Lighting it up

North Marion’s Haley Hursey (left) goes in for a layup in front of Brooke’s Melissa Hood during the Huskies’ 67-49 win Saturday afternoon. Hursey added six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 20 points.

Haley Hursey began her varsity basketball career as a freshman who was never afraid to take a shot, especially from behind the three-point arc.

Now in her third year starting for North Marion’s girls’ basketball team, Hursey has a better understanding of how to approach her game in the best way to help the team.

But don’t worry, the junior still likes show her shooting range.

Hursey connected on six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 20 points as North Marion rolled past Brooke, 67-49, Saturday.

“I’m more confident now than I used to be. I can shoot from farther out,” Hursey said. “I really don’t worry about where I shoot from because, usually, I can handle it.”

In a 60-55 loss to East Fairmont Wednesday, Hursey drained four 3-pointers to give her 10 over the past two games. Before that, West Fairmont held Hursey scoreless.

That wasn’t about to happen Saturday.

“She’s playing more with a team aspect. We’re running our offense through her now,” North Marion head coach Mike Parrish said. “And it’s all about shooting while your in the flow. That’s when your shots will fall.

“Plus, she took good shots tonight. Sometimes you worry about shot selection, but tonight she took good shots that were all in rhythm. She was catching and shooting.”

Three of those 3-pointers came in the opening quarter as Hursey scored 11 points to help North Marion (6-6) jump out to a 19-2 lead.

After Brooke scored the game’s first basket for a 2-0 lead, the Huskies responded with a 19-0 run sparked by Hursey and Cara Carpenter, who had two steals and six points in that span. Carpenter had 10 points in the game.

“We had the quick start, which is what we were looking for. And then we just tried to keep it rolling,” Parrish said.

The Bruins, however, closed on a 7-2 spurt and trailed 21-9 after one quarter.

Brooke continued to claw back in the second quarter, pulling as close as 27-20 with 2:24 remaining in the half on Melissa Hood’s offensive rebound and stickback.

After Brooke missed a pair of free throws to get even closer, Hursey hit her fourth 3-pointer followed by a second-chance basket from Lauren Haught and a transition layup from Olivia Moran to push the Huskies’ lead to 34-20.

North Marion led 34-22 at halftime, but committed 13 fouls in 16 minutes.

“When you’re putting them on the foul line, you don’t get many opportunities to get fastbreak buckets,” Parrish said. “That’s where we try to get most of our offense is on the break.”

While Hursey was quiet in the third quarter, her teammates picked up where she left off.

Five different Huskies scored in that stretch led by Tiffany Nicholson, who tallied six of her eight points in the third.

Jessica Parsons converted two layups for her only points, the latter on a steal and pass from Kelsi Wright, who also drained a 3-pointer in the third and finished with eight points — all coming in the second half.

“Everyone has their own thing that they have to do within the team,” Hursey said. “As long as everyone contributes, we like our chances.”

Hursey put the final daggers in Brooke, starting the fourth quarter with her fifth 3-pointer for a 54-32 lead.

Then Hursey gave North Marion its biggest lead of the game with her sixth and final 3-pointer from NBA range. That gave the Huskies their biggest lead at 63-39 midway through the fourth quarter.

“We were moving the ball a lot, and we had good penetration,” Parrish said. “We try to penetrate, draw and kick it down or kick it out. So we worked it good tonight, and when you do that, you get good shots.”

North Marion shot 46.5 percent from the floor (27-for-58) compared to Brooke’s 32.6 percent shooting (15-for-46).

The Bruins, who committed 26 turnovers, did outrebound the Huskies, 35-24.

Alex Julio scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Megan Gialluco pulled down 10 boards and had nine points.

North Marion is off until Friday, Jan. 26, when it travels to Morgantown.

E-mail Andrew Manzo at dmanzo@timeswv.com.

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