Hornets Defend Turf; Checkmate ‘Jacks, 60-57
Its hard to beat a good team three times in one season, but on March 1, in the Hornets Nest, Hundred knocked off the Valley Lumberjacks, 60-57, to move into the Section I semifinals against Wheeling Central.
After the Hornets got the opening tip, the Valley’s Ronald “Mercury” Morris dissected a Hornet player and stole the ball, whereupon he laid it up to open the scoring in the county rival sectional matchup.
The Hornets big man, Zach “Sunshine” Phillips, put back a missed shot to tie the game at two. After a couple turnovers by each team, the Hornets’ Emery Smith gave his team its first lead of the game on a nice finger roll inside the paint.
Valley came back to knot the game rather quickly, but the Hornets’ Tyrell Watson was Johnny on the Spot and put back a Hornet miss to pull ahead.
After a couple more turnovers by each team, the Hornets’ Logan “Downtown” McDiffitt swished the cords from deep behind the arc to give the hosts a 9-4 lead. But, the ‘Jacks’ Matt Poling went coast-to-coast and was fouled on a shot and canned both free-throw opportunities.
After another Hundred turnover, Poling worked his magic once more, but in the end, he made only one freebie from the charity stripe.
After Smith missed a couple charity tosses the ‘Jacks would add baskets by Scotty Anderson and Poling, while Alex “Hondo” Henderson netted a pair of charity tosses before the Hornets’ Dalton Kuhn swished a three pointer at the buzzer with the Lumberjacks in front, 13-12.
The teams again traded turnovers to begin the second frame, Garrett Ueltschy would swish the nets on a pretty jumper. However, Smith took it personally and tallied a runner and a three pointer to give Hundred a 17-15 lead.
But, Poling once again went to work, racing down the floor after a rebound and scored to knot the game at 17. McDiffitt then took it to the hole and found Kuhn for a easy bucket. Now in possession, the ‘Jacks passed the ball to Morris in the paint for a nice shot to tie the game once again.
After a Hornet turnover, Smith skied and blocked his fourth shot of the half and found Phillips, who swished the nets on a jumper inside the paint to give the Hornets a 21-19 lead half way into the second period.
After a Lumberjack miss, Phillips went hard to the basket, took a foul and made both charity tosses. Lumberjack Clay Ueltschy came off the bench and jumped out of the gym to net a basket.
Meanwhile, the Hornets Brady Koontz matched his counterpart with a nice inside basket at the two minute mark. Garrett Ueltschy made a nice turnaround jumper, while Hundred’s Jesse Tedrow got his name in the books with a made free throw with one minute remaining.
Henderson drew a foul and drained two charity tosses, which was followed by a foul on Smith, who missed the front end of the bonus. But, Valley’s Anderson also was fouled and swished two shots to take the lead. A Hornet miss led to a fast break layup for Valley, who went into the dressing room on top, 29-26.
Smith swished a threeball to start the second half and knotted the game. He then made a steal, but also made an errant pass that is mishandled for a turnover.
Garrett Ueltschy made a basket after keeping a miss alive with some clutch rebounding.
Watson answered for the Hornets with a basket from beyond the arc, while his partner-in-crime, McDiffitt, made a pair of freebies. The Hornets would score the next eight points, led by a pair of McDiffitt triples.
Both teams exchanged buckets before Morris made the last shot of the quarter to put Hundred on top, 48-43.
Smith started the fourth period like he did in the second – with a triple – while McDiffitt added a pair of charity tosses for the Hornets’ biggest lead of the night, 53-43, and Valley called a time out. After the break, Morris scored on a set play, but Phillips added a putback, while Smith and McDiffitt netted a pair of free throws. But, Bickerstaff answered the call with a basket midway in the last quarter.
Hundred went to the four corners and Valley put the Hornets at the line with fouls. The ploy worked and Hundred missed the front end of two bonus tosses , while Valley kept chipping at the lead to pull within a bucket with 38 seconds remaining.
Hundred ran 11 seconds off the clock before McDiffitt drew a foul. But, this time, Hundred made both of their shots. After the throw-in, the Hornets stood still for some reason and Valley went the distance to make an easy bucket with 10 seconds remaining. Valley Then called a time out to set up a play.
Valley narrowly missed a steal, but fouled Smith to send him to the line with a double-bonus opportunity. With the Valley fans making it hard to concentrate, Smith missed the first try. However, his second rolled around and fell through to give the host a three point lead.
The ‘Jacks had a chance to send the game into overtime, but their shot was just short and Hundred got the nod.
Morris and Henderson led the scoring for the ‘Jacks with 30 points, including a pair of triples by Henderson. Poling followed with nine markers, while Garrett and Clay Ueltschy each netting six points. Anderson added four points, while Bickerstaff contributed two points.
The ‘Jacks made three more field goals than Hundred, but the Hornets made three more charity tosses. However, they made six more three pointers that sealed the deal.
Smith led three double-digit scorers for Hundred with 18 points, including a trio of three-point buckets. McDiffitt tallied 15 points on three triples, while Phillips netted 10 markers. Kuhn netted nine points, including one from beyond the arc. Watson tallied five points, that also included a threeball, while Koontz added a deuce and Tedrow a charity toss.
Tucker Brown led eight River Pilots with a game-high 16 points, including a trio of baskets from beyond the arc to lead the Pilots to a 48-28 victory in a Division IV Sectional showdown against Beallsville at Union Local High School March 1.
The Pilots raced out to a 12-4 lead and took a commanding 33-11 advantage at the break behind the sharp shooting of Brown who nailed two of his three pointers in the second period.
Neither team could sustain anything offensively in the second period and the Pilots won for the third time against their county rivals.
Following Brown in the scoring department was Dylan Potts with eight markers, while Tyler Jeffers netted seven points. Zac Wax and Sam Ramsier combined for 10 points, while Jordan Potts swished a three pointer. Jordan Indermuhle and Tyler Stewart each tallied a deuce for the energized River Pilots.