Hanlons add to UL vs. Barnesville rivalry
MORRISTOWN – Kelley and Avery Hanlon have lots of conversations. Basketball isn’t the topic of a lot of them.
And that’s surprising when you consider Kelley is the head girls’ coach at Union Local and Avery, her daughter, is a key cog of Head Coach Jamie Carpenter’s basketball squad at Barnesville High.
”We don’t talk a lot about it, we really don’t,” Kelley Hanlon said Wednesday night prior to her team’s victory against Buckeye Local.
”I support what she’s doing and, of course, I have my team to keep track of. She cares if we win and I care if she does well.”
Mother and daughter will square off for the second time this season tonight when the Shamrocks welcome the Jets. Union Local won the first meeting in December a few days before Christmas.
”She has a good team and we have a pretty good team,” Avery Hanlon said. ”(Tonight) should interesting.”
Avery Hanlon spent Wednesday night as a fan, watching her mom’s team play from the Union Local student section, which is something she does every chance she gets. Her mom, likewise, supports her daughter from the stands if the opportunity allows.
”I’m just a parent when it comes to Barnesville,” Kelley Hanlon said.
It’s tougher for mom. But thanks to makeup games, Coach Hanlon said she’s been able to see her daughter play about four times this season.
”She was worried about not being able to see many of my games when she became the coach at Union Local,” Avery Hanlon said. ”I want to support her and I try to get to as many of her games as I can. I want her to be successful.”
Kelley Hanlon was named UL’s coach last May. Upon taking the job, the Hanlons knew the mother-daughter showdown would take place twice, but not much thought was given to it. The family’s full support was behind Kelley, whose ultimate goal was to be in charge of a varsity program.
”They were super-supportive knowing I’d always wanted to do this,” Kelley Hanlon said. ”I knew I couldn’t bring (Avery) with me. The way I dealt with that was I was looking at a long career here, while Avery (a sophomore) has three more years at Barnesville.
”It’s worked out OK.”
Avery Hanlon said she and her mom do talk hoops, but for the most part her mom is hands off.
”She talks to my dad (Ted) about it more than me,” Avery Hanlon said smiling. ”He keeps her up-to-date. But she does suggest things and stuff.”
”I’ve talked to about some things she can improve on and things like that,” Kelley Hanlon said. ”Since the beginning of the season she’s made great strides and I’m proud of her.”
When it came to that first meeting, both Hanlons were strictly professional.
”I was very careful about that,” Kelley Hanlon said. ”Nobody will get to see another team as much as I get to see Barnesville. I never ask what they will be running or what there plans are for any games.”
Avery Hanlon thought the first meeting this season would be ”weird,” but it wasn’t the case.
”She was happy,” Avery said of her mom. ”I played well and she was happy because they won. She said it was one of my best games.”
Kelley Hanlon said there were pregame nerves, but once the ball was tipped it was just like another game.
”Everyone made jokes on whether or not I’d be able to concentrate on my team or would I’d be yelling at Avery every time she did something wrong,” Kelley said laughing. ”But, when it really came down to it, it was just like I was watching another player on another team.
”It wasn’t a mother-daughter thing.”
Thorp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org