Sullivan East held off a Lady Warriors comeback late in the fourth quarter to grab its fourth Three Rivers Conference basketball win. Thanks to a double-digit advantage built through the first half, the Lady Patriots finished on the winning side of a 60-47 score.
“It’s hard to go down and come back in this district,” Happy Valley’s head coach Thomas Gouge said. “Sullivan East is a good basketball team and knows how to score pretty easily. It showed tonight how tough this district is.”
Happy Valley (12-7, 1-4 TRC) neared a comeback in the fourth quarter as it cut the lead by Sullivan East (13-8, 4-1) to single digits.
Unfortunately for the Lady Warriors, the deficit in the first half was too much to climb back from as Sullivan East held an advantage the whole game.
“The way my team fought gave us a lot of confidence,” Gouge said. “We could’ve laid down after that deficit, but we continued to fight.”
Jenna Hare finished with a game-high 21 points and Hayley Grubb was right behind her with 19 points for Sullivan East.
Olivia Absher tallied the team-high for the Lady Warriors with 13. Shalyn Whitson and Emma Blevins both scored eight.
Sullivan East found its hot hand in the first quarter with a 9-2 start.
A 15-4 first-quarter advantage built to a 22-6 lead thanks to a couple of 3-point makes. Happy Valley cut the deficit in half at 24-12 after Blevins knocked down back-to-back 3’s.
As the Lady Warriors began to cut the deficit, Sullivan East ended the first half holding Happy Valley off by double digits leading 30-16.
Happy Valley began another small run in the third quarter of 6-0 as Casey Campbell drained two 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 11 points.
The Lady Patriots denied another run from the Lady Warriors in the quarter as they took a 46-30 advantage with them into the final quarter.
Happy Valley shrunk the 16-point deficit to single digits in the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run. Unfortunately, the Lady Warriors could not continue the momentum.
“We had some silly mistakes in the first half,” Gouge said. “We got it down to six and couldn’t keep it rolling so we had to start fouling. Sullivan East knocked down its free throws.”
Sullivan East began to match baskets to keep itself separated for the victory.
Sullivan East 88, Happy Valley 39
The Patriots found a rhythm from outside the arc to carry them to victory over Happy Valley in the boys’ portion of Tuesday’s activity at East.
After draining 22 shots from the 3-point line, Sullivan East grabbed a dominant win by 49 points to earn a third straight league triumph.
“Our defense makes our offense go,” Sullivan East’s head coach John Dyer said. “When we make that extra pass, our 3-point shot falls. I thought we played hard on both sides of the ball tonight. We have to continue to get better. Every district game is crucial and we want to win the district.”
Happy Valley (4-12, 1-4) simply did not have an answer for the way Sullivan East (10-9, 4-1) shot the ball.
The Patriots had three players enter double figures with Ethan Bradford scoring 21 points, Dylan Bartley dropping 20 and Braden Standbridge tallying 15. The three combined for 15 made shots from 3-point range.
Alex Lunceford scored a team-high 17 points for Happy Valley.
Sullivan East’s shot must have felt effortless to begin the game after knocking down nine 3-pointers to grab a 35-9 advantage.
As the second quarter began, Happy Valley slowed the shooting of the Patriots down. However, the Patriots found their touch again in the final minutes of the first half.
Bartley had himself a quarter after draining four straight 3-pointers to held build Sullivan East’s lead to 50-25 at the half.
The deficit was too much for Happy Valley to deal with, and Sullivan East kept the 3-pointer flying for a 73-32 advantage after three quarters.
It was easy riding to victory for the Patriots after a night of shooting lights out from the 3-point line.