It was a night of “firsts” in Hennessey.
Aly Seng made her debut as the Lady Eagles’ new coach in the first varsity basketball games played in the brand-new Eagle Event Center.
Oh, and Hennessey got its first win of the season, too, as they beat Fairview 40-32.
“I wasn’t very nervous,” said Seng, a standout athlete at Enid High School who was most recently an assistant at Chisholm.
“I was more excited than anything.”
Seng had reason to be excited, especially in the second quarter when her team nailed five 3-pointers to build a 10-point halftime lead.
Lindsey Meek and Noelle Pollard made two treys apiece and Juliana Macy made the other.
Gracie Mills proved to be the steady force throughout.
The senior scored a game-high 15 points and made the Lady Eagles’ only two field goals in the second half, both in the fourth quarter.
“We need to work on being more consistent offensively and we must do a better job of taking care of the ball,” Seng said.
However, Hennessey withstood Fairview in the second half by maintaining its effort on defense.
Fairview, ranked 18th in 2A, only broke double digits in a quarter once.
“I was really proud of our defense and our effort,” Seng said. “The girls fought hard and came up with some big defensive plays.”
Another ‘big’ deal for Eagles
It appears Brady Page has another potential dominant force in the paint for the next four years.
Jael Torres made his debut in a varsity uniform and Hennessey opened the state-of-the-art Eagle Event Center last Tuesday with a 54-40 victory over Fairview.
“It was great being able to play in ‘The Dome:” said Page, Hennessey’s head coach who enters his 10th season.
The new event center was supposed to be available last year, but construction delays pushed it back.
Although it hosted graduation and junior high games, Tuesday was its debut at the varsity level.
“The community is very grateful and excited to have a gym like we do,” Page said.
And Page is grateful for Jael Torres.
The 6-foot-5 freshman scored 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
He’s the latest in a line of Eagle centers - Dalton Vinson and Hugo Rodriguez - who took the team to previous state tournament heights.
Torres scored 12 of his points in the second half when Hennessey outscored the Jackets by 11.
“He’s got a chance to be really good,” said Page.
The Eagles got off to a “slow start” said Page as they were outscored 18-12 in the first quarter.
Fairview made four 3-pointers in the quarter, but only one the rest of the night.
Hennessey had a threepoint lead by halftime and never lost it.
Chris Tovar made three of his own 3-pointers and scored 11 points for the Eagles. Juan Dominguez added eight.