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Henry too emotional at Gallatin Co., coach says

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By Tommie Kendall

In a rematch of last year's 31st District Tournament finals, the visiting Henry County Wildcats came out a little too emotional against Gallatin County Friday night, resulting in an early deficit for Henry and a 69-58 loss.

The district matchup saw Gallatin jump out to a 15-2 advantage midway through the opening quarter, which left Henry chasing last year's district champs for the rest of the game. The Wildcats eventually cut the margin to just four points, but ended the game behind by 11 to leave them at 2-2 overall and 0-1 in district play.

After the 15-2 start, Henry regrouped to outscore Gallatin 56-54 for the rest of the game. But it wasn't enough.

"I thought we came out way too emotional," Henry coach Jason Holland said. "Gallatin came out under control and executed - they didn't show all that emotion and just played. I told our players that you want to have emotion, but you have to keep it under control."

Holland compared the contest to a heavyweight boxing bout, with his team going to the ropes early and never recovering.

"They hit us once to start out and we never could get back up," Holland said. "We have to learn how to trade punches, not just take them."

Despite the 13-point deficit to start the game, Henry cut the Gallatin advantage to four points during the second and third quarters, but Gallatin went on a run to increase its lead both times. Gallatin was up by 12 points at the half and nine points after the third.

Joey Pollard, coming off two ACL surgeries, gave Henry a big lift with 14 points, six assists and six rebounds. The senior guard handled the ball for most of the game and finished with just two turnovers.

Steven Tillett added 11 points, including three three-point baskets, and Pete Baldwin scored nine and had eight boards. Tillett, who played for the sick Brad Taylor, joined the starting rotation that included Pollard, Ben Roberts, Cari Dunaway and Cody Hinkle.

Henry 62, North Bullitt 52: Cody Hinkle finished with a double-double 17 points and 13 rebounds, and the Henry County Wildcats came away with a 62-52 road win over North Bullitt last Tuesday night.

Ben Roberts added 11 points, while Pete Baldwin scored nine to go along with his nine boards.

With the win, Henry improved to 2-1, while North dropped to 1-1.

"It was a tough place to play," Henry coach Jason Holland said. "It was a big win for us."

The Wildcats got ahead by 10 points early before North Bullitt closed the gap and tied the game. Henry eventually pulled away to the 10-point win in the see-saw contest.

Henry executed near-perfect plays all game long, but couldn't finish, missing more than 10 layups. The Wildcats also had 21 turnovers.

"I would say it got kind of hysterical," Holland said. "We just turned the ball over too much and missed to many easy baskets."

Conner Jeffries came off the bench to play well, Holland said, while Pollard had his best "floor" game and Matt Long came in and hit a big three-pointer when the Cats needed it.

E-mail us about this story at sports@hclocal.com.