tone for the rest of the night. The Lady Hornets led 22-20 after the opening stanza, 40-31 at halftime, and 52-47 heading into the final eight minutes of play.

LeaEllen Leslie had eight points and four boards for the winners.

"They had no answer for Kelsi and we were able to keep getting her the ball," noted Coach Wackerly. "I give Garaway a lot of credit. We had a nice lead and they fought their way back, but we settled down and came back to keep the lead.

"I feel we are maturing into a good basketball team and we're starting to get respect from the area top-tier programs."

Malvern 54

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Sandy Valley 29

Malvern overcame a slow start and finished strong as it posted a 54-29 win over Sandy Valley.

Trailing 11-5 at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Hornets outscored the hosts 22-5 for a 27-16 halftime advantage. Malvern extended its lead to 41-23 heading into the fourth frame.

Hulit had 20 points, 11 boards and four steals; Tucci had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists; Martin had 14 points, six assists, four steals and four rebounds; and Kenzie Haidet, Leslie and Susan Thompson each had four rebounds.

"We talked about what we needed to do to go in and get a win," stated Coach Wackerly. "We knew it wouldn't be as easy as the last time we played them. Tara and Hunter shot the ball extremely well and are becoming standout leaders.

"We again had to overcome being shorthanded and we had a great balance in rebounding with Kelsi leading us with a double-double. Kenzie had a great week coming off the bench for us.

"We just intend to keep our heads down, work hard in practice and hope we can keep getting the wins."

Malvern (15-3, 11-2) was to face Hiland on Feb. 1; before traveling to Conotton Valley on Saturday, Feb. 4; and to East Canton on Wednesday, Feb. 8.


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