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High school girls basketball: Hamilton Southeastern beats Pike


12:00 AM, Jan. 23, 2013 EST

Hamilton Southeastern's Jessica Pongonis defends Pike's Lyndsey Edwards in first-quarter action at Pike High School on Jan. 22, 2013. / Joe Vitti / The Star

Hamilton Southeastern's Taya Reimer knows how to stay calm, especially in high pressure situations, something that will help when the state tournament begins.

She saw plenty of pressure in the Class 4A No. 9 Royals' 53-42 win over 4A No. 10 Pike on Tuesday night.

"For me, I feel like I have to," said Reimer who had 22 points and 15 rebounds. "Especially me and Jessica Pongonis, we've taken the captain and leadership role this year and we have some kids that are pretty young. We feel like we both need to be calm out there."

But when the Red Devils went on an 8-0 run in the second half to get within 40-38, Reimer said she got a little flustered.

The Royals responded with a 13-4 run to close out the game.

"When we took a timeout, all we talked about was fighting and fighting through to the end of the game," Royals coach Chris Huppenthal said. "Our kids did a wonderful job of getting back and getting composed."

It wasn't easy, especially with the way the Red Devils' defensive pressure.

The Royals led 27-14 at halftime before Pike chipped away at the lead.

Pike's Brittany Ward led the Red Devils with 13 points.

"We weren't doing what we had to do," Reimer said. "When they cut it to two points, we just came together and said, 'Look, we need to go back to what we were doing in the first half.' "

Pike took a 6-0 lead to open the game and looked to set the tempo early, but the Royals scored 23 straight points over the rest of the quarter and into the second.

"It was our first big game in awhile," Pike coach Robert Anglea said. "We were a little bit shell-shocked, we couldn't hit a shot, but we regrouped."

Reimer led the way, scoring on a putback and a jumper and Pongonis hitting the go-ahead 3-pointer to make it 7-6 midway through the quarter.

Reimer scored two free throws and another jumper while Lindsay Walton hit two 3-pointers to give the Royals a solid lead.

To the Royals, it's good practice to overcome the adverse situations they may see come tournament time.

"We talked about that in a timeout," Huppenthal said. "We talked about that there might be situations like this in two weeks in the sectional. How are we going to handle it? I think this is something for us to grow on."

 

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