HENDERSONVILLE - The Harpeth Hall Lady Honey Bears have had a great 2018-2019 season. Following an 11-16 season last year and a sixth-place finish in league play, the Lady Bears have stepped it up a notch securing a 16-10 regular season and a fifth-place finish in league play following a 35-28 win at JPII on Tuesday night.
“I like the way our girls have fought and played this year,” Harpeth Hall coach Frank Kornet said. “I believe we have over-performed, and as a coach, that is a great feeling.
“When you come in to the season and get wins over teams you know you should beat that is great, but to get wins against teams you may be underdogs against is something else and I feel like we have done that this year. To get 10 wins in our region is a great accomplishment for our girls.”
The win means Harpeth Hall will host Lipscomb Academy in the first round of the district tournament next week, a game that will be a trying one for his team according to Kornet.
“We’ve beaten LA twice this season, but it’s like I told the girls, one of the hardest things to do in basketball is to beat a team three times,” he added. “They will be ready and we will have to not only match their intensity but take it to the next level. If not it will be a game up for grabs.
“At this point it is a one game season and if you can’t get up for that then something is wrong. It’s great to get to this point but I want to get this team as far as possible and that starts with Lipscomb.”
Against the Lady Knights, Harpeth Hall carried a 25-20 lead into the final quarter, but a 6-3 run cut the Lady Knight deficit to just two and forced a Lady Bear timeout with two minutes remaining.
“We called a timeout there because we wanted to stress the importance of not giving up a three and what do we do, we foul a 3-point shooter sending her to the line,” Kornet recalled.
Fortunately for the Lady Bears, the Lady Knights missed on two of the three free throws, keeping the score at a one possession, 30-27.
In the final minute-plus, JPII knocked in just one of four free throws resulting in the seven-point loss for the Lady Knights.
“I’m very proud of our girls’ effort tonight and I thought they stepped up in what turned out to be a very physical ball game,” Kornett said.
After the game JPII honored their lone senior, Tatumn Clark, a girl that has been with the program for the last two seasons.
“ Tatumn transferred to us her junior year and made an immediate impression on me and on her teammates and was voted as one of our team captains this year.
She's coachable, she brings energy, she's a mentor, she's selfless, she's everything you ask the players in your program to be. This program was blessed to have her and I am proud to be her coach.”
The loss drops JPII to 7-7 in league play and 15-8 overall pitting them in a first round matchup with Baylor. The Lady Knights are 2-0 against Baylor this season.
GIRLS BOX SCORE
Harpeth Hall (35): Jolie Guinn 15, Emma Lowe 8, Camden Johnson 7, Sela Andrews 3, Meredith Hollins 2
JPII (28): Ashley Malone 14, Keonna Chumbley 6, LA Pearson 6, Lillie Van Metre 2