HENDERSONVILLE Despite struggling for much of the first half of the season, the Hendersonville High boys basketball team is hoping to find some consistency after capturing a 67-55 win over visiting East Ridge on Monday evening in the Trickett Honda Boys Basketball Classic.
“This was a good win for us,” Hendersonville head coach Kerry West said. “East Ridge is an athletic group that can shoot it well. I thought we played well with a lot of different guys. We made free throws down the stretch and plays when we had to.”
Hendersonville made a living behind the three-point line throughout the game, making eight 3-pointers. The Commandos’ first four field goals were all 3-pointers, which gave them a 12-9 lead.
Senior guard Austin Kirby carried the Commandos in the second half, scoring 11 of his team-high 21 points in the third quarter.
A three-point basket from East Ridge guard Elijah Garmany midway through the third quarter gave the Pioneers their first lead of the game, 40-39.
However, that was followed by a 3-pointer from Kirby that began an 8-0 run.
“When we’re up, we tell our guys to shoot it, and we did shoot it pretty well tonight,” West said. “Austin Kirby stepped up and made a couple of big shots for us to push the lead as well as the free throws, which were also crucial to help find a way to win. He’s one of our senior leaders, and we’ve been expecting him to have some breakout games. Hopefully, tonight gets him on track.”
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Garmany cut Hendersonville’s lead back to one point, 53-52, in the fourth quarter.
However, several critical free throws as well as another 3-pointer from Kirby helped the Commandos to pull away.
>> Kirby’s layin in the final seconds gave Hendersonville a 46-45 victory over Hillwood in the final game of the two-day event on Tuesday evening.
With less than five seconds remaining, Kirby cut to the basket and caught a pass from sophomore point guard Cooper Smith before converting the game-winner.
However, a 75-foot heave at the buzzer bounced off of the backboard and front of the rim before falling harmlessly to the court.
The Commandos trailed 26-18 at halftime and 34-29 entering the fourth quarter.
Kirby scored a team-high 13 points, followed by Jordan Amis (9 points), Preston Brown (8), Jason Hernando (5), Justin Ernst (3), Alec Kirby (3), Ryne Loper (3) and Smith (2).
Hendersonville won its third consecutive game and improved to 4-8.
Senior Alex Shaw made four of the Hilltoppers’ seven 3-pointers and scored a game-high 20 points.
Hillwood fell to 5-6.
EAST RIDGE (55) – Elijah Garmany 20, Ashton Horton 11, Marquis Hinton 7, Jeff Thomas 7, Dkobe Jordan 5, Nathaniel Mathis 3, Jeremiah McKibben 2.
HENDERSONVILLE (67) – Austin Kirby 21, Preston Brown 9, Cooper Smith 9, Jordan Amis 8, Ryne Loper 8, Jason Hernando 7, Dyilin Hoosier 2, Alec Kirby 2, Weston Schwerdt 1.
Half: 30-25, Hendersonville. Three-point goals: East Ridge 7 (Garmany 6, Thomas 1), Hendersonville 8 (A. Kirby 3, Hernando 2, Loper 2, Brown 1) Records: East Ridge 4-8, Hendersonville 3-8.