By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Hornets boys basketball team held their annual awards banquet on March 21, where they honored the freshman, sophomore, JV and varsity basketball teams, as well as the NCHS Cheerleading squad.
The NCHS Cheerleaders were the first ones honored as they finished up a season in which they finished 14th out 28 teams at the ICCAs this season, and were just .3 points from finishing in the top ten.
Cat Fullerton was named the Most Improved NCHS Cheerleader this season. Holly Hutchison was given the Leadership Award, and Lauryn Pedtke, the lone senior on this year’s squad was given the Spirit Award.
The sophomore boys basketball team completed a great season in which they finished 14-1, with their only loss coming against Mater Dei on November 29. The sophomore team won the Sparta tournament for the first time since 2012, and became back to back Murphysboro Tournament champions. The Hornets won their final 13 games of the season.
Both Terry Pelczynski and Matt Anderson were named the All-Tournament team in Murphysboro.
Tanner Bergmann led the team in total points, and two point field goals. Pelczynski led the team in three point field goals. Matt Anderson led the team in free throws
The JV team finished up their campaign with a 13-2 record, including a 9-1 record in conference play, which earned them a share of the conference title. The JV team went 9-0 on the season at home, and their only two losses came back-to-back on the road against Okawville and Pinckneyville. Carson Parker led the team in total points this season, as he averaged over 11 points per game, and also led the team in free throw makes, attempts and percentage. Cameron Parker led the team in three point field goals, while Bergmann led the team in two point field goals.
The NCHS Varsity Boys Basketball team concluded their 31st consecutive winning season with a 20-13 record. The Hornets began the season by winning the Lebanon/Wesclin Thanksgiving Tournament, finished second at the Mater Dei Holiday Tournament, and were Regional Champions. The Hornets lost to Alton Marquette in the Sectional Championship game.
The Hornets faced a daunting schedule this season, as they faced off against 10 opponents that were ranked in the top 10 of their respective class. The Hornets faced off against the Class 1A runner up in Okawville, the Class 2A runner up in Mt. Carmel, as well as Class 3A Regional champions Central. The Hornets also had tough matchups against Mater Dei, Benton, Carlyle, Pinckneyville, and Waterloo Gibault.
Players who received individual awards at the banquet were Brogan Kemp, Hayden Heggemeier, Ryan Brink, Langdon Briles, Trevor Meier, Brandon Schnitker, Bryce Bultman.
Kemp received the award as being the Outstanding Offensive Player. Kemp was the Hornets leading scorer, and rebounder on the season, as well as leading the team in blocked shots, and was second on the team in assists. Kemp averaged 14.5 points per game on the season, and 6.5 rebounds per game. Kemp was named to the All Tournament team at the Lebanon/Wesclin Thanksgiving Tournament, the Mater Dei Holiday Tournament, as well as the Nashville Invitational Tournament. Kemp was also named to the SIRR Mississippi Division All-Conference team, as well as the IBCA 3rd Team All-State Class 1A/2A.
Heggemeier was named the Outstanding Defensive Player and the Free Throw Award. Heggemeier was a four year starter for the Hornets basketball team, and usually was responsible for guarding the opposing team’s best offensive player. Heggemeier held two opponent’s leading scorers scoreless this season as he held Tyler Siever of Carlyle, and Jack Strieker of Central scoreless. Heggemeier finished with the best free throw percentage on the season as he connected on 81.3 percent of his shots from the charity stripe. Heggemeier filled up the stat sheet this season as he finished as the Hornets second leading rebounder, third in assists, and three pointers, and was fourth in scoring for Nashville.
Brink was given the three point award as the Hornets biggest weapon from behind the arc this season. Brink shot over 40% from behind the arc this season, and connected on 64 three pointers. Brink finished second on the team in scoring with 11.7 points per game. Brink was also named to the SIRR Mississippi Division All-Conference team, as well as being named to the All-Tournament team at the Lebanon/Wesclin Thanksgiving Tournament, as well as the Mater Dei Holiday Tournament.
Briles was named the Most Improved Player this season for the Hornets. Briles played in all 33 games for the Hornets this season, and averaged five points per game. Briles was was second on the team in blocked shots this season, with 19 blocks.
Brandon Schnitker was honored with the Intensity Award, and recognized for making “The Shot”. Schnitker grabbed the rebound with and converted a three point play with less than a second remaining to defeat Pinckneyville in the Sectional Semi-Final, ending the Panthers season. The video of Schnitker’s shot was shared 168 times on the Nashville News facebook page, and was viewed over 12,000 times. The video on twitter was retweeted 68 times and reached over 10,000 people.
Bryce Bultman received an award for leading the Hornets in assists this season. Bultman averaged 3.7 assists per game this season, and was third on the Hornets with nine points per game behind Kemp and Brink. Bultman was third in rebounds this season as he averaged 3.4 rebounds per game. Bultman was second in three pointers, and second in two point field goals this season.
The last individual award was given to Trevor Meier. Meier was given the Hornet award, as well as receiving an award for advancing to the Final Four in the Class 2A Country Financial IHSA Three Point Showdown. Meier played in just 18 games this season, and was a fan favorite throughout the year.
Bergman, Harre, Dale Anderson, Carson Parker, and Cameron Parker all received some time with the Varsity team over the course of the season.