HENDERSONVILLE Brooke Long gave Hendersonville a lead just five seconds into Friday evening’s District 9-AAA battle.
For visiting Gallatin, things were all downhill from there as the Lady Commandos rolled to a 68-34 victory over the Lady Wave.
Hendersonville jumped out to a 25-6 lead by the end of the first quarter, with Long – a sophomore – scoring 11 of her 19 points in the opening period.
“Brooke’s one of a kind really,” Hendersonville senior point guard Carleigh Short said. “She can get out and run with the best of them. She’s crazy-fast, and it’s always nice to have her streaking up the court so we can hit her with a long pass and get some easy layups.”
Hendersonville head coach Drew Johnson added, “She makes us a lot faster, because she’s just a really quick athlete. She runs the floor really well.”
Short joined the party soon thereafter, scoring 18 points to help push Hendersonville (10-7 overall, 3-3 in District 9-AAA) back to the .500 mark in district play.
Gallatin (5-10, 0-6) showed some life with a 7-0 run midway through the second quarter, but the Lady Commandos weathered the Lady Wave surge to hold a 39-18 lead at halftime.
“I thought we were rolling a little bit, because we had cut (the lead) to 14,” Gallatin first-year head coach Malcolm Montgomery said. “But we made a couple of mistakes, and they stretched it back out.”
Hendersonville went on a 13-0 run early in the second half and extended the lead to 35 points early in the fourth-quarter, activating the running clock as a result of the 35-point, mercy rule.
“We had a determined bunch out there tonight,” Johnson said. “I think (Tuesday’s 50-43 loss to visiting Mt. Juliet) bothered them a bit and wanted to make sure that we got off to a good start.”
Short said that the Lady Commandos had to refocus after the loss to Mt. Juliet.
“Tuesday night, we had a really rough game, and we really just wanted to bounce back from that,” Short said. “We focused on intensity and getting up in defensive pressure, and I think we did a really good job of that tonight.”
Senior point guard Rene’ Hudson led Gallatin with 19 points, hitting four of the Lady Wave’s five 3-pointers.
“I think we played hard and competed,” Montgomery said. “I think it was just the little things that led to some huge baskets for (Hendersonville).”
Hendersonville hosts Beech on Tuesday, while Gallatin plays at Station Camp.
Reach Chris Brooks at email@example.com or at 615-575-7118. Follow him on Twitter @CB_SumnerSports.
GALLATIN (34) – Rene’ Hudson 19, Grace Pincock 7, Anastasia Blakemore 2, Keile Hale 2, Sha’Mari Johnson 2, LaMonica Mintlow 2.
HENDERSONVILLE (68) – Brooke Long 19, Carleigh Short 18, Joslyn Jarrett 9, Peyton Sheehan 6, Makensie Cotter 5, Morgan Wettengel 5, Hartley Hines 4, Makenzie Branch 2.
Half: 39-18, Hendersonville. Three-point goals: Gallatin 5 (Hudson 4, Pincock 1), Hendersonville 7 (Long 2, Short 2, Hines 1, Jarrett 1, Wettengel 1). Records: Gallatin 5-10 overall, 0-6 in District 9-AAA; Hendersonville 10-7, 3-3.