Pendleton Heights girls basketball team honored by HHC

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FORTVILLE — The Pendleton Heights girls basketball team claimed the Hoosier Heritage Conference championship outright with a perfect 7-0 record as part of a 19-5 season. As a result, it took home the bulk of the awards at the conference’s postseason meeting Monday, Feb. 20, at Mt. Vernon High School.

Coach Chad Cook was named HHC Coach of the Year, and six players — more than any other team — were awarded all-conference or honorable mention status.

In his second year with the Arabians, Cook guided Pendleton Heights to an eight-win improvement from the 11-14 record they had compiled the previous year. It was the first HHC title for the Arabians since a shared championship in 2014 with Mt. Vernon and Greenfield-Central and the Arabians’ first outright championship since they won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.

The 19 wins, which included a nine-game winning streak, was the most for Pendleton Heights since a 20-win campaign in the 2010-11 season.

Seniors Kelsey Burton, Sam Hammel and Adrienne Phillips were honored as first-team all-conference selections, the most for any team.

Burton, already a defensive stalwart for PHHS, improved her offensive output as a senior. Hammel led the team in scoring at 16.5 points and 3.3 assists per game. Phillips was a third Arabian to average double figures, scoring 10.2 per game.

Although her scoring dipped from her 12.1 average as a junior, Phillips was no less important to the team’s success. She was unselfish, averaging 2.3 assists per game, and led the team in rebounding at 5.3 per game.

Seniors Maggie Dooley and Ashley King and junior Lauren Landes were named honorable mention all- conference.

Dooley, a 30 percent 3-point shooter, averaged 6.3 points per game off the bench for the Arabians, while King averaged 4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game as a starter. Landes, who will be the lone returning starter next season, was one of just three juniors honored by the HHC. She averaged 7.6 points per game and shot 71 percent from the free throw line.