Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports

Henkins scores 24, Morgantown wins big in OVAC semifinal

MORGANTOWN — Senior Mia Henkins scored a career-high 24 points and Morgantown held its opponent under 20 points for the second game in a row as the Mohigans defeated Marietta (Oh.) 54-19 in an OVAC Class 5A semifinal match inside the Rowdie Center Monday night.

The second-seeded Mohigans (14-4) started the game with a dominant 23-7 first quarter against the three-seed Tigers (13-3).

Henkins made her first eight attempts from three-point range, finishing 8-for-10 from deep for a game-high 24 points.

“I thought I shot very well, I feel like I’ve been shooting really well,” Henkins said. “We moved the ball really well on offense and all got open shots, I got good, open looks.”

MHS coach Doug Goodwin evoked former golf pro Gary Player to describe Henkins’ continued success this season, saying “the more I practice, the luckier I get.”

“Mia’s a hard worker, she shoots constantly, she’s in the gym when she can be in the gym and those are things that are paying off for her,” Goodwin said. “It’s just in her confidence. When her feet are set and she’s got a good rhythm on it, she can nail it.

“Her shots aren’t designated shots, we’re in the rhythm of the offense and that’s what opens up at the time. The girls have been really good about moving the ball and finding the open shooter and tonight Mia was in that slot.”

Henkins made five treys in the first quarter, the final one coming a few feet behind the line as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

“I was pretty deep that shot, I just thought ‘there’s four seconds left, I’ve got to throw this up to get our last shot up,’” Henkins explained. “I just put it up and it happened to go in.”

She made another three-pointer in the second quarter and two more in the third for a perfect 8-for-8 start from behind the arc.

“I think now, I’m definitely a confident shooter,” she said. “The first two years of high school I definitely wasn’t, I was a little scared to shoot and if I missed a few, I wouldn’t shoot anymore. Now I realize that if you miss a few, you’re going to make them at some point so just keep shooting them.

“When you miss the first few, you kind of have some self doubt. But when you see the first few go in, you just have to keep putting them up.”

The crowd stirred every time Henkins touched the ball in the second half and there was audible disappointment when her ninth shot missed the target and her 10th bounced out.

“There was a little relief (on the first miss),” Henkins admitted. “I heard the whole crowd make a noise and I knew that was the first one that I missed. I wish I would have made it for my team, but it happens.”

While Henkins was putting it in from deep, teammate Lindsay Bechtel was doing work the in the paint. The fellow senior was a perfect 8-for-8 from the floor, finishing with 16 points inside.

As impressive as Henkins and Bechtel were on offense, the Mohigans defense also shined, giving up just nine points in the first half and 10 in the second. This after giving up just 17 points against Musselman on Friday.

“It is nice when we’re making buckets, that’s for sure, but our main focus is on the defensive side of things, we take the offense as it comes,” Goodwin said. “I thought the girls did a really nice job tonight defensively. They communicated really well on the floor. They made some good switches when needed and they kept them in front or went below when they needed to.”

Leigha Lauer led Marietta with seven points.

In the other OVAC Class 5A semifinal game Monday, top-seeded Wheeling Park defeated four-seed Warren Local (Oh). 77-56.

The Tigers will play an OVAC third-place consolation game against Warren on Thursday. Morgantown, meanwhile, will have its third matchup this season with Wheeling Park in the OVAC finals at Harrison Central High School in Cadiz, Ohio on Saturday. The Class 5A game is scheduled to tip off at 4 p.m.

The Patriots have won both matchups against the Mohigans so far this season, prevailing 63-44 in Wheeling and 59-48 in Morgantown.

Morgantown 54, Marietta 19

Mar 7 2 8 2 — 19

MHS 23 9 16 6 — 54

Marietta — Baker 1 0-0 3; Lauer 3 1-1 7; Medley 1 0-0 2; McKnight 2 0-0 5; Burke 1 0-0 2.

Morgantown — Wassick 1 1-2 3; Henkins 8 0-0 24; Bechtel 8 0-0 16; Hawkins 1 0-1 2; Jordan 0 0-2 2; A. Smith 1 2-2 4; P. Smith 0 1-2 1; Chipps 1 0-0 2; Anderson 1 0-0 2.

3 Pt. Goals — Morgantown 8 (all Henkins). Marietta 2 (Baker 1, McKnight 1).

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