GALLATIN The Hendersonville High boys basketball team and its zone defense limited everyone except for one person on the Clarksville Northeast roster.
However, that one person proved to be a big difference.
Hendersonville held a 32-30 lead with 4:51 remaining before back-to-back 3-pointers from Diondre Fraklin and Jaylon Thorpe gave the Eagles a 36-32 lead that they would not relinquish on their way to a 40-35 win over the Commandos on Friday evening in Gallatin High’s BodyGuard Sports Medicine Christmas Classic.
Thorpe scored 20 points, making six 3-pointers.
“I felt like we played pretty well and did a good job out of our zone against them, but they had the one kid (Thorpe) who hit some tough shots against us,” Hendersonville head coach Kerry West said. “We’re not scoring enough to overcome that kind of stuff.
“We’ve had eight end-of-quarter buzzer-beaters, and two end-of-half buzzer-beaters against us this year, and that can be tough. It happened again tonight with their good shooter (Thorpe), and it gave them momentum.”
Hendersonville (1-8) held a 23-14 with 23.2 seconds remaining in the half following a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Dyilin Hoosier. However, Thorpe’s heavily-contested three brought Clarksville Northeast (2-4) back to within six points at halftime.
After a basket from senior guard Austin Kirby extended the Hendersonville lead to eight points early in the third quarter, the Eagles went on a 10-2 run that was kick-started by Thorpe’s 3-pointer. It was also capped by Thorpe, who hit three of four from the free-throw line.
Thorpe’s final free throw tied the game at 27 entering into the fourth quarter.
“We’ve played good defense all year, and we’ve kept teams under 50 points for the most part,” West said. “It was disheartening to see us do some things and hit some shots in the first half when we got a lead only to see them hit some tough shots, but we’ve got to learn from those experiences.”
Hendersonville reclaimed the lead on a 3-pointer by junior Ryne Loper that put the Commandos ahead by two points, just before the Clarksville Northeast run.
With both teams struggling in the first quarter on offense, combining for 10 points in the opening period, Hendersonville scored the first 10 points of the second quarter, with senior guard Jason Hernando hitting a pair of 3-pointers during the run.
Senior forward Preston Brown led the Commandos offensively with 11 points.
CLARKSVILLE NORTHEAST (40) – Jaylon Thorpe 20, Jontae Brown 8, Quinton Cross 3, Diondre Franklin 3, Jaden Burse 2, D’Andre Cross 2, Alec Kegler 2.
HENDERSONVILLE (35) – Preston Brown 11, Jason Hernando 6, Austin Kirby 6, Ryne Loper 5, Cooper Smith 4, Dyilin Hoosier 3.
Half: 23-17, Hendersonville. Three-point goals: Clarksville Northeast 8 (Thorpe 6, Brown 1, Franklin 1), Hendersonville 4 (Hernando 2, Brown 1, Loper 1). Records: Clarksville Northeast 2-4, Hendersonville 1-8.