E.A. Sports Today

Hanks steps up for Ohatchee

Junior fills in for injured Lee, keeps Indians’ inside-outside dynamic together

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OHATCHEE – With one of his main cogs on the shelf for at least the rest of the week, Ohatchee girls coach Bryant Ginn went looking for someone to step up to keep the ball rolling.

Morgan Lee is expected to be out through the first round of the Calhoun County Tournament, so the Indians needed to fill the outside element in their inside-outside combination that separates them from so many teams.

That role fell on Mackenzie Hanks Monday and the junior proved up to the task. Hanks hit three 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 13 points in the game as Ohatchee drubbed Wellborn in a matinee in front of the student body, 64-40.

“I think we all just have to work together as a team,” Hanks said. “It’s not just one person who has to fill the slot; it’s we all have to work together to make that void still be good.

“It’s a big spot to fill and I think everybody just has to do a little more, work a little harder.”

Lee turned her ankle Saturday and although the Indians are taking her status day-to-day likely will be held out through their County Tournament opener against winless Donoho. Joria Steger, the inside component of the combo, had her typically strong game, scoring 18 points and dominating inside.

“We talk a lot about ‘next man up,’” Ginn said. “We try to hint around about these (senior) girls aren’t going to be around next year so you’ve got to get valuable game experience, you’ve just got to get ready to play and not be scared.

“I thought Ally (McCoy) did a good job tonight — and Mackenzie. Mackenzie shot the ball well, she’s been shooting it extremely well the last six or seven games. We feel pretty comfortable with her shooting.”

Hanks was sharp from the outset. She hit two 3-pointers while combining with Steger in a 16-5 run that gave the Indians (16-5) control of the game. Steger scored 12 points in the first quarter.

“I’m usually shooting a lot, but it doesn’t really fall sometimes and today it just fell for me,” Hanks said. “It just … happened.”

All 10 Ohatchee players who got in the game scored. Peyton Steinberg added 10 points. Hannah Howell had seven in the second half and Kacie Cooper scored six in the fourth quarter.

Caitlin Gamble led Wellborn (3-13) with 15 points – all from 3-point range. Dymond Myles had 14.

(Cover photo: Ohatchee’s Makenzie Hanks (right) provided a strong outside complement to Joria Steger’s strong inside game Monday.)

Ohatchee 64, Wellborn 40

WELLBORN (3-13) – Dymond Myles 6 1-2 14, Anaya Lowe 0 0-0 0, Loni Welch 0 0-0 0, Markeisha Jones 0 0-2 0, Carlee Mullinax 2 2-2 6, Valencia White 0 0-0 0, Caitlin Gamble 5 0-0 15, Katie Hefley 0 0-1 0, Dynasty Myles 0 0-0 0, Jessica Cooper 0 0-0 0, Desirae Traylor 0 0-0 0, Chelsea Hubbard 1 3-4 5. Totals 14 6-11 40.

OHATCHEE (16-5) – Kacie Cooper 3 0-0 6, Courtney Poole 1 0-1 2, Hannah Howell 3 0-0 7, Peyton Steinberg 3 3-5 10, Ally McCoy 1 0-1 2, Mackenzie Hanks 4 2-2 13, Madison Hanks 1 0-0 2, Joria Steger 8 2-2 18, Faith Walker 1 0-0 2, Cheyenne McCarter 0 2-2 2. Totals 25 9-13 64.

Wellborn 9 9 10 12 — 40
Ohatchee 21 12 19 14 — 64

3-point goals: Wellborn 6 (Gamble 5, Dy. Myles); Ohatchee 5 (Howell, Steinberg, Mac. Hanks 3). Total fouls: Wellborn 13, Ohatchee 12. Technical fouls: Lowe. Officials: Ortiz, Dowdle, Oliver.

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