By Brent Huelsmann
The up and down season for the Nashville Hornets continued this past week as they split their two matchups. The Hornets picked up a conference win over Anna-Jonesboro on Friday January 27, before dropping a matchup to the Carlyle Indians on January 28. The Hornets record on the season stands at 14-9 on the season.
After a six day break, the Hornets were back on the court for a Southern Illinois River to River matchup as they defeated the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats 61-43 on January 27. After falling behind 2-0 early, the Hornets would rattle off thirteen of the next fifteen points to take a 13-4 lead after one quarter of play. In the second, the Hornets kept the pressure on Anna-Jonesboro as they extended their lead to 26-12 at the break.
After halftime, the Wildcats were able to cut into the Nashville lead in the third quarter but still trailed by 12 going into the final stanza. In the fourth, the Hornets were able to put the game away and picked up their fourth conference win of the season.
After the game, Hornets coach Brad Weathers praised his bench. “That’s what I was really happy about. I thought we showed a lot of energy off the bench. Cameron came in, he gives you a lot of energy and makes things happen. Of course Carson is so skilled. Langdon came in and Trevor came in and they all made major contributions at different times during the point of the ballgame.”
The Hornets were led by Ryan Brink who was the only player in double figures for Nashville with 18 points. Brogan Kemp and Carson Parker finished with eight points, while both Bryce Bultman and Langdon Briles finished with seven points apiece. Hayden Heggemeier scored five points in the win, and both Cameron Parker and Brandon Schnitker each finished with four points.
The Hornets were back in action right away as they traveled to take on the Carlyle Indians on January 28. It was the second matchup between the two teams, as the Hornets defeated the Indians 46-23 during the Mater Dei Holiday Tournament. A close game throughout, Carlyle was able to make just enough free throws down the stretch to put away the Hornets 61-55.
Carlyle took an early 3-0 lead, but Nashville came back to take a 6-5 lead after the first quarter of play. In the second quarter, the Hornets came out on fire as they opened up a 16-7 lead on the road. The Indians would not be down for long, as they went on a 14-2 run to end the first half, and held a 21-18 lead at halftime.
After halftime, the Indians quickly opened up a ten point lead ,but the Hornets would not go away. The Hornets would cut the Carlyle lead back to three points multiple times, but Carlyle was able to hold a 38-33 lead going into the fourth quarter of play. In the fourth, the Hornets quickly cut the lead back down to three points, and would cut the lead down to one late in the fourth. But Carlyle was able to knock down free throws to grab the win.
After the game, Weathers talked about his team’s effort. “I thought we really played hard to get back in the ballgame. We battled against a quick athletic team, that has been playing very well as of late. We were at a disadvantage size wise. We got back in and had our chances but you have to credit Carlyle, they knocked their free-throws down, or at least enough of them to get through it.”
Bultman was one of two players for Nashville in double figures, as he finished with 23 points , nine of which came in the fourth quarter. Kemp finished with 15 points in the loss. Both Heggemeier and Brink finished with six points, followed by Cameron Parker with three points. Langdon Briles rounded out the scoring with two points.