By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Middle School Jr. Hornets basketball team split their first two games of the new year as they defeated Trico on January 4, before falling to Salem on January 6. The Jr. Hornets eighth grade team has a record of 13-6 on the season. The Jr. Hornets will begin Regional Play on January 25 against Lebanon. The Regional will be held at Nashville Middle School.
The Jr. Hornets started off 2018 with a matchup at home against Trico. The Jr. Hornets used a big second quarter to take control and went on for a 45-25 win.
Nashville grabbed the early lead as they led 10-7 at the end of the first quarter. In the second, the Jr. Hornets outscored Trico 12-4 to take control of the game, and held an 22-11. In the third, the Jr. Hornets extended their lead as they outscored Trico 11-7. In the fourth, the Jr. Hornets were able to cruise to a twenty point win.
Kolten Gajewski led the way with 16 points. Ian Blazier finished with 12 points, followed by Lucas Knepp with six points, Nolan Heggemeier finished with five points, while Aaron Brink, Hayden Robinson, and Bennett Briles each scored two points.
The seventh grade team picked up a 49-17 win over Trico. Briles finished with 18 points to lead the way. Trey Reinburg finished with nine points, followed by Rylan Hammer with eight points. Quintin Loquasto scored seven points in the win while Carson Cook, Blaine Emrick and Austin Kirsch each finished with two points. J.T. Malawy rounded out the scoring with one point.
The Jr. Hornets suffered their first loss of 2018 on January 6 as they traveled to Salem. Nashville fell behind early and could not make a comeback as Salem took a 43-35 win.
Salem held a 10-5 lead after the first quarter of play and continued to build a lead throughout the contest. At halftime, the Jr. Hornets trailed 22-16, and Salem built a 29-18 after three. In the final quarter of play, the Jr. Hornets chipped into Salem’s lead but could come all the way back as Salem held on for a 43-35 win.
Michael Combs finished with 15 points to lead the way, followed by Heggemeier with five points. Kolten Gajewski finished with four points, while Knepp, Brink and Blazier finished with three points. Robinson rounded out the scoring with two points in the loss.
In the seventh grade game, the Jr. Hornets picked up a 41-17 win over Salem. Nashville was led by Briles who finished with 14 points. Reinburg added nine points, followed by Hammer in seven points. Loquasto scored five points, while Cook, Kaden Gajewski, and Kirsch each finished with two points.