Photos by Kara Raeth | CatchMark
After losing star Jayd Hovey to a knee injury earlier this season, the path to a conference title grew increasingly more difficult for the Hart girls basketball team. Despite the obstacle, the Pirates kept their eyes on the prize.
On Thursday evening at Montague, the Pirates (15-3 overall, 13-0) WMC) found themselves in a matchup to clinch the league title for the first time since 1993 (29 years) against the host Wildcats (14-4, 10-2). A perfect matchup for CatchMark SportsNet’s Game of the Week.
In a wild fan-filled atmosphere, Hart escaped with a 47-35 victory over Montague to lock in the league trophy.
Freshman forward Addi Hovey (Jayd’s younger sister) acted as a spark for the Pirates, posting a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Montague opened the game with an advantage, but it wasn’t long before Hart gained commanding control over the game. In the first quarter, the Pirates went on an 11-0 run to increase the deficit over Montague.
Second quarter free throw shooting led Hart into halftime with a 23-14 lead over the Wildcats. The Pirates were 8-of-9 from the line in the second quarter.
After the break, an explosive 8-point run by Hovey kept the Pirates on top through three quarters of play.
Down the stretch, Hart used the clock to their advantage until Montague forced the Pirates to the free throw line to regulate the clock. Hart’s Aspen Boutell capitalized on those opportunities with six made free throws in the final quarter to lock up the victory.
The Pirates were led by Hovey’s double-double in addition to seven steals. Junior Aspen Boutell tossed in 14 points and notched three rebounds, three steals and three assists. Sophomore Abby Hick added seven points for the Pirates.
Sophomore Kendall Osborne led the Wildcats with 10 points, five rebounds and four steals. Senior Emma Dyer added eight points and five rebounds. The “twin towers” in Claire and Maddie Meacham combined for 11 points and 19 rebounds for Montague.
Both teams will finish out conference play next week with their solidified first and second place finishes.
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