Hornets fall to Knights 56-49
Posted: Friday, December 12, 2014 11:11 pm | Updated: 11:14 pm, Fri Dec 12, 2014.
ROSSVILLE – The Rossville Hornets just could not come up with the big shot when it needed it, rallying from 14 points back to two possessions in the fourth quarter before falling to Lafayette Central Catholic 56-49 in a nonconference tilt Friday night.
Central Catholic (3-1), ranked No. 8 in Class A, was coming off of a 2-1 finish in the J&C Hoops Classic where it faced all Class 4A and 3A schools, could not pull away from the Hornets after grabbing an early double-digit lead.
Rossville (2-4), led by Clayton Howard’s 20 points and Blake Miller’s 15, fought back from a 32-21 halftime deficit with a big third quarter that put the Hornets back in the game. Howard scored 11 of his points in the period and Miller’s 3-pointer trimmed the Knights lead to 43-39 with 1:05 left.
Another basket by Kyle Bordner with 30 seconds left made it a one-possession game before Central Catholic’s Avery Denhart made a 10-foot jumper to give the Knights a 45-41 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Central Catholic was able to stretch its lead back up to nine points again, before Miller knocked down his fourth 3-pointer of the contest, to slice the deficit to 52-46 with 4:32 left to play, but the Hornets could get no closer until late in the game as they could not take advantage of two defensive stands after Miller’s basket.
“Central Catholic year in and year out is winning sectional championships and regional championships and this was a good measuring stick for our young team,” Rossville coach Cory Dunn said. “And for the most part, I thought we stood up to the challenge. They punched us in the mouth in the first quarter but I thought we outplayed them the better part of three quarters and a few plays here and there in the fourth. We’re still learning and it’s still a learning curve for some of the players out there.”
But big punch in the mouth came courtesy of Central Catholic’s big 21-7 first quarter run to open the game. Jackson Anthrop scored six of his team-high 15 points in the quarter and played hard, hustling defense to help the Knights grab the huge early advantage. Luke Fusiek added 13 points for Central Catholic.
Anthrop said even with the early lead, he knew Rossville would still make a run at them.
“It’s always tough playing here against Rossville,” Anthrop said after the game. “You have to be tough when you come in here to play and we were able to hang on for the win. It was a great win for us and it was like a tournament atmosphere with a great crowd. It was a good test for us and we know we may be seeing them down the road.”
Rossville was able to whittle away at the lead a little bit in the second quarter, outscoring Central Catholic 14-11 as Howard scored a couple of baskets late to get the deficit down to 11 points by the halftime buzzer.
“We came out flat in the first half we had to play catch up for the rest of the game,” said Howard, who also grabbed nine rebounds. “It felt good that we outplayed them for three quarters. We now know that we can play with anyone in Class A and we’re able to take away a lot of positives from this.”
“We know that our turnovers are still too high but we’re a young team and we’re getting better,” Howard continued.
Rossville will take the home court again on Saturday against Class 3A Western.