Hornets swarm past Grizzlies

Through the first five minutes of the game the Ashland High girls' basketball team put all of its strengths on display, and managed to suppress its weaknesses.

Then the visiting Henley Hornets cranked up their defensive pressure and turned everything around.

Henley went on a 23-0 run to turn a 13-3 deficit into a 26-13 lead and cruised from there en route to a 50-29 nonconference win Friday at Mountain Avenue Gym.

Sarah Pavlich led the Grizzlies with 15 points and 15 rebounds and Allison Shulenberger had seven points and 16 boards, but the rest of the team combined for just seven points as Ashland (3-1) suffered its first loss of the season.

Henley's Elle Morgan had 14 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks, while Allie Fahner added 10 points and four rebounds for the Hornets (3-1), a 4A squad that also played up to beat 6A North Medford on Monday.

"We didn't stay composed," Ashland head coach Emily Hesse said. "When you don't stay composed it's really easy for the other team. And that's what they did. They frazzled us."

Ashland got off to a fantastic start, moving the ball well and generating open shots on offense and holding the Hornets to one shot at the other end. Shulenberger's rebound follow gave the Grizzlies a quick 7-0 lead and her zip pass inside to Pavlich led to an easy bucket and an 11-3 lead. Pavlich's rebound putback gave the Grizzlies their largest lead of the game — 10 points.

Then Henley woke up.

The Hornets switched to a tight man-to-man defense, picking up the Grizz ball-handlers near midcourt. The strategy worked to perfection. As Ashland struggled to get into its offense, the Hornets created some easy buckets of their own by turning steals — they had 12 in the game — into quick points.

Jordin Scholer's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 13-8, Britanny Kochenderfer's steal and subsequent layup made it 13-10 heading into the second and back-to-back jumpers by Scholer gave the Hornets the lead for good, 14-13, with 5:20 to go in the first half.

"They came out in that second quarter and just were ready to play and we got back on our heels," Hesse said.

It only got worse for the Grizzlies, who turned the ball over 23 times, scored just two points in the second quarter and went about 13 minutes without a field goal before Shulenberger finally hit a runner with 5:25 to go in the third quarter.

That cut Henley's lead to 31-17. The Hornets then scored 10 of the next 12 points to take a cozy 41-19 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Grizzlies showed a little moxie down the stretch, fighting for rebounds and diving for steals even though the game had long since been decided. That never-say-die attitude impressed their coach.

"I was proud in the fourt quarter — they definitely gave it their all," Hesse said. "They played their heart out in the fourth quarter and that's honestly what we talked about. They didn't give up. Yeah, we were down by quite a bit, but they didn't stop. They kept pushing "… and that's all that (assistant coach Ashley Hafner) and I ask for — that determination."

HENLEY (50) — Scholer 9, Morgan 14, Fahner 10, deHoop 1, Patterson 5, Parker 2, Olden 4, Kochenderfer 5. Totals: 18 11-20 50.

ASHLAND (29) — Shulenberger 7, Sad. Kasiah 0, Sar. Kasiah 2, Minor 3, Cochrane 0, Williams 0, Zehren 0, Pavlich 15, Thornton 2. Totals: 12 4-5 29.

Henley 10 16 15 9 — 50

Ashland 13 2 4 10 — 29

3-point goals — Henley 3 (Scholer 1, Morgan 1, Patterson 1), Ashland 1 (Shulenberger 1). Technical fouls — Ashland coach Emily Hesse.

JV result — Henley won.

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