Hornets start strong, cruise past Crothersville

For The Tribune


The Crothersville boys’ basketball team found out first-hand what it is like to enter a Hornets nest, with many angry pests buzzing around.

The Medora boys’ basketball team, who entered their home-opener on Friday night still had their first loss in their minds.

The Hornets quickly forgot about that loss as they rebounded nicely with a 62-41 win against the Tigers in the county clash. The Hornets moved to 1-1 on the year, while the Tigers fell to 0-3.

First-year Hornets coach Michael Leitzman said he was pleased with how his team responded tonight.

“That felt really good,” he said. “To come in with our rivals and play as good as we did it was a good feeling. On Tuesday night after that loss I told them in that last minute to see what it feels like and I want this to sink in this feeling of losing by 20 points.

The Tigers came out in the first quarter ready to play as they led throughout the quarter as Eli Mollett and Dakota Mount made it 3-0. At the 4:40 mark of the quarter, Medora’s Kirk Stewart tied the game at 3-3 with a jumper in the lane.

The Tigers continued to keep the lead as Mollett made it 12-9 and Conner Adams had a steal at mid-court and laid the ball in to make it 14-9 after the first quarter. Kam Flynn and Stewart combined to hit three free throws to cut the lead to 14-12.

Mollett made it 16-14, but Flynn knocked down a 3-pointer at the 6:12 mark of the second quarter to give the Hornets their first lead of the game at 17-16 and Chase Booker hit another trifecta to make it 20-16.

After Adams hit a 3-pointer for the Tigers to cut the lead down to 22-19, the Hornets scored the next five to make it 27-19. The Hornets held a 30-21 lead at halftime.

To start the third quarter the Tigers had a simple gameplan to score early and force the Hornets to call a timeout and that worked in their favor as they scored the first six points of the third quarter to cut the lead to 30-27. Flynn then dropped another 3-pointer to end the scoring run to make it 33-27.

Stewart and Austin Fish had back-to-back baskets to make it 37-28. Mollett had a basket and Tyler Luedeman hit a 3-pointer to make it 37-33, but that would be the closest they would get as Tristan Newcomb had two consecutive baskets, including getting an assist from Stewart to make it 41-33 to end the quarter.

The Hornets pulled away in the fourth quarter as they scored the first 11 points to take a commanding 52-33 lead. The Hornets outscored the Tigers 21-8 in the quarter.

“We don’t execute a game plan defensively,” Tigers coach Greg Kilgore said. “We even scouted these guys at West Washington on Tuesday and half of the team went with me and we knew they were a good ball team. Medora is an improved ball club and they are heading in the right direction.

Mollett led the Tigers with 13 points.

“Early in the game it was great and we were attacking their zone,” Kilgore said. “If we would have kept attacking their zone we could have gotten them in foul trouble, but we have to make some shots. We missed 11 free throws and I think for the season we are under 30 percent.”

The Hornets had three players in double figures as Flynn had a game-high 22, Stewart added 16 and Newcomb tallied 10.

“Our defense was huge,” Leitzman said. “Tuesday night we really struggled defensively and were not rotating well. I showed them their mistakes Wednesday in practice and we really worked on our mistakes. The proudest moment is that they are talking and communicating. It is also a relief to get that first win after Tuesday night.”

Medora won the rebounding battle 27-22.

as Stewart had seven and Mollett led the Tigers with seven.

Both teams finished with 17 turnovers.