By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Hornets boys basketball team stayed undefeated this week as they defeated Anna-Jonesboro on the road, before taking down Waterloo Gibault in their first home game of the season. The Hornets record stands at 6-0 with their next game against Sparta on Friday night at 7:45 p.m.
In their first conference game of the season, the Hornets took control of the game early and cruised to a 77-46 road victory over the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats on December 9. The Hornets outscored Anna-Jonesboro 21-12 in the first quarter, and held a commanding 40-21 lead at the halftime break. In the first half, the Hornets were led by Ryan Brink, who had 14 points in the first half alone. Brandon Schnitker also had a good first half with nine points before the break.
The Hornets came out in the second half, and continued the onslaught against the Wildcats. Nashville outscored Anna-Jonesboro 19-13 in the third, and 18-12 in the fourth to cruise to an easy victory.
The Hornets are now 1-0 in conference play on the season. The Hornets are trying to defend the conference title, which they shared with Pinckneyville last season. Nashville has won at least a share of the conference title, every season since 2012-13.
The Hornets were led in the game by Brink, who finished with a game-high 22 points in the win. Brogan Kemp added 13 points, followed by Bryce Bultman with 11 points. Schnitker finished with nine points, while Carson Parker scored seven points. Hayden Heggemeier scored six points, followed by Langdon Briles with five points. Dale Anderson scored four points to round out the scoring.
The Hornets opened up their season at Assembly Hall with a 64-43 win over Waterloo Gibault on December 10. Waterloo Gibault advanced to the Super-Sectionals last season in Class 1A, where they lost to Liberty.
After a three pointer from Gibault's Trevor Davis cut Nashville's lead to four at the end of the first, the Hornets came out in the second and quickly built the lead up to ten points. Gibault would maek a run to cut the lead in half, but a three pointer by Brink, gave Nashville an eight point advantage at the halftime break.
After half, the Hornets looked to put the game away as Nashville scored the first 10 points of the half to take a 18 point lead. Gibault would make a run, getting as close as 12 at the end of the third, but that is as close as they would get the rest of the way. The Hornets would quickly get two pointers from Schnitker and Kemp before three pointers from Heggemeier and Brink to put the game away. The Hornets would close out the game for their sixth straight victory.
The Hornets were led by Kemp, who finished with 20 points in the win. Brink finished with 16 points followed by Bultman with 11. Heggemeier scored seven points in the win, while Schnitker and Briles each added five points.
After the game, Hornets coach Brad Weathers talked about the win. “We feel like, Brogan is definitely strong down low. He's a solid post player and can score. We're gonna have to get some help. Tonight Brink was the recipient of some of those skip passes, and knocked it down. Heggemeier had a big three down the stretch. I know Bultman didn't shoot the ball as well as he had here recently, but everybody kicked something in.”
Weathers went on to talk about the upcoming schedule. “It doens't get any easier, our schedule is brutal.”