Hornets nearly pull off upset

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 23, 2000

The fictional TV character would have been proud of the Coal Grove Hornets Tuesday night in the Division III sectional tournament.

Wednesday, February 23, 2000

The fictional TV character would have been proud of the Coal Grove Hornets Tuesday night in the Division III sectional tournament. Even though the Hornets did not win, they put a major scare in the Oak Hill Oaks who rallied in the second half and came away with a 57-50 win at the University of Rio Grande.

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"The game was closer than seven points. Two weeks ago they won by 20 at their place," Hornets coach Darrell Humphreys said. "We went in with a game plan we thought would give us a chance to win and the kids went out and executed. The shots we made early started rimming out the second half."

The Hornets executed well, but it was Oaks star senior guard Nick Donley who played executioner with eight points the fourth quarter that sparked the win.

"Donley is a super player and he had eight points at crunch time. That’s what super players do," said Humphreys. "But I thought Jason Adams did a super job on him. Earlier when we played them he picked us apart with his penetration."

Oak Hill coach Scott Cayton agreed with Humphreys. He said Donley proved to be the difference in the end.

"I thought Coal Grove shot well and played well," Cayton said. "We didn’t play that well. Donley won the game for us. It’s nice to have a player like that to fall back on who can win a game for you."

Donley finished with a game-high 17 points. He also had eight rebounds, three assists, and five steals.

Matt Thomas added 10 points and James Brown pulled down eight rebounds.

Ryan Young had 12 points and seven rebounds to pace the Hornets. Jason Winters scored 10 points.

Dean Mader failed to score but led the Hornets with nine rebounds and five assists. He also had a steal.

"Dean Mader was sick as a dog and played a great game. His value to this team is measured by intangibles and leadership and the heart he gives us. I wouldn’t trade him for anybody," said Humphreys.

Oak Hill led 7-3 early and the game was tied twice the first quarter, but Coal Grove went ahead 12-9 on a 3-pointer by Winters. Phillip Malone made two foul shots for the Oaks, but then Josh Collins hit a 17-footer and a layup at the buzzer to put the Hornets ahead 16-11.

Coal Grove led by as many as eight points the second quarter before a 10-footer by Donley at the 1:04 mark got the Oaks within 26-22 at the half.

Young hit from behind the arc to begin the second half and two foul shots by Joe Sark gave Coal Grove its biggest lead of the game at 35-36 with 5:08 on the clock.

Oak Hill came back late in the quarter as Donley hit a 15-footer and Malone a 3-pointer for a 39-37 lead. Two free throws by Young tied the game heading into the fourth quarter.

The game was tied 45-45 on a 17-footer by Sark with 5:00 to play. A 15-footer by Malone and a layup by Josh Brunton gave Oak Hill the lead for good at 49-45 with 3:20 left.

The Hornets were within 53-50 when Dave Webb followed up a missed shot with 24 seconds to play, but Brown’s layup seconds later put the lead at 55-50. Brown’s two free throws with seven seconds left set the final score.

Oak Hill plays River Valley at 6 p.m. Friday in the sectional finals.

Coal Grove 16 10 13 11 – 50

Oak Hill 11 11 17 18 – 57

COAL GROVE (4-17): Jason Winters 4-13 (2-8) 0-0 10, Joe Sark 2-4 (0-0) 3-4 7, Ryan Young 4-9 (2-4) 2-2 12, Jason Adams 3-3 (0-0) 0-0 6, Dean Mader 0-9 (0-2) 0-0 0, Josh Collins 3-3 (0-0) 0-0 6, Dave Webb 1-2 (0-1) 0-0 2, Brandon Hicks 2-4 (0-0) 1-2 5, Tim McClean 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Beau Webb 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, J. R. Carey 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 19-47 (4-15) 6-8 50. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 7-17=24 (Mader 9, Young 7). Assists: 10 (Mader 5, Adams 2, Winters 2, Hicks 1). Steals: 7 (Young 3, Adams 2, Mader 1, Sark 1). Turnovers: 13.

OAK HILL: Matt Thomas 4-8 (0-2) 2-2 10, Josh Brunton 2-3 (0-0) 3-9 7, James Brown 2-10 (0-0) 3-3 7, Adam Ramey 3-6 (0-1) 0-0 6, Nick Donley 7-13 (1-4) 2-2 17, Phillip Malone 1-5 (1-3) 3-4 6, Tyler Evans 2-2 (0-0) 0-0 4. Totals: 21-47 (2-10) 13-20 57. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 11-18=29 (Brown 8, Donley 8, Brunton 4). Assists: 4 (Donley 3, Thomas 1). Steals: 7 (Donley 5, Thomas 2). Turnovers: 12.