LEWISVILLE - It was Senior Night Monday for the Tri High School girls basketball team, but it was a 12th-grader from visiting Hagerstown who stole the show in a Tri-Eastern Conference game postponed from November.
Tigers senior Hallie Rogers poured in a career-high 29 points, including seven three-pointers, to propel Hagerstown past the host Titans 48-32.
The Tigers improved to 4-3 in the TEC and 8-8 overall. Tri saw its hopes for at least a share of the conference title all but melt away as it slipped to 4-2 in the TEC and 8-6 for the season.
"It was a tremendous game all-around from our girls," Hagerstown Head Coach Chris Oliger said afterward. "Our last game and this one have been the best we have played this season, and we're starting to play the way we want to play going into the tournament, which is just two weeks away."
Titan seniors Maddie Burchett, Chloe Gentry, Kennedy Peggs, MacKenzie Neeley, and Averi Phelps were honored before the varsity contest, and all but Peggs started the game.
Peggs, who entered the game in the first quarter, and Phelps sang the National Anthem before player introductions.
Tri got off to a good start in the contest. After Hagerstown's Grace Klein scored the game's first basket 39 seconds into the first quarter, the Titans' Gentry canned a three-pointer and Phelps and Bailey Parham followed with buckets for a 7-0 run and 7-2 lead for the hosts at the 5:50 mark of the opening period.
But Tri didn't score for the rest of the quarter. On the other side, the Tigers went on a 12-0 run to close the period and grabbed a 14-7 advantage after one.
Rogers was just getting started on her scoring spree as she hit a trey and two other baskets for seven points in the frame. Maddie Ward drained a shot from behind the arc and Ashlynn Oliger tallied a close-in bucket for Hagerstown's other points in the stanza.
Rogers hit a basket 10 seconds into the second quarter to complete a 14-0 run and give the Tigers a 16-7 lead.
"I thought our passing and sharing the ball were excellent tonight," Coach Oliger remarked. "Hallie shot the ball extremely well and her teammates were getting the ball to her for open shots."
Phelps finally broke a 6:45 scoreless spell for Tri with a bucket at the 7:05 mark of the second period, and Ashtyn Harvey made a basket with 6:29 left in the quarter, pulling the Titans back within five points at 16-11.
Then Rogers buried back-to-back three-pointers to boost Hagerstown's lead to double digits at 22-11 with 4:51 remaining in the period.
Phelps and Abi Clarke hit baskets, sandwiched around one from the Tigers' Makayla Matanich, and the visitors' lead was trimmed below double digits to 24-15 with 1:48 remaining in the first half.
However, Hagerstown's Makynna Matanich tallied a bucket and Rogers drained her third trey of the quarter to give the Tigers a 29-15 lead at intermission.
"Rogers caught on fire and it seemed she couldn't miss," Tri Coach Jeff Miller said afterward. "After they (Tigers) made that run, we felt the pressure offensively and started rushing some shots, and it turned ugly."
Hagerstown shot well from the field in the opening 16 minutes, 12-of-23 for 52.2 percent accuracy. Meanwhile, the Titans could manage just 7-of-24 firing from the floor for 29.2 percent marksmanship.
Any hopes of a Tri comeback were dampened when Klein hit a pair of buckets, sandwiched around another Rogers three-pointer, to complete a 12-0 Tiger run that began in the latter stages of the first half, giving Hagerstown a 36-15 advantage with 6:08 left in the third quarter.
"Our aim was to get out on them (Titans) defensively and contain their two big girls in the post," Coach Oliger noted, "and I thought we did an exceptional job of that. We held their leading scorer (Burchett) well below her average. That's a really good team we beat tonight and Coach Miller does a great job with his team."
The Titans' Clarke converted a traditional three-point play at the 4:29 mark for the host's first points of the third period, but Rogers sank another trey with 2:51 remaining in the quarter to boost the Tiger lead back to 21 points at 39-18.
The visitors remained scoreless the rest of the period. In the meantime, Burchett got her only basket of the game and Parham converted a traditional three-point play as Tri pulled back to within 39-23 after three.
Rogers sank her seventh three-pointer of the game with 6:18 left in the fourth quarter to boost the Tiger advantage to 42-23.
"I'm the point guard and usually I'm the one feeding my teammates for baskets," Rogers said after the game. "But tonight, I was the one on fire and my teammates did a great job getting me the ball. Normally, I aim my shots, which usually don't go in. But tonight, I was in rhythm, did some catch and shoot, and had a lot more success."
But all Hagerstown got over the next 4:24 was an Ashlynn Oliger bucket as the Titans went on a 9-2 run to close to within 12 points at 44-32 with 2:44 remaining.
During that Tri flurry, Parham had two baskets for four points, Gentry had a bucket and a free throw, and Burchett canned a pair of charity tosses.
But the hosts didn't score again, as a pair of free throws from the Tigers' Marissa Slagle and two more from Rogers wrapped up the night's scoring.
"We did a good job fighting back and closing to within 12 points," Miller added. "But they do such a good job blocking out to get rebounds, we didn't get many second-chance opportunities. It was a tough loss on Senior Night, but we'll go back to work to get better in preparation for the tournament."
Another factor in Hagerstown's victory was it owned the boards by a 34-22 margin, which more than compensated for it turning the ball over 16 times compared to 12 for Tri.
"We knew we had to rebound tonight and keep Parham off the boards in order to win," Rogers added. "So we focused on that in practice and conducted the most rebounding drills we've had in my four years here. That paid off and we won. We're playing well now and feel we can contend for a sectional championship."
The Tigers ended the game shooting 18-of-40 (45 percent) from the field compared to 13-of-41 (31.7 percent) for the Titans.
Neither team sizzled the nets from the free throw line, as Hagerstown was just 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) and Tri 5-of-10 (50 percent).
Rogers was the only double-figure scorer in the game from either team. Klein had six points for the Tigers. Ward led Hagerstown in rebounding with 13 boards, Klein and Slagle had five apiece, and Rogers four.
Parham led Tri with nine points, followed by Gentry and Phelps with six each, and Clarke five. Parham had five rebounds and Clarke four.
The Titans won the junior varsity contest 24-18. Amber Rich led Tri with eight points while Hannah Ridge scored 10 points for the Tigers.
Saturday afternoon, Tri hosts Waldron while Hagerstown is at Muncie Burris.
Hagerstown 48, Tri 32
Makayla Matanich 1-4 0-0 2, Rogers 10-15 2-5 29, Ward 1-7 0-3 3, A. Oliger 2-2 0-1 4, Klein 3-5 0-0 6, Makynna Matanich 1-3 0-0 2, D. Oliger 0-1 0-0 0, Slagle 0-3 2-2 2, Ridge 0-0 0-0 0, Eales 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-40 4-11 48.
Burchett 1-14 2-2 4, Gentry 2-3 1-4 6, Neeley 0-3 0-0 0, Parham 4-7 1-3 9, Phelps 3-8 0-0 6, Peggs 0-1 0-0 0, Harvey 1-3 0-0 2, Clarke 2-2 1-1 5, Wissler 0-0 0-0 0, Hewitt 0-0 0-0 0, Claar 0-0 0-0 0, Boyd 0-0 0-0 0, Betsch 0-0 0-0 0, Rich 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-41 5-10 32.
3-point goals – Hagerstown 8 (Rogers 7, Ward), Tri 1 (Gentry). Rebounds – Hagerstown 34 (Ward 13, Klein 5, Slagle 5, Rogers 4), Tri 22 (Parham 5, Clarke 4). Total fouls – Hagerstown 12, Tri 11. Turnovers – Hagerstown 16, Tri 12. JV score –Tri 24, Hagerstown 18. Records – Hagerstown 8-8, 4-3 TEC; Tri 8-6, 4-2 TEC.