By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Hornets split two matchups this week as they avenged an earlier loss to Carterville on Friday, February 10, before dropping a hard-fought overtime game to the Pinckneyville Panthers on Saturday, February 11.
The Hornets avenged a home loss to Carterville on Friday night as they went on the road and beat the Lions 48-34. The Hornets got off to a good start in the game as they outscored the Lions 15-8 in the first quarter led by Ryan Brink who had six points in the frame.
Nashville was able to maintain their lead over the Lions over the next two quarters as they held a 26-19 lead at halftime, and a 37-30 lead at the end of three quarters.
The Hornets put the game away in the fourth quarter as they held the Lions to just four points in the quarter. The Hornets outscored Carterville 11-4 in the fourth to take the game 48-34.
Brink led Nashville with 18 points in the win and was joined in double figures by Brogan Kemp with 11 points. Hayden Heggemeier finished with nine points, while both Brandon Schnitker and Bryce Bultman each had four points. Langdon Briles rounded out the scoring with two points.
The Hornets were back in action on Saturday night, as they celebrated the seniors of the band, the boys basketball team, and the cheerleaders. The boys basketball team has five seniors this season, as Brink, Heggemeier, Kemp, Trevor Meier, and Briles were all honored before the game. The lone senior cheerleader this season is Lauryn Pedtke. Just like their football battle in the fall, the Panthers and the Hornets had a hard fought battle that would not end in regulation.
The Hornets rushed off to a quick start against the Panthers, as Nashville outscored Pinckneyville 13-9 in the first quarter. After the game was tied at six, the Hornets ended the quarter on a 7-3 run to grab a four point lead.
Pinckneyville made a run in the seconds, as they doubled up the Hornets, outscoring them 16-8 to take a four point lead into halftime. After the break, the Panthers did not have an answer fro Kemp as Kemp finished with eight points in the quarter, and helped the Hornets to grab a three point lead as the team’s went to the fourth.
In the fourth, the Hornets would open up a five point lead in the early going, but Pinckneyville would not go away. The Panthers stormed back in the fourth and were able to take a 52-49 lead as time wound down. The Hornets would get one more opportunity. Guarded closely, Brink stepped up and knocked down his first three point basket since the first quarter to tie the game at 52 and send the game into overtime.
In the overtime, the Panthers knocked down five of their eight free throw attempts. The free throws along with their lone basket of overtime from Grant Jausel was enough to hold off the Hornets and grab a 59-56 victory as the Hornets final three point shot clanked off the front of the rim. With the win, Pinckneyville was able to win the Southern Illinois River to River Conference Mississippi Division outright.
After the game Weathers talked about missed opportunities. ““I think both teams played extremely hard and left it out there. Just unfortunately someone has to come out on the losing end of that one tonight. As hard as we played, and as tough as it was it came down to free throws. We were 14-29 and it wasn’t any one person. We had opportunities, and I’m pretty proud of the effort and all that and we are getting better but you have to take advantage of that.”
Pinckneyville’s coach Bob Waggoner praised the atmosphere. “It was definitely, a Regional/Sectional atmosphere. It was one of those things where I thought both teams competed hard. It was warm in here and the crowd was into it, and it was nice for the kids.”
Kemp led Nashville with 21 points and seven rebounds in the game. Brink and Heggemeier each added nine points, followed by Briles with seven points. Bultman scored six points in the loss, and Schnitker finished with four points for the Hornets.