Dunbar Shut Down Henry Clay in Huge Win

The back to back District Champions defeated Henry Clay 59-39

On Jan. 16, the Henry Clay Blue Devils faced off against the Lady Bulldogs right in the Dawg Pound. Dunbar got the game started, winning the tip-off and taking the ball up the court. The Bulldogs’ tough offense allowed #13 Sophomore Aziah Campbell to draw in a foul, shooting and making both free throws, giving Dunbar the first two points. On the defensive side, #42 Junior Hailey Gadd had strong blocks and was a notable presence under the basket.

The momentum dropped soon after, and the Bulldogs became disconnected, allowing the Blue Devils to bully their way to the basket. When a timeout was called with 3:38 left in the first quarter, Dunbar was still leading 10-5, but by the end, the tide had flipped and Henry Clay was barely leading 10-11. 

The Blue Devils started the second quarter off strong, feeding off of the disconnection between the Bulldogs. After an easy shot by Henry Clay’s #3 from behind Dunbar’s defense, the home team started to pick up their momentum once again. In particular, the Bulldogs’ #5 Junior Elise Ellison-Coons had a stand outperformance, with 21 points, several blocks, and a significant amount of steals. 

Sensational, fantastic, marvelous

— Assistant Coach Tony Wilson

Dunbar started gaining their 23-16 lead, including the first 3 =pointer of the game, made by Junior DelTarria Jackson, #12.

The Bulldogs had a great third quarter, kicked off by #2 Carley Hinshaw with a quick breakaway and easy layup. Henry Clay struggled to keep up, and hardly put any points on the board, shut down by Dunbar’s man-to-man defense. The losing fight to match the Bulldogs for points was also due to the fact that the Blue Devils weren’t making their free throws.

The issues that held the Bulldogs back in the first half of the game were resolved, and Dunbar was ahead at the end of the third quarter 41-23.

The Lady Bulldogs continued to play very well in the fourth quarter, making free throws, steals, and blocks. With Henry Clay increasing the pressure on the guards, post player Elise Ellison-Coons continued to drain baskets, make free throws, and help her teammates. The rest of the starting five–Aziah Campbell, crossing people left and right; #23 Tanaya Cecil, scoring bucket after bucket; and #42 Hailey Gadd, a strong presence on the block–were all key parts in their well-oiled machine. 

The last few minutes of this district match-up continued to have noteworthy factors. With 2:32 left on the clock, Junior Hailey Gadd fouled out and was followed by Henry Clay #4 just ten seconds later. 

The game ended with the score 59-39–a major win for the Bulldogs.

Head Coach Nick Runyon was very pleased with the team’s performance. “They played really well. They’re really gelling as a team. The future is bright with these ones,” he said.