HHS girls pass baton on Senior Night
HUNTINGTON -- Friday was supposed to be a night to honor the seniors for Huntington High's girls basketball team.
Instead, it turned into something a bit more.
Not only did the seniors get a final curtain call at Huntington High, they also passed the baton off to a talented, young group of players during an 86-35 win over Hurricane at Lucas-Archer Gymnasium.
Seniors Kiana Evans and Alexis Williams had banner nights in their final regular season home game. Evans went out with 26 points and six assists while Williams finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
However, the Highlanders' pair of freshman -- Dazha Congleton and Ericka Budd -- stepped their games up in a big way to ensure the seniors went out with a win.
Congleton ended the evening with 21 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Budd, who sat out the first quarter so senior teammate Ciana Crawford could get the varsity start, came in to start the second quarter and finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals in just over two quarters of play.
"I guess they were sending us out in a good way and starting their own legacy here on the hill," Evans said. "This was a fun Senior Night for us, though. We had a lot of fun out there."
The Highlanders shook off the shock of a fourth-quarter collapse against Ironton on Thursday to put the game away early against the Redskins.
Congleton took off from the game's onset, scoring 12 of the first 15 for Huntington High while also distributing the ball and pushing the tempo.
Hurricane was able to stay in the contest early, thanks to the hot shooting of Abby Watson, who finished with 21 of the Redskins' 35 points.
After Watson's jumper to start the second quarter cut the Highlanders' lead to 19-13, Huntington High used its defense -- led by Budd -- to go on a 19-4 run that helped seize control of the game. Hurricane finished with 25 turnovers.
"The freshmen played well and really, everybody played pretty well once we got going," Huntington High coach Lonnie Lucas said. "Dazha played an almost perfect game and Ericka did well, too. The girls did what they were supposed to do. I always get worried with these Senior Night games."
Prior to the game, the Highlanders honored their four seniors with a special ceremony. Evans, Williams, Dominique Gibson and Crawford all were brought out to half-court with their parents.
Huntington High also acknowledged Hurricane's two seniors -- Callie McClanahan and Brooke Crompton -- during the ceremony.
HURRICANE 11 11 8 5 -- 35: Watson 21, Barber 5, Crompton 5, Sturdavent 2, McClanahan 2.
HUNTINGTON HIGH 19 28 20 19 -- 86: Evans 26, Congleton 21, Budd 16, Williams 12, Gibson 5, Johnson 4, Parrish 2.