UNION CITY – On senior night the Mississinawa Valley Blackhawks came close to celebrating in style, but they let a 9-point lead evaporate in the last quarter, coming up short to Houston by the score of 49-43.
It was a slow start for the Hawks, getting down early to the Wildcats, but they would slowly inch back into the game with senior Kelsie Hunt scoring 6 points inside and senior Mikayla Stump getting 4 points on two break away layups to close the gap to 15-12 after one quarter of play.
The Hawks’ defensive pressure yielded results in the second frame as they held Houston to just 8 points.
MV showed patience on offense and found success from behind the arch with Stump draining a couple late to grab the lead and another by Bailey Johnson for good measure as the Hawks held a 25-22 advantage at the break.
It was a strong finish by MV to end the first half and a strong start in the second half. The formula was the same with Stump coming connecting on two straight triples as the Hawks increased their lead to 31-25.
They would expand their lead on the play of freshman Kyra Lavy, who came off the bench and gave the team a boost with two buckets inside to make the score 37-28.
Things unraveled from there. It started with a foul on MV as the horn sounded to end the third period. Houston converted two charity tosses to make it 37-30.
Houston continued its run in the final stanza, scoring the next 10 points, 12 unanswered, before Mississinawa senior Kylie Willis hit a free throw to stop the bleeding, trailing 42-38.
Much of the frustration was due to a box-and-one defense Houston deployed with special focus on Stump, quelling her offense from the outside … but she finally found an opening and connected on her fifth triple on the night, along 19 points for the game, to close the gap 44-41 with three minutes to play.
The Hawks just couldn’t find a way to make up the deficit and fell on senior night by the score of 49-43.
“We hit shots tonight for most of the game,” Mississinawa girls basketball coach John Hershey said. “That was kind of nice … but we cooled off and struggled to score inside in the last quarter. That was the difference.
“Their size took a toll on us. We just bounced off, got tired and missed shots … but I’m really proud of our seniors and their effort tonight,” Hershey said.
“This is a great group of girls, fun to be around, never any trouble. I would love to have had them another year,” Hershey said.
Five seniors were honored on the night: Mikayla Stump, Kelsie Hunt, Madison Stachler, Kylie Willis and Ana Carol Zappa.
For two seniors it was a special night as Stump, who already had the record for the most 3-pointers in a season became the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers for a career.
Kelsie Hunt surpassed 250 rebounds in a season, and she continues to add to that total.
Mississinawa will be back in action Saturday as the Hawks host Twin Valley South in a Cross County Conference game.
Score by quarters:
Houston ……. 15 … 08 … 07 … 19 – 49
Mississinawa 12 … 13 … 12 … 06 – 43
Houston – Maier 10, Ely 6, S. Monnier 16, J. Monnier 5, Jarrett 3, New 9
Totals – 3-14-12/27 – 49
Mississinawa – Johnson 3, Stump 19, S. Hunt 6, Willis 3, K. Hunt 8, Kyra Lavy 4
Totals – 6-12-1/4 – 43
Houston – 3 (Maier, Monnier, New)
Mississinawa – 6 (Stump 5, Johnson)