On the eve of its state Prep A tournament opener last Wednesday, the Hun School girls’ basketball team suffered a heartbreaking loss to powerful Lodi Immaculate.
Rallying from a 14-7 first quarter deficit, Hun forced overtime as the teams were knotted at 37-37 at the end of regulation. The Raiders, though, managed only one point in the extra session in losing 40-38.
Hun head coach Bill Holup acknowledged that the setback stung. “We made some defensive adjustments and did some good things offensively,” said Holup, reflecting on the February 11 contest. “It was a tremendous game, back and forth; we just came up a little short.”
A day later, though, the fourth-seeded Raiders came up big as they routed No. 5 Kent Place 77-23 in the Prep A first round contest.
“We had four girls in double figures; it was a good way for the seniors to end their careers at home,” said Holup, who got 15 points from freshman Clare Moloney in the victory with junior Janelle Mullen adding 14, senior Erica Brown contributing 13, and senior Anajha Burnett chipping in 12.
“We had senior day on Tuesday and that was a tough loss. It was a nice win for us, we got everyone into the game and we were able to practice some things we have been working on.”
Holup like the resilience his players displayed. “They were coming off a real tough loss and they played well,” said Holup.
“A good thing about basketball is that you have a lot of games and the opportunity to move on. They were able to take care of business.”
Against top-seeded Blair Academy on the Prep A semifinal, Hun was unable to take care of business as it lost 72-50 to end the winter with a 10-11 record.
While Holup would have liked to see the season go longer, he credits his players with making the most of the campaign as they dealt with the loss of senior star center and top scorer Johnnah Johnson, who was sidelined with a knee injury for much of the winter.
“They could have thrown in their hats and given up in mid-December,” said Holup.
“They saw the adversity and they stepped up and saw it as a challenge.
Each one of them wanted to contribute. They have gotten more confidence in each other. If you are more confident in your teammates, you don’t want to let them down. They have stayed positive. Each kid has each other’s back; that is what makes a team.”