Sectionals had not been kind to the Nashville Hornets over the past couple of years, but that all changed this past week as the Nashville Hornets captured the IHSA Class 2A DuQuoin Sectional Championship. The Hornets defeated top-five ranked Alton Marquette 37-22 in front of a standing room only crowd on March 1 to clinch a berth in the Elite Eight. The Hornets defeated West Frankfort 54-31 in the Sectional Semi-Finals on February 27.
Nashville had little trouble with the West Frankfort Redbirds as they closed out the month of February with a 54-31 win. The Hornets never trailed in the contest as Nashville jumped out to a 7-0 advantage. It was all Nashville in the first quarter of play as after eight minutes, the Hornets led the Redbird 18-6. Senior Bryce Bultman talked about the fast start after the game. “It’s always great to jump out on a team early, because you kind of kill their confidence and we get a bunch of confidence. It just rolls into the rest of the game and just don’t think they can stop you, then it goes to everybody else as well.”
The Hornets continued their strong start into the second frame of play as Nashville was able to extend their lead before halftime. Nashville led by as many as 15 in the frame, and went into the break with a 25-10 lead.
The Hornets put any thoughts of a comeback to bed in the second half, as Nashville outscored West Frankfort 14-10 in the third quarter to take a commanding 39-20 lead into the final stanza.
Nashville would be in cruise control the rest of the way as the Redbirds never got within 15 points the rest of the contest. When the final buzzer sounded, Nashville held a 54-31 lead.
Hornets coach Wayne Harre was pleased with his team’s performance. “We did ok. We got out to a good start, and that’s always good. Seems like we had a lot of energy early. That’s what you want. I thought we guarded pretty well, we let a couple back cuts. We have to get better at that. Other than that, I thought we guarded pretty well.”
Bultman led all scorers with 23 points. Carson Parker and Kelton Harre also were in double figures as Parker finished with 13 points, and Harre added ten points. Terry Pelczynski added three points off the bench. Tristen Hercules and Matt Anderson finished with two points apiece.
Two days later the Hornets would be in for a tough test as Nashville and Alton Marquette matched up for the Sectional Championship. Nashville came into the game ranked #1 in the state, while the Explorers came into the game ranked #5 in class 2A. It was a rematch of the 2017 Sectional Championship where Alton Marquette defeated Nashville. This time it would go the way of the Hornets as Nashville defeated the Explorers 37-22.
Possessions were at a premium over the first eight minutes of the contest as Alton Marquette slowed the pace down. The two teams combined for seven points as Nashville grabbed a 4-0 lead, before Chris Hartich knocked down a three pointer to cut the lead to 4-3 after one quarter of play.