Hornets Split Against Sparta and Benton

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Senior Riley Edwards puts the ball up during the second half of the Hornets loss to the Benton Rangers this past Saturday.

The Hornets were able to split games on back to back nights, as they took on Benton and Sparta. Coming into the week, the Hornets were coming off of a loss on December 12 against Waterloo-Gibault. The Hornets were able to get back on the winning track, when they traveled to Sparta on December 18, but fell to a hot-shooting Benton Rangers team at home, the very next night.

Against Sparta on December 17, the Hornets took the lead in the first and led throughout the entire contest. With the Hornets up by nine after the first quarter, Sparta made a run, trimming the Hornets lead to six points before halftime. Coming out of the break, the Hornets took control of the game, outscoring the Bulldogs 16-6 in the third quarter alone. The Hornets were able to extend their lead in the final stanza, as they went on to a 59-36 victory. The victory moved the conference record to 2-0 on the season.

The Hornets were led by Brady Bultman, with 17 points in the game, as he made three 3-pt shots, and went 6-7 from the free throw line. Royce Newman also scored in double figures with 15 points. Jaris Dalman scored 10 points for the Hornets in the win for Nashville. Ryan Brink chipped in eight points in the game, while Hayden Heggemeier scored four points in the win. Riley Edwards, and Jake Haley scored two points apiece, while Brogan Kemp scored one point to round out the scoring.

The Hornets next game was against the Benton Rangers on Saturday, December 19. The Rangers came out of the gate fast, outscoring the Hornets 18-4 in the first quarter. The Rangers started the game on a 9-0 run, and the Hornets could not find a rhythm throughout the first quarter. The slow start, doomed the Hornets in the game, as they were not able to come back. The Hornets couldn't get any closer before halftime, as they still trailed by 14 points.

Coming out of the halftime break, the Hornets were without senior Royce Newman. Newman rolled his ankle late in the first half, and after trying to play through it, left early in the second half and did not return. The Hornets could not close the gap, in the third quarter, and trailed by 15 points going into the final quarter of play. The Hornets would try to make a game of it, as they chipped away in the fourth quarter, and got the Ranger lead back into single digits with five minutes to play as the Hornets trailed 40-49. But the Rangers would put the game away as they ended the game on a 12-4 run. The Hornets would fall to the Rangers by a score of 44-61.

Although he missed the second half of the game, Newman was able to still lead the Hornets with 11 points in the game. Kemp and Brink each chipped in eight points for Nashville. Bultman scored seven points for Nashville, while Dalman added three points in the game. Heggemeier, Edwards, and Langdon Briles all scored two points apiece in the loss. Haley scored one point to round out the scoring for the Hornets.

After the game coach Brad Weathers talked of his teams performance, “you cannot afford to come out with a slow start or not having a great deal of intensity right away and think you're gonna get yourself out of a hole like that.”

Weathers went onto to say, “hopefully this is a good lesson for us, in a non-conference game against a really good team, especially really good when they shoot it that well.”

The Hornets record stands at 4-3 on the season.

The Hornets begin play in the Mater Dei Christmas Tournament, on December 26.