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Hornell dominates back in the Maple City

HORNELL — The last time Hornell played in the Maple City, it was still 2019.

But on Monday night in Hornell, the Lady Red Raiders looked like they had never left home on as they picked up a dominating 82-52 win over LeRoy.

“It was nice to be home. This was a good win against a team that we really struggled against for three and a half quarters up there. To be able to put up a big number tonight was great to see,” said HHS coach Brian Dyring.

Every single Lady Raider registered a point in the win, including four who reached double figures. Leah Harkenrider led all scorers with 24 points, putting her just 17 shy of 1,000 career points. Jaden Sciotti added 14 points and seven assists while Tayghan Doorley finished with 14 points. Dezi Mount contributed 10 points and six assists while Jane Spitulnik added two points and 12 rebounds.

“It was good to see us start flinging the shots up again with the mentality that, if I miss, I don’t care. Just keep firing it up, because that’s the only way we are going to be able to make a deep run,” said Dyring. “Tonight was a complete team win, and I think we are back to playing at a pace that we are comfortable with.”

The pace was slow in the first two minutes of play and the Lady Knights took advantage in order to work out a 4-0 lead. HHS called a quick timeout and saw Jaden Sciotti immediately bury a 3-pointer, but the LeRoy offense could not be stopped.

The Lady Knights used an inside advantage to clean up every miss, and when their first 3-pointer of the game fell, the score was suddenly 13-3 halfway through the frame.

Hornell quickly called another timeout, only this time the strategy worked. The HHS defense turned the pressure way up, and then Sciotti buried back-to-back 3-pointers that capped a 10-0 Hornell run and tied the game at 13-13.

Each team got another field goal to fall in the final minute and it appeared as though the game would be tied after the first quarter. But then Tayghan Doorley buried a last-second 3-pointer from the wing that gave HHS the 18-15 lead going into the second.

But the Lady Raiders responded in typical fashion, and Leah Harkenrider led the charge as she buried a pair of deep 3-pointers in what ended up being a 14-2 run to end the half, giving HHS the 38-26 lead at the break.

After halftime, Hornell was in complete control.

Dezi Mount came out of the intermission and immediately buried back-to-back 3-pointers as Hornell ripped off a 12-2 run that ended any real comeback effort with the lead up to 50-28 just two minutes into the quarter.

As the frame continued, it was clear that Hornell had found its form. Great defensive possessions led to easy looks, which then allowed Hornell to get back into its defense and force even more turnovers that continued to generate easy shots.

In just five minutes of play, Hornell’s lead went from 12 to as many as 30 points, settling in a 63-33 with just two minutes left in the third quarter.

“We were getting deflections — which is so important for us. Dezi had a bunch of deflections, and Tayghan is probably the best I’ve ever had in girls basketball at that. But everyone was active and did their job tonight. We covered a lot of ground,” said Dyring. “This is a step in the right direction.” LeRoy made a small run to end the frame, but Hornell’s shooting continued to be relentless, and the Lady Raiders took an insurmountable 69-40 lead into the fourth quarter.

Hornell continued to maintain its lead in the final frame as each team emptied their benches in preparation for sectionals.

By the time the final buzzer sounded, HHS had cruised to the 82-52 win at home.

Hornell (10-7) now faces one of its toughest tests of the season on Friday evening when the Dansville Mustangs come to town for a 7:30 p.m. game.