HART — Battling some rust, the Hart girls’ basketball team pulled away in the second half Monday night for a 61-27 non-conference win over White Cloud.
Uncharacteristic mistakes and early foul trouble slowed the Pirates in the first half, but they still managed to command the game played at Hart.
It was the Pirates seventh consecutive win.
“We came out flat (and) not prepared to play,” said Hart coach Travis Rosema. “We had a sluggish first half. Abby Hicks was really huge for us, just defensively and she brought a lot of energy in the second half.”
A 16-9 lead after one wrote the story of how the game would be played out and the Pirates then overcame their troubles to outscore the Indians, 9-5, in the second quarter and take a 25-14 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Abby Hicks provided the Pirates some much-needed energy and helped them extend their lead with a 15-11 edge. Hart led 40-25 going into the fourth quarter.
Then Addi Hovey provided the offensive energy for the Pirates with eight points and four assists as Hart put the Indians away with a 21-2 advantage.
Hicks finished with 18 points to lead the Pirates. Hicks also picked off eight steals and distributed three assists while gathering in three rebounds.
“I would say that’s typical Abby,” said Rosema. “She scores, she gets a lot of steals, she rebounds and is leading the conference with assists. She just plays with a lot of passion and energy. Marianna (VanAgtmael) is a senior and she stepped up and did some good things for us. It helped us get over that slow first half. For my part, I’d rather that we come out fast.
“There’s going to be a time when you can’t start slow and you can’t overcome when you’re playing in the districts or regionals,” Rosema said. “You have to play four quarters of basketball, and that’s what I want the team to do.”
Hovey had a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds with six assists and six steals. Marianna VanAgtmael added nine points, four assists and four steals while Aspen Boutell chipped in eight points.
Hart (11-2, 7-0) will host Morley-Stanwood on Tuesday.
White Cloud (7-7, 3-4) will host Newaygo on Friday.