The Creek Wood Red Hawks and Lady Red Hawks played similar games Tuesday night in Dover, with similar results–hard-fought, defensive-oriented district clashes with lots of fouls but a surprising amount of physicality allowed, ending in close wins for the road team in both contests.
The Creek Wood girls battled the Lady Rebels in a difficult, close brawl. Sam Kilian had 3 of Creek Wood’s 4 first quarter points, but Stewart County took the first quarter 9-4 off the strength of Holli Shepherd’s 4 points. Kilian continued the scoring blitz in the second, adding 2 free throws and a three, while Raegan Hohl had 8 in the frame off 5 free throws and a trey. The duo had 8 points each at the half, or 16 of the Lady Red Hawks’ 17, and Creek Wood used a 13-9 second to cut the lead to 18-17 at the break. Shepherd had 6 at the half while Hannah Templon had 5 points including a three for the home side.
Creek Wood took the third 9-4 as Hohl, Lydia Edmondson, and Elayna Gass each had baskets and Taylor Moore buried a three. Only Shepherd and Peanut White had baskets for the Lady Rebels, and the visitors grabbed the lead 26-22. The Lady Red Hawks played well in the fourth but never could put away the fiery Stewart County side down to the very end. Templon and MaKayleigh Lackey each had 2 baskets in the fourth, while Hohl and Moore each had clutch threes for CWHS. In the waning seconds Creek Wood was holding on to a slim 35-34 lead, when things came unraveled for the Lady Rebels–their coach called a time out to save a possession against the Lady Red Hawks’ pressure defense, but he was out of time-outs. The technical foul was assessed, and Gass hit one of two free throws to make the lead 36-34. Creek Wood also got possession, and Kilian wound up back at the line, where she hit both free throws and made the lead an insurmountable 4 points with barely enough time to get up the floor and get one shot off. The only hope for Stewart County would have been a foul on a made three, but the Lady Red Hawks stayed away knowing that the Lady Rebels couldn’t win without help. The surprising defensive shift made Stewart County miss a wide-open look, and the 38-34 Creek Wood win went final, giving the Lady Red Hawks the season sweep over the Lady Rebels.
Hohl had 2 threes for Creek Wood and a game-high 13 points including 5 free throws, while Kilian had 11 points including a three and 6 from the charity stripe. Moore had 2 threes for 6 points, while Gass had 5 points. Shepherd led the way for Stewart County with 10 points, while Templon had 9 points and a three and Templon added 7 including a trey.
The boys’ game was bruising, but it was also a chance for the Red Hawks to show off grit and depth. A 4-0 run to close the first saw the Rebels flip a 9-6 deficit into a 10-9 Stewart County lead at the end of one. Rye Nolen had a three and a couple of free throws, while Ezra McElroy added a longball for the Rebels. Coulter Dotson, Allen Miller, and Devon Higgins each had treys for the visitors from Creek Wood. A 15-10 second quarter gave the Red Hawks the lead back by the break, as Aaron Daniel went off for 12 points in the quarter while Dotson added his second trey of the night. Daniel had the unique hat trick in the quarter, hitting a standard three, getting fouled while shooting a three and hitting all three foul shots, and scoring a basket while getting fouled and completing the “old-school three” by hitting the and-one free throw. Creek Wood led 24-20 at the half, despite 4 points from Alessandro Caselli and a three from Caleb Sommers.
The Rebels made a run in the third, but Dotson and the Red Hawks ultimately crushed it, winning the frame 17-15 for a 41-35 lead. Dotson buried 3 more threes in an 11 point quarter, while Daniel, Miller, and Dallas Hall each had baskets of their own; Jake Cook had 7 points in the third including a basket-and-one, while Caselli converted a basket-and-one of his own, as did Nolen in a 4 point frame. Stewart County rallied hard in the fourth, but could not find a three save for a late effort by Nolen where he missed but drew a foul and hit his foul shots. The Red Hawks kept the Rebels at a safe distance with another solid offensive quarter as 5 players scored, including Dotson with 2 more threes while Garrett Dolinich and Micah Westerman each had baskets. Caselli had 4 points for the Rebels and Nolen went off for 9, but it wasn’t enough. Stewart County won the battle for the fourth quarter 13-12, but Creek Wood had just enough to hold on and win the war 53-48.
Dotson led all scorers with 23 and an incredible 7 threes, while Daniel had 14 points–12 of Creek Wood’s 15 in the second–including a three. Miller added 7 points including a longball of his own. Nolen had 19 points of his own, including a 3 and a successful and-one; he managed 8 of his 19 at the free throw line, and 4 or more points in every quarter but his 1-point second. Caselli chipped in 11 points for the night, while Cook had 7, all in the third quarter.
Creek Wood returns home to face Camden Friday night on WDKN 1260 AM, before hitting the road for a 3:30pm game at Harpeth Saturday. The following week will be another challenging one, with games at Fairview on Tuesday night, the rescheduled snow game at East Hickman Thursday night, and at home against Lewis County that Friday.