By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Hornets boys basketball team bounced back from a season-opening loss to Waterloo to bring home second place in the Mascoutah Tip-Off Classic. The Hornets finished the tournament with a record of 2-2. The Hornets two wins came against Columbia and Mascoutah. After losing to Waterloo, the Hornets other loss came to Tournament Champion Wesclin, who finished the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record.
After dropping the season opener, the Hornets had a bounceback performance against Columbia on November 28. The Eagles took the early lead over the Hornets as they rushed out to a 12-9 lead. Columbia would extend their lead in the second, as they outscored the Hornets 12-10 to take a five point halftime lead.
In the third, the two teams were even as each team scored nine points in the frame, in the fourth, the Hornets defense stepped up. Nashville gave up just four points in the quarter. The Hornets offense would score just enough to come away with the one point win.
Bryce Bultman led Nashville with 16 points, and was joined in double figures by Carson Parker who finished with 11 points. Jake Haley added nine points, and Matt Anderson scored two points in the win.
Nashville was back in action against Wesclin on November 29. An even game in the first half, the Warriors pulled away in the second half to defeat Nashville 50-37.
Wesclin jumped out to a 10-0 lead over the Hornets before Nashville’s offense would come alive. Nashville would score the final nine points of the quarter to cut the Warriors lead to just one point at the end of the frame. Nashville would take their first lead of the game early in the second, at 11-10, but both teams would go back and forth before the break. With Wesclin leading 19-17 late in the first half, Nashville would tie the game to go into the break even at 19.
After the break, Wesclin was able to get breathing room after knocking down a couple of threes. The Warriors led by as many as six in the third, but Nashville cut the deficit ot five with just eight minutes left to play. In the fourth, Wesclin quickly built their lead to double digits and led by as many 15. Wesclin would go on for the 50-37 win.
After the game, Hornets coach Wayne Harre talked about Nashville’s defense in the loss. “They kind of lull you to sleep offensively. They kind of move but when they decide to go to the basket, they go to the basket. We spent a lot of energy getting back tied, but we have to do better. We have to do better defensively, we gave them some easy buckets.”
Bultman led Nashville with 13 points, followed by Carson Parker with eight points. Anderson and Tanner Bergmann each finished with four points, while Brandon Schnitker, and Cameron Parker each finished with three points apiece. Joe Morris scored two points in the loss.
The Hornets finished out the tournament with a 63-49 win over Mascoutah on December 1. The win over Mascoutah clinched second place for Nashville. Both Mascoutah and Nashville finished 2-2 in the tournament, but Nashville was awarded second place due to the head-to-head win.
In the first, neither team could gain a significant advantage. Nashville led by as many as four early, and Mascoutah led by two on two separate occasions in the quarter. At the end of the first, it was Nashville that held the advantage 13-12 over the Indians.
In the second, the Hornets gained control. Nashville took advantage of turnovers by the Indians to take an eight point advantage midway through the quarter. Nashville would garner their largest lead of the quarter at 26-17, but Mascoutah would cut the Nashville lead to 26-20 as the teams headed into the locker room.Lan
After the break, the Hornets continued to build their lead. Nashville quickly extended their lead to 11, and the lead hovered around ten points for the majority of the quarter. Nashville’s largest lead of the frame was 12 points, but Mascoutah’s Jaydon Stewart hit a three late to cut the Hornets’ lead to nine as the third quarter ended.
In the fourth, the Hornets were in control from the start. Mascoutah got as close as ten, but the Hornets would pull away again. Down the stretch the Hornets would sink their free throws to keep the game out of reach for Mascoutah.
Harre talked about the win, and the tournament. “It’s just a good team win, coming back. This tournament was going to be a chore for us, and we knew that. To get two wins out of here, sure we would have liked to have three or four, but to get two, we’ll take it. It’s a long season, we open the conference right away against Anna, probably Anna’s best team they’ve had in ten years. This year is going to be a doozy. Every game is going to be a doozy They know it, and we are going to have to play like that all the time.”
Carson Parker talked about having more effort in the final games of the tournament. “We didn’t give it our best effort the first few games, we came back and we fought, we gave more effort and it worked out well.”
Carson Parker went on to say about the win. “It feels great, it was a tough atmosphere. A lot of fans, a great crowd, to come out here and get the win is nice.”
Carson Parker led the Hornets with 23 points and 11 rebounds in the contest. Bultman finished with 17 points, followed by Haley with eight points. Cameron Parker added six points, while Anderson scored five points. Terry Pelczysnki Jr. scored four points in the win.