The Nashville Hornets boys basketball team, dropped two straight rivalry games this week as they traveled to take on the Pinckneyville Panthers and the Okawville Rockets. The Hornets were coming off a second place finish at the Mater Dei Tournament.
The Hornets got off to a good start, but could not hold off the Pinckneyville Panthers on Friday January 6. The Hornets held a lead at the end of the first half, but the Panthers took the game 68-59.
Hayden Heggemeier got the Hornets off to a quick start as he scored 6 of the Hornets first 16 points in the first quarter. The six points from Heggemeier helped Nashville to a 16-11 lead at the end of the first. In the second, the Panthers were able to chip away at the Nashville lead, but the Hornets still had a three point advantage at halftime.
After the break, the Panthers came out and were able to take the lead as they outscored the Hornets 17-9 in the third quarter, and held a five point lead with one quarter left to play. In the fourth, both teams offense's came alive as each team scored over 20 points in the quarter. Down the stretch, the Panthers were able to make their free throws and close out the game, to pick up the win.
The Hornets fiinished with four players in double figures, and were led by Brogan Kemp, who finished with 15 points. Bryce Bultman added 14 points followed by Heggemeier and Brink who scored 11 points apiece. Brandon Schnitker and Langdon Briles finished with four points apiece.
The Hornets were back in action the next night, as the Hornets traveled to take on Washington County rival Okawville on January 7. A high scoring game in the first half, the Rockets were able to hit big shots, as they defeated the Hornets 69-63.
In the first, the Hornets got a big boost from Kemp, as he finished with 15 points in the first quarter alone. All together the Hornets finished with 18 points in the first quarter, the other three coming on a three point basket by Bultman. Not to be outdone, the Rockets also had a good first quarter. Okawville got six points from Noah Frederking, and five points from Shane Ganz on their way to 17 points.
The second quarter featured more scoring as seven three pointers combined were hit by the two teams in the frame. The Rockets hit five three point shots in the second quarter, with the biggest one coming right at the end of the half. With over a minute remaining the Rockets stalled for the last shot of the half, and as time wound down, Josh Madrid knocked down a three pointer to give Okawville a 41-36 lead at halftime.
After halftime, the scoring pace slowed down as the team's only combined for 23 points in the third quarter. The Hornets would tie the game at 47 late in the third on a bucket by Heggemeier, but another three pointer from Madrid would get breathing room for Okawville. A bucket by Bultman would cut the Okawville lead to one as the teams headed to the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, Nashville immediatedly took the lead on a bucket by Kemp, and both teams would trade buckets back and foth, until the Rockets took the lead for good on two free throws from Noah Frederking. Down the stretch the Hornets would get as close as three on a bucket by Bultman, but Okawville got good free throws from Madrid, Noah Frederking, and Ganz to close out the game.
After the game, Okawville coach Jon Kraus talked about playing the Hornets. “Everytime we play them, it is a great crowd here, a great crowd there. Normally its a good game. They've had our number for a while, but tonight was a night that our seniors stepped up a little bit and did a good job for us. They're coming off a tough loss last night, and we maybe had a little bit fresher legs at time, but I thought they hit some big shots and I thought they played well."
Hornets Coach Brad Weathers talked about his team's play over the two game. “ "We didn't play as well as we would have liked last night or tonight at times, but at times we did play well, and I'm not taking that away from them, but we certainly competed hard."
Weathers went on to talk about the schedule of the Hornets. “"Id be hard pressed to find a better 2A schedule, down in this end of the state than we play. And that should make us better in the long run."
Kemp led all scorers in the game with 25 points for the Hornets. Bultman added 16 points for Nashville, and Brink scored 13 points in the loss. Heggemeier chipped in seven points, and Schnitker scored 2 points.
Okawville was led by Noah Frederking with 24 points in the game. Caleb Frederking and Ganz each added 11 points, while Madrid scored 10 points. Payten Harre scored eight points, and Logan Reichman scored three points. Kirklen Meier rounded out the scoring for Okawville with two points.