By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Jr. Hornets continued their great season as they were able to win their regional for the third year in a row. The Jr. Hornets bounced back from a loss to DuQuoin to defeat Murphysboro, South Central, and Rome to advance to the state tournament.
The Jr. Hornets eighth grade team suffered their seventh loss of the season as they took on DuQuoin on January 19. The Jr. Hornets could not rebound from a slow first quarter, and dropped the game 37-42. DuQuoin got off to a fast start in the matchup, outscoring the Jr. Hornets 10-3 in the first quarter. Nashville has a much better second quarter, but could not close the gap, as they trailed 22-15 at the halftime break. In the third quarter, DuQuoin was able to extend their lead to double digits, and led 34-22 going into the final quarter. In the fourth, the Jr. Hornets made a run, but couldn't complete the comeback as they lost 37-42.
Carson Parker scored 13 points to lead Nashville in the game. Tristen Hercules, joined Parker in double figures with 10 points. Neil Kabat added four points followed by Jaxon Goforth with three points. Matt Anderson, Gavin Love, and Gavin Baldwin each scored two points apiece in the loss. J.D. Schubert scored one point to round out the scoring for Nashville.
The Jr. Hornets bounced back from the loss with a win over Murphysboro on January 25. The Jr. Hornets dominated throughout the game, to win 41-25. Nashville led 12-3 after the first quarter, and extended the lead to 28-10 at halftime. In the second half, the Jr. Hornets continued to extend their lead, and cruised to a 41-25 victory.
Anderson led the Jr. Hornets with 15 points in the game. Parker added nine points, while Hercules chipped in eight points. Goforth scored four points, followed by Kabat with three points, and Baldwin with two points.
Nashville then began play in the Class M Regional against South Central on January 26. Nashville dominated the game against South Central, using a big first quarter to put away South Central 59-19. At the end of the first Nashville led 17-4. The game was never in question, as the Jr. Hornets cruised to a forty point victory.
Anderson led Nashville with 16 points in the game, followed by Parker with 14 points. Hercules added nine points, while Bryce Donato scored seven points. Baldwin chipped in five points in the win. Love and Schubert each had two points apiece for the Jr. Hornets.
The win over South Central clinched a berth in the Class M Regional Championship for the Jr. Hornets against Rome. A close game throughout, the Jr. Hornets were able to pull away in the fourth quarter for a 50-32 victory. The Jr. Hornets got the lead early, as they led 10-6 after the first quarter. The Jr. Hornets were able to extend their lead in the second quarter, but still only led 16-11 at halftime. In the third quarter, Nashville again was able to extend their lead, but only by one as Nashville led 29-23 going into the fourth. In the fourth, the Jr. Hornets pulled away for a 50-32 victory to win their third straight regional.
Nashville finished with three players in double figures, led by Parker with 16 points. Anderson and Hercules each scored 10 points apiece in the win. Goforth added five points, followed by Love and Baldwin with four points apiece. Kabat rounded out the scoring with one point in the win.
The seventh grade team finshed up their season, with games against DuQuoin and Murphysboro. The seventh grade team suffered, just their third loss of the season against DuQuoin on January 19. The Jr. Hornets trailed throughout the game, as they trailed by one after the first, and five at halftime. The deficit ballooned to 10 after the third and DuQuoin won the game 46-26. Nolan Heggemeier led Nashville with 11 points. Doanto added six points, followed by Ian Blazier with four points. Baldwin chipped in three points, and Preston Dagner rounded out the scoring with two points.
The seventh grade team finished up their season with a tough game against Murphysboro. A back and forth game throughout, the Jr. Hornets could not hold onto a late lead and dropped the game 41-35. Heggemeier led Nashville with 11 points, followed by Donato with eight points. Dagner chipped in six points while, Baldwin and Blazier scored four points apiece. Luke Ehret and Zach Kempfer scored one point apiece in the loss. The seventh grade team finished the season with a record of 18-4.