Hornets fall short on KCI comeback
The Penney High Hornets hosted the State's 10th Ranked Lawson Cardinals with the winner remaining undefeated in conference play.
The Cardinals came out on fire while the Hornets couldn't seem to find their range and trailed 25-5 after one quarter. Penney was able to find the target in the second period, but Lawson continued to remain hot and led 47-24 at the half. Coach Brad Smith's Cardinals retained their 23 point lead, and began the final period up 60-37. Hamilton coach Rick Ross had his team press the entire 4th quarter, and nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback, cutting the deficit down to just two possessions with the ball late in the period, before coming up on the short end of a 70-60 score.
Jaran Richman and Latroy Harper led the Hornets with 20 points each, followed by 10 for Andy Ernat, 4 apiece for Cale Whitt and Wes Pratt, who scored his 1000th career point in the game, and 2 by Derek Dixon. Lawson's Cody Glenn led all scorers with 31, 21 in the first half, and Max Ross chipped in 16, 10 in the first quarter. Harper made three treys, two in the final stanza and 9 points in the quarter, scored 8 points in the 2nd period, led the team in rebounds with 5, blocks with 2, and steals with 4, plus handed out 1 assist. Richman, who hit 4 threes, 11 points in the second quarter, and 8 of 16 field goals, led the team in assists with 8, grabbed 4 rebounds, blocked a shot, and stole the ball once. Ernat came off the bench and scored 6 of his 10 points in the final quarter, including 2 for 2 from the free throw line, assisted on 2 buckets, stole the ball once, and snared 1 rebound. Pratt recorded 2 rebounds, blocked 1 shot, and stole the ball once. Whitt went 2 for 3 from the field and rebounded the ball 3 times. Dixon grabbed 2 rebounds and Bryan Cook stole the ball once. Thane Ward also got playing time. The Cardinals hit eight 3-pointers, 12 of 17 free throws, and were called for 10 fouls. Penney made eight 3's, 5 of 8 charity shots, were whistled for 19 fouls, handed out 11 assists, stole the ball 8 times, blocked 4 shots, and turned the ball over just 9 times.
Anyone who had the opportunity to watch this game realize how hard the Hornets played despite being behind double digits the vast majority of the game, and how determined they were in that final 8 minutes to make a game of it with a chance to win at the end. They definitely left it all on the court in this one and can be proud of how they battled back.