A smothering defense and timely outside shooting allowed the Hough Huskies girls, ranked No. 10 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll, to knock off No. 16 Myers Park on the road Friday night.
Renee Alquiza, led the way for Hough with a game-high 13 points including 10 in the first half. Senior Lauren Stokes also finished in double figures for Hough with 10 points.
Hailey Gipson finished with nine points and had two 3-pointers for the Huskies. However, her main contribution was on defense as she helped to hold down Myers Park senior star McKenna Haire. Hough also defended well down low, keeping the Mustangs’ scorers out of the paint for much of the game.
Hough coach Jason Buzzard was obviously pleased with his team’s performance.
“I’m real excited and happy for our girls,” he said. “Coming into Myers Park who has a tradition of winning and coming in on their home floor and executing for four quarters. I thought we put together a pretty good four quarters to beat Myers Park tonight.”
The Huskies outscored the Mustangs in all quarters except the fourth, and held them to single digits in three of the four quarters. Hough built its lead to as high as 15 points late in the fourth quarter before settling for the eight-point victory. No Myers Park player scored in doubles figures. Kianna Funderburk and Andrea Shire each had eight points to lead the Mustangs.
After the game the Huskies celebrated inside what was a boisterous locker room.
“It was a great win and the locker room went crazy,” said Alquiza. “It was a great team win and we all came together to do what we had to do. I’m happy with the way I played but everyone contributed in the first half and throughout the whole game. It was a really good team win.”
WORTH MENTIONING: The Huskies knocked down six 3-pointers in the game……Myers Park senior McKenna Haire has committed to play at Princeton next season……..Myers Park had only one lead in the game and that was brief. The Mustangs led 14-12 early in the second quarter before the Huskies surged ahead and never trailed the rest of the way.
THREE WHO MATTERED:
Renee Alquiza – Hough: A 6-foot-1 junior, Alquiza finished with a game-high 13 points and had two 3-pointers.
Andrea Shire – Myers Park: Was the co-leading scorer for the Mustangs with 8 points while knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.
Hailey Gipson – Hough: Sophomore guard had nine points and was tasked with guarding Mustangs’ senior star Mckenna Haire.
THEY SAID IT: “I don’t think we were completely focused on the task at hand. I think the most important part is coming back strong, learning from our mistakes and being stronger as a team.” Myers Park’s McKenna Haire on what went wrong for the Mustangs in losing to Hough
RECORDS: Hough (5-2, 0-1), Myers Park (2-3, 1-0)
WHAT’S NEXT: Myers Park will host Butler Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. while Hough will travel to Mallard Creek Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
HOUGH: Renee Alquiza 13, Lauren Stokes 10, Gipson 9, Gianikos 9, Leone 4.
MYERS PARK: Funderburk 8, Shire 8, Dorton 6, Zuyus 5, Owens 5, Schrimsher 3, Haire 2.