After beginning the year with 15 straight wins, the Nashville Hornets boys basketball team hit a rough patch over Christmas break losing two straight games. After beating Mater Dei to advance to the Championship of the Mater Dei Christmas Tournament, the Hornets fell to Briarcrest Christian to close out the tournament. The Hornets would then fall in their first game of 2019 on the road to Pinckneyville in heartbreaking fashion. Nashville would bounce right back to pick up a win over Effingham at the Highland Shootout on January 5.
On December 28 a packed house at Mater Dei High School saw the Hornets take on the host Knights in the final game of the night. A close game early, the Hornets would pull away in the middle quarters and take a 46-32 win to clinch a spot in the Mater Dei Christmas Tournament Championship.
Neither team gained a significant advantage throughout the first eight minutes of play. Nashville’s largest lead was four, and Mater Dei never led by more than two. When the buzzer sounded at the end of the first, the Hornets were on top 13-11.
Nashville gained breathing room in the second, as they started the quarter on a 7-1 run. By halftime, the Hornets would build a 26-16 lead over the Knights.
The Hornets momentum continued after the break as they held Mater Dei to just five points in the third quarter. Offensively the Hornets put up 12 points to take a 38-21 lead into the fourth quarter. In the fourth, the Hornets would close out the Knights and pick up a 46-32 win.
Hornets Coach Wayne Harre talked about advancing to the championship with the win over Mater Dei. “We were rated number one in that pool, we got the job done. That’s four tough games in three days. It’s a good win for us against Mater Dei at their court. They always get up for that game, people in the communities get up for it. It was a good entertaining game. I think our defense played really well tonight holding them to 32 points, I was pretty proud of that. They all played really well, and just a good team defense.”
Carson Parker led Nashville with 16 points in the game. Bryce Bultman finished with 13 points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Matt Anderson and Tristen Hercules each added five points. Tanner Bergmann chipped in four points. Terry Pelczynski rounded out the scoring with three points off the bench.
The win over Mater Dei set up a showdown between the only two undefeated teams from pool play, Nashville and Briarcrest. Nashville would not be able to overcome a slow start as Briarcrest picked up a 47-28 win to win their second straight Mater Dei Christmas Tournament crown.