Hornets beat Bulldogs
ROSSVILLE – In Friday’s battle of county and conference rivals, the host Rossville Hornets came away with a 60-39 victory over the visiting Clinton Central Bulldogs.
Clinton Central junior Taylor Turner opened the game’s scoring by driving in two points 2 ½ minutes into the contest. Sophomore Keenan Orr then found senior Logan Adams for a basket, which gave the Bulldogs and early 4-0 advantage.
Turner had a team-high 10 points for the Bulldogs while Orr had nine points and Adams added four points.
Rossville cut Clinton Central’s lead to one point with a basket and free throw by senior Clayton Howard. Christian Howard hit a pair of free throws moments later, which gave the Hornets a 5-4 lead with 4:07 left in the opening quarter.
Clayton finished the game with a team-high 24 points for the Hornets while Christian added four points.
Orr redeemed himself after missing on his first dunk opportunity and drove in the second dunk late in the opening quarter to tie the game at eight. Rossville sophomore Grant Mohler (10 points) hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in the first quarter to give the Hornets an 11-8 lead going into the second half.
Rossville went on a 13-0 run spanning most of the second quarter, which gave the Hornets a 26-10 lead.
Rossville head coach Cory Dunn said his team’s defensive pressure allowed them to go on a second quarter run to gain momentum in the game.
“We decided we were going to come out and try to get it going and pick up the intensity defensively,” he said. “We got some quick steals and some easy buckets and that’s what really sparked the run.”
Clinton Central head coach Scott Leighty said Rossville’s defensive pressure made his team panic a little bit on the offensive end.
“We did exactly what Rossville wanted us to do,” he said. “We got in a hurry and made some bad decisions and threw the ball away, which led to some easy scores on their end.”
Clinton Central senior Brandon Eimen hit a 3-pointer with 1:45 left in the first half to end the Bulldog scoring drought. He finished the game with eight points.
The Hornets outscored the Bulldogs 20-9 in the second quarter to take a 31-17 lead going into the second half.
Rossville had a quick start to the second half and led 35-17 less than a minute into the third quarter. Clayton Howard found senior Elijah Beard (4 points) for two then drove down court for a layup seconds later.
Turner scored the first Bulldog points of the second half with a 2-pointer five minutes into the third quarter, which made the score 37-19, Hornets.
Early in the fourth quarter Eimen hit his second 3-pointer of the game bringing the Bulldogs within 12 points. Clayton Howard answered with a basket and free throw moments later, which made the Hornet lead 47-32.
The Hornets maintained a steady double-digit lead throughout the final quarter to seal up the 21-point victory.
Despite the loss, Leighty said it was the hardest his team has played all season.
“I thought the effort was really good,” he said. “We just need to be a little more discipline on the offensive end. I thought we rushed shots and kind of got out of our offense at times.”
“Defensively, we weren’t bad,” he added. “Rossville shoots the ball really well and they’re big inside.”
Dunn said his team played a complete game besides a couple of missed layups early in the game and a few lackluster minutes in the third quarter.
With the win, Rossville improved to 5-8 overall and 3-1 in the Hoosier Heartland Conference. Clinton Central dropped to 0-15 (0-3) with the loss.