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HHS boys claw way into 3A area; Lady Eagles eliminated Saturday

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    Hennessey Eagles vs. Crooked Oak Ruf-Nex

The Hennessey Eagles refuse to bow out of the 2020 playoffs easily.

Bouncing back from a tough home defeat on Thursday, Hennessey won two straight elimination games over the weekend to advance to this week’s Class 3A area tournament.

It started Friday with a 50-29 victory against Newkirk and continued Saturday with a 51-42 come-frombehind win over Crooked Oak, both at Millwood High School.

The elimination rounds resume Thursday when Hennessey plays fifthranked Community Christian at 3 p.m. at Western Heights High School.

The winner advances to play the Prague-Riverside winner at 3 p.m. Friday. The loser, meanwhile, will see its season end.

That could have been the case Saturday when Crooked Oak outscored the Eagles 14-7 in the third quarter for a 34-32 lead.

But Angel Rodriguez scored nine points as HHS outscored the Rufnex 19-8 in the final eight minutes.

Rodriguez went 4 of 5 from the line while adding two field goals, including a 3-pointer.

He made three of Hennessey’s 10 treys in the contest.

Four of them came from Juan Dominguez. Three of those were in the first quarter as the Eagles got out to a 14-10 lead.

Dominguez, Chris Tovar and Rodriguez each hit one in the second as the lead upped itself to 25-20.

After the Rufnex took the lead in the third, Tovar and Vinson combined to score eight points in the fourth to help complete the Hennessey comeback.

Rodriguez led the team with 20 points. Dominguez scored another 16.

Dominguez also scored 16 in Friday’s win.

Rodriguez scored 11 and freshman Layton Choate added nine.

The 12th-ranked Eagles enter the area tournament with a 20-6 record.

Community Christian (22-4) was upset, 54-47, by No. 10 Perry in a regional championship. Perry spent most of the season ranked in the top-eight of the class.

Crooked Oak ends Lady Eagles’ season

Kamree McNulty and Skye Simunek combined to help extend Hennessey’s season an extra day.

Then the Lady Eagles almost pushed it to another weekend.

Hennessey reached the final day of the regional tournament last weekend, but ultimately saw its season come to an end with a 4743 defeat to Crooked Oak in the consolation championship at Millwood High School.

A win would have put Hennessey into this week’s 3A area tournament.

However, Crooked Oak made just enough free throws down the stretch to hold off the Lady Eagles, whose season ended at 11-15.

The season was in jeopardy of ending the day before against Newkirk.

After building a 13-5 lead in the first quarter, Hennessey’s offense went on hiatus for the next two. The Lady Eagles scored just three points - all free throws - over the next 16-plus minutes.

That allowed Newkirk to take a 20-16 lead into the fourth quarter.

That lead stuck until about 15 seconds remained when McNulty tied it up with a 3-pointer, ultimately forcing overtime.

Once there, Hennessey outscored Newkirk 9-1 for the 35-27 win.

Simunek made five free throws in the extra frame.

She led the team with 15 points in the win.

Simunek also led the team Saturday as she scored 14. All but two were at the free throw line.

She was 8 of 10 in the fourth quarter, but Crooked Oak still managed to score enough to cling to its lead.

Juliana Macy added 13 points for Hennessey.