The Hornets continued play in the Mascoutah Tip-Off Classic Tuesday against the Waterloo Bulldogs. The Hornets only allowed the Bulldogs to score 19 points in route to a 42-19 victory. Carson Parker and Tristen Hercules both finished in double figures for the Hornets. Parker finished with 17, and Hercules finished with 13. Nolan Heggemeier hit three out of four three pointers to finish with nine points. Terry Pelczynski added six more, and Saxton Hoepker as well as Rylan Hammer threw in two. After an eight day layoff, the Hornets would continue tournament play Wednesday against the Wesclin Warriors. The Warriors opened up the game with a 5-0 run, but after that it was all Hornets.The Hornet offense woke up and finished the quarter on a 13-6 run, taking a 13-11 lead into the second period of action. After appearing as though they were going to blow the game open, the offense was only able to muster five points in the second quarter, but the defense remained strong, and the Hornets took an 18-14 lead into the locker room.
“I thought we shot some shots that were not the greatest. We shot it pretty quick.” Coach Harre said after his team’s first half performance.
The third quarter defined the game. The Hornets were able to outscore the Warriors 18-3 in the third quarter and took a commanding 36-17 lead into the final eight minutes. The run rolled over into the fourth, and after a 24-3 run the score had swelled to 42-19. The overwhelming Nashville run forced Wesclin Head Coach Brent Brede to call a timeout not even three minutes into the fourth quarter. The Hornets were able to cruise after that in route to a 53-26 victory. Coach Harre credited his team’s shot selection and the strong defensive effort for the game-changing run.
“The second half was kind of a grind out game. We spread them out as we went. I’m pretty pleased with the second half effort,” Coach Harre said.
The scoring came from several outlets for the Hornets. Parker finished with a game high 17 points. Nolan Heggemeier continued to stay hot from behind the arc, hitting three out of five three pointers, finishing with nine points.
Pelczynski added eight more, and Jaxon Goforth had six. Hercules, Buzz Ritzel, and JD Shubert all bucketed one three pointer apiece and had six points. Bryce Donato and Saxton Hoepker rounded out the scoring with two. The win brought the Hornets to 3-0 on the season.
An undefeated tournament record meant a chance to play for first place against host Mascoutah.
“They’re going to be quick, and they’re going to be very aggressive. It’s a good matchup for us. It’s a different kind of team that you’re going to play down the road. They’re always going to be ready to play. They’re going to play different defenses. It’ll be a home game, it’ll be a lot of excitement so it’ll be good for us,” Coach Harre said in regards to his team’s Friday night matchup against the Indians. Nashville did a great job of taking the crowd out of the game right away. In the first quarter, the Hornets were able to open up on a 7-0 run. Later in the quarter, the seniors took over the Hornets. Just as Mascoutah seemed to be gaining momentum, a Pelczynski three pointer and a Parker buzzer beating layup put the Hornets up 14-5 after the first. It was a similar played second quarter, and the Hornets were able to hold a 25-12 lead at the intermission. Like they did against Wesclin, the Hornets were able to pull away in the second half. A Donato three midway through the final frame put the Hornets up 42-23. Pelczynski followed suit with a layup of his own with just over three minutes to play. The mini run extended the Nashville lead to twenty-one. The Hornets never looked back and took the championship contest by a score of 52-32. Parker led the game with 21 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Pelczynski jumped into double figures with 13. He was able to snipe three triples. Heggemeier hit three three pointers of his own to finish with nine points. Hercules, Donato, and Goforth all added three more.
“It’s nice to win a championship. To go 4-0 in the tournament it’s pretty nice for our seniors to go out that way,”
Coach Harre points to the defensive effort as a big key for the Hornets taking home first place.
“ I thought defensively we were pretty good. I thought we were pretty solid. We got messed up a couple times, but that’s going to happen. We guarded pretty well, this is the most points we’ve given up in a game (32), but we have to keep it up because we’re not always going to be able to score, but if we can guard on the other end hopefully we will always have a chance,” Coach Harre said after his team’s strong defensive effort throughout the tournament.
The Hornets only allowed their opponents to score an average of 25 points per game throughout the tournament. It was a quick turnaround for the Hornets as they continued their busy week Saturday at the Marion Shootout. They were up against the host team, Marion. The Wildcats handed the Hornets their first loss of the season after a close to the vesel 41-39 win. Pelczynski and Parker were the only Hornet players to finish in double figures with 11 and 16. Goforth added five, Hercules threw in four, and Heggemeier bucked one three pointer, totaling three points. The loss put the Hornets at 4-1 on the season.
The boys will host Anna-Jonesboro in their home opener Friday at 7:45 p.m.