By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Jr. Hornets came away with second place at state this past weekend, as they fell 43-30 to Pinckneyville in the Class M State Championship game held at Rend Lake. The Jr. Hornets defeated Unity Point and Fairfield to earn a berth in the state championship game. It was a rematch of last year's state championship game, as Nashville defeated Pinckneyville 49-36. The Jr. Hornets finished the season with a record of 20-8.
The Jr. Hornets got the state tournament underway with a game against Unity Point in the first round. Although Nashville only led by three at the end of the first quarter, the Jr. Hornets were able to pull away in the second quarter, stretching their lead to 10 points at halftime. At halftime, Nashville led Unity Point 19-9. The Jr. Hornets continued to stretch their lead after halftime, leading 35-17 going into the final quarter. In the final quarter, Unity Point tried to make a comeback but fell short, as the Jr. Hornets took the game 39-25.
The Jr. Hornets finished with two players in double figures. Carson Parker led Nashville with 16 points, followed by Tristen Hercules with 11 points. Jaxon Goforth added seven points in the win, while Matt Anderson score four points. Gavin Baldwin scored one point to round out the scoring.
The Jr. Hornets next matchup was against Fairfield. In this matchup, the Jr. Hornets were entrenched in a close game throughout, with neither team being able to take control. After the first quarter, the game was tied at 11 points. In the second, the Jr. Hornets were able to grab a slim lead going into the halftime break. At half, Nashville led Fairfield 20-18. Coming out of halftime, both teams traded buckets. Still no team was able to take control of the game, but Fairfield was able to grab a two point lead going into the final quarter. In the fourth, the Jr. Hornets were able to fight back and get the win. Nashville stepped up their defense in the fourth, allowing just one point. Nashville won the game 32-29.
The Jr. Hornets were led by Anderson with 17 points in the contest. Parker added eight points, followed by Hercules with five points. Goforth scored two points in the win.
The win over Fairfield set up a rematch of last year's state championship against Pinckneyville. The Jr. Hornets came out slow in the first, but were able to rebound from a 6-0 deficit to take a 8-6 lead after the first quarter. In the second, Pinckneyville was able to cut the Nashville lead to just one point at the halftime break. Coming out of halftime, Pinckneyville was able to grab the lead going into the final quarter. Nashville trailed 23-18 at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth, Nashville could not make a comeback, as Pinckneyville went on to win the game 43-30.
Nashville was led by Parker with 10 points in the contest. Hercules scored eight point for the Jr. Hornets, followed by Anderson with six. Goforth added four points, while Baldwin scored two points in the loss.