By Brent Huelsmann
With the postseason looming, the Nashville Hornets ended the regular season with a 50-37 victory over DuQuoin on February 17. The Hornets ended the season with a 17-12 record. Nashville will begin play in the Carlinville Regional on Wednesday February 22 at 6 p.m. The Hornets will play Carlinville, who defeated Staunton on February 20. If the Hornets win on Wednesday, they will advance to the Regional Championship game on Friday, February 24 at 7 p.m.
It was senior night for the DuQuoin Indians, who got off to a fast start against the Hornets on February 17, but the Hornets would come back as they easily defeated the Indians 50-37.
The Hornets fell behind 7-4 early, but ended the first quarter on a 6-0 run to go up 10-7 as the teams went into the second quarter. In the second, the Hornets quickly built a nine point lead. DuQuoin would cut it to seven, but the Hornets bounced back and held an 11 point lead at halftime.
After the break, the Hornets continued to build their lead, as they were led by Brogan Kemp, who would finish with eight points in the third quarter alone. By the end of the third quarter, the Hornets had built a 38-23 lead over the Indians.
In the fourth, the Hornets would be able to maintain their lead and sweep the season series against DuQuoin, winning the game 50-37.
Kemp led the Hornets with 18 points in the game. Kemp was joined in double figures by Ryan Brink who finished with 11 points. Hayden Heggemeier and Bryce Bultman both just missed out on double figures as they each finished with nine points. Cameron Parker rounded out the scoring with three points.
DuQuoin was led by Braden Heape, who finished with 18 points, and was the only DuQuoin player in double figures. The Hornets were able to hold the Indians leading scorer Caleb Vogel, to just five points in the game, all of which came in the second half.
After the game, coach Brad Weathers talked about his team’s defensive effort. we actually caused quite a few turnovers the first half. I think we had something like 14 down, not sure if that is accurate but it’s close. But we didn’t convert on all of them, only had 24 points. We almost got going too fast for our own good after a couple of those turnovers. We didn’t convert the layup, or we tipped it, or got a piece of something that didn’t get it down. We kept battling and had a strong third quarter and into the fourth before we started subbing. Good defensive effort all night I thought from us.
Weathers went on to praise the free throw shooting, after missing 15 free throws in the Hornets previous game against Pinckneyville on February 11.
“We’d still like to shoot even better than that but we are working on it and that hopefully was a one game thing where everyone was off on the same night. Got through this one and we’re ready for the second season.”
The Hornets are back in action on Wednesday night in Carlinville for the Regional Semi-finals at 6 p.m.
By Brent Huelsmann