It didn"t matter if it was unleaded, premium or even diesel, Harrisburg had a little more gas in tank than Gallatin County Saturday night in 62-47 victory at the Lady Eagle Mid-Winter Classic championship game at Eldorado High School.
Harrisburg, playing in their second straight title game, withstood some late runs by a Gallatin County club that trailed by as many as 14 points.
It was a hot start by Harrisburg, who after taking a 5-4 lead, increased its advantage to 12-4, before closing out the first quarter up 15-9.
Early in the second, the Bulldogs built that 14-point 23-9 lead, before Gallatin County finally got on the board with 5:32 left to play before halftime.
Gallatin County"s Hailey Chubb put the Hawks on her back for a bit and cut into the deficit, scoring eight quick points to trim the Harrisburg lead to 30-24 at halftime.
The lead for Harrisburg was still enough to where the Bulldogs kept it around 10 points in the second half and Gallatin County got no closer than five.
Harrisburg head coach Jake Stewart said the hot start was something that was discussed going in and proved to be beneficial in the end.
"That"s what we talked about," he said. "Look, Gallatin County is too good not to make a run and especially with a player like Chubb. We knew if we could build a lead and knowing they don"t go very deep, we figured we"d have a chance at wearing them down and that"s all we talked about, getting off to a good start and hanging on and we did that."
Chubb, who as named LEMWC Most Valuable Player, led all scorers with 26 points after going 9-for-22 from the field and 3-of-9 from behind the arc. The Gallatin County junior was 5-for-6 from the free throw line and had three steals and one rebound.
Caitlin Lynch scored six points for the Hawks, while Harlie Turner finished with five points. Audrey Jackson added four points, while Morgan Roderick tacked on three points and Kaylee McGuire finished with two points.
"We"ve had about nine games in an 11-day period and you could tell it tonight. We were out of gas," Gallatin County head coach Robert Patton said. "At halftime, the girls were exhausted and I understand. A couple of times we let their shooters get loose and when we did they knocked it down. Give Harrisburg credit, they"re a real nice ball club, they are well coached and they deserve to win. They were better than us and I give them credit."
Jessica Hopson dumped in a team-high 23 points for Harrisburg, shooting 8-for-16 from the field and going 3-of-6 from 3-point range, while knocking down 4-of-4 at the line.
Lotte Miller also finished in double figures, scoring 16 points, while Karsyn Davis netted nine for the Bulldogs. Matty Hawkins scored seven points, while Madeline Rider tossed in three points. Essence Sanders and Lydia Miller both had two points.
Harrisburg shot 20-of-43 from the field and was 5-for-11 from behind the arc. At the free throw line, the Bulldogs shot 17-for-22 and out rebounded Gallatin County 35-15.
The kids just wanted to win," Stewart said. "It"s pretty plain and simple. We had the overtime game (against Goreville Friday) and it was a long week against some really good teams. Every game we played was a really good game. I thought we went eight or nine deep at times and the kids that came in, did a really good job of allowing us to rest kids and I think that helped this week."
Chubb, Turner, Hopson and Miller were all named to the All-Tournament Team at the LWMC and were joined by Vienna"s Lindsey Holhbner, Carmi"s Abby Vaughn, Fairfield"s Jevin Shreve, Anna-Jonesboro"s Elle Basler, Goreville"s Lexi King, Benton"s Ally Gischer and Mt. Carmel"s Bailey Ray. Fairfield"s Lauren Vaughan was given the Duff-Kingston Award for sportsmanship.
Harrisburg 56, Goreville 48
Lotte Miller scored 18 points, while Jessica Hopson dropped 17 points and Matty Hawkins tacked on 10 as Harrisburg beat Goreville 56-48 in overtime Friday at the Lady Eagle Mid-Winter Classic.
Goreville jumped out to a 13-11 first quarter lead, but couldn"t hold as Harrisburg led 25-24 at the break.
Goreville found its footing in the third and outscored Harrisburg by one, 13-12 to tie the game at 37-all and the two teams found themselves tied at 48 after regulation. In the OT period, Harrisburg outscored Goreville 8-0.
Karsyn Davis added eight points for Harrisburg and Toni Crisp tacked on three points.
Michael Dann covers prep and college sports for the Harrisburg Daily Register and Eldorado Daily Journal. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.