January 20th, 2019

Sacred Heart defeats Assumption, claims rivalry victory

Dalton Pence 

Staff Writer 

Sacred Heart defeats Assumption, claims rivalry victory
SHA defeats AHS in rivalry victory/ photo by Dalton Pence

On Sunday afternoon, Sacred Heart took down Assumption on the road 60-52. The Valkyries have now won the last seven games in the rivalry between the two, dating back to the 2012/13 season.

“I think we played really well”, Sacred Heart coach Donna Moir said, “I was proud of them in this environment, some of them this is their first time.”

Emotions can play a big role in rivalry games, but it didn’t seem that way early on for Sacred Heart. Ashlee Harris scored eight and Kristen Clemons scored 10 in the first period to give them a 25-15 lead heading into the second.

“It’s hard to come back”, Assumption coach Stacy Pendleton said, “it’s not what we wanted. It was tough to overcome that and we were playing from behind the whole game.”

For Harris however, one of those buckets had a different significance. With 4:18 to play in the first quarter, she nailed a three-pointer, surpassing the 1,000 point mark for her career. “Everybody found me in the right spot”, she said, “I thank my teammates the most for that one.”

“Ashlee just came out with a look in her eye like she was going to make every shot”, Moir said.

In the second quarter, SHA was continuing to try to bust the game wide open and eventually pushed the lead to 14. Assumption had different plans, with Payton Cronen hitting a three-pointer to cap off a 7-0 Rocket run. Despite being down by double digits for most of the first two quarters, the Rockets pulled to within seven, trailing 35-28 at the half.

The Valkyries were able to eventually stretch that out to 11 leading into the fourth, but a quick 4-0 capped off by an Abby McQueary floater brought it back to seven with 5:22 to play in the game. A minute later, Cronen hit her second three-pointer of the night and Assumption made it a two-possession game. She finished with a team-high 14 points.

Shortly after, Harris went on a 5-0 run of her own to push the lead back to double digits and Sacred Heart would not look back.

“I was really proud of the fight my team had”, Pendleton said, “I thought they played the fourth quarter really well.”

Harris (career-high 24 points) and Clemons (20 points and 10 rebounds) led the way for Sacred Heart. Destinee Marshall also has nine points for the Valkyries. “Marshall and Harris are just great guards”, Pendleton said, “it’s really difficult (to come back) on a team with great guards like theirs.”

Moir highlighted her respect for Pendleton’s team. “In a rivalry game you’re going to get everybody’s best shot”, she said, “they don’t quit; they’re going to make a run late in the game.”

Sacred Heart (12-5) will return to action on Tuesday as they travel on the road to Atherton. Coach Moir’s squad has won seven straight and has not suffered defeat in the 2019 calendar year.

“We really haven’t had an easy game”, Moir said. “It’s going to be like that for the rest of the year. I’m so proud of our kids; they bring it every night. There are some things that we’ve got to work on and that’s good because we’re not the team we are going to be in March.”

Maddie Nalley (11 points and 18 rebounds) and Maddie Reed (seven points) also paced the Rockets. Assumption drops to 10-9 and will attempt to overcome a two-game skid when they host Spencer County on Monday night.

Despite the two losses, Pendleton has great optimism for the rest of the season. “We’re knocking on the door right now and we’re just hoping that it comes open soon”, he said, “so we’re looking at top ten teams and we are right there.”


SACRED HEART: 25   10   14   11- 60

ASSUMPTION: 15   13   10   14- 52


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