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Hornets win 2nd district title in school history

The Coal Grove Hornets’ basketball team members raise the Division IV district championship trophy in the air after beating South Webster 61-39 for the district championship on Saturday at Ohio University. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker



ATHENS — The Coal Grove Hornets have been notoriously slow starters this season. They got going a little faster than usual on Saturday.

It must have been that district championship they were chasing.

After falling behind 12-4 midway through the first quarter, the Hornets kicked into gear and raced to a 61-39 win over the South Webster Jeeps to win the Division IV district title at Ohio University.

Coal Grove rallied to take a 17-14 lead at the end of the first quarter and opened up a 15-point lead by halftime. The Hornets then outscored the Jeeps 13-5 in the third quarter as they cruised to the win.

“We didn’t wait quite as long to get going as before. It was 12-4. (Shiloah Blevins) hit two wide-open 3s. We didn’t get a hand up. Then he hit two tough ones. But I thought we played really good defense after they got to 12. They only scored nine more points the rest of the half,” said Vanderhoof.

By winning only the second district title in school history, Coal Grove will now play Peebles at 8 p.m. on Tuesday in the regional semifinals at Ohio University. Peebles beat Green 75-56 to advance.

Aaron Music had 15 points and nine rebounds, Cory Borders hit four 3-pointers for 12 points and Sam Angelo had 11 points and five rebounds to lead the Hornets.

The more important contribution by Angelo was his defensive effort.

Blevins scored 21 points for the Jeeps (9-16) but only five in the second half — all in the fourth quarter. Angelo drew the defensive assignment on Blevins in the second half.

“(Blevins) definitely got buckets in the first half. He got points and we had a hard time stopping him. We had a lot of guys guarding him,” said Angelo.

“In the second half, I stepped up and said I’m going to guard this guy. I just got in his face and put pressure on him and did not allow him to get to places where he wants to go, and denying him the ball really helped out.”

Blevins hit two 3-pointers and two other baskets to give the Jeeps a 12-4 lead at the 3:46 mark of the first quarter.

Borders then hit a 3-pointer, Jordan Case made a layup, Music a foul shots and Borders another trey and the Hornets were up 15-12 at the 1:03 mark.

Blevins scored but Angelo’s putback gave the Hornets a 17-14 lead.

Jeb Jones hit a 15-footer and a steal and layup by Nate Harmon put the Hornets lead at 29-18. Jones also had a putback and Borders hit a triple with one minute left in the half and the lead was 36-21 heading into the half.

Coal Grove’s defense went to work in the third quarter as the Jeeps didn’t score until a foul shot by Jacob Witter with 2:56 on the clock.

Angelo had a layup and a trifecta that put the lead at 41-21 to start the quarter. Music had two layups and a 15-footer to make it 49-26 at the end of the quarter.

“They only scored five in the third quarter. I thought we really locked down defensively. (Blevins) had 16 of their 21points at halftime and I said he’s not going to beat us by himself,” said Vanderhoof.

“We were able to get out in transition, Music was able to attack the rim, I thought Jalen (McKenzie) gave us great minutes of the bench. We controlled the boards in the second half.”

Coal Grove won its only other district title in 1998 and posted a school-record 19 wins. The win gives the Hornets a 19-5 record on the season with a chance to break that record on Tuesday.

The win also enabled the Hornets to reach the regional finals in both football and basketball in the same school year.

“I’m a die-hard Grover. I told our kids at the beginning of the season you’ll be able to say something that no other male athlete will be able to say who went through this school. You made it to the regionals in both football and basketball,” said Vanderhoof.

Along with Case, Borders, Jones, Music and Harmon, Angelo was part of the football team that reached the Division VI regional finals this past season. He said both were great accomplishments but he was thrilled with winning the school’s second district title.

“Honestly, it’s the best feeling in the world for an 18-year-old,” said Angelo. “We’re the only class in school history to make it to the regionals in football, basketball and hopefully baseball. We’re not done yet in basketball until we get to the state.”

So. Webster     14        7          5          13        =          39

Coal Grove      17        19        13        12        =          61

SOUTH WEBSTER (9-16): Shiloah Blevins 4 3 4-4 21, Samuel Holstein 1 0 0-0 2, Andrew Smith 0 2 0-0 6, Braden Bockway 2 0 0-0 4, Devyn Coriell 1 0 1-2 3, Jacob Ruth 0 0 2-2 2, Tanner Voiers 0 0 0-0 0, Dawson Veach 0 0 0-0 0, Jacob Witter 0 0 1-2 1, Braden Martin 0 0 0-0 0, Levi Muirphy 0 0 0-0 0, Josiah Edwards 0 0 0-0 0, Dallas Copas 0 0 0-0 0, Markus Hagen 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-39 8-12 39. 3-pt goals: 5-16. Rebounds: 8-O, 18-D = 26 (Blevins 9, Coriell 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 0. Steals: 4 (Coriell 2). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: Holstein (4th 604).

COAL GROVE (19-5): Aaron Music 7 0 1-4 15, Cory Borders 0 4 0-0 12, Jordan Case 2 0 0-0 4, Jeb Jones 3 0 0-0 6, Sam Angelo 4 1 0-0 11, Nate Harmon 1 0 0-0 2, Jalen McKenzie 2 1 0-0 7, Alijah Roman 1 0 0-0 2, Evan Gannon 0 0 0-0 0, Trevor Carey 0 0 0-0 0, Tait Matney 0 0 0-0 0, Justin Hicks 0 0 0-0 0, Damian Jiles 1 0 0-0 2, Dakota Byrne 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-58 1-4 61. 3-pt goals: 6-13. Rebounds: 12-O, 18-D = 30 (Music 9, Angelo 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 10 (McKenzie 2, Angelo 2, Music 2). Steals: 5 (Music 2). Turnovers: 6. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.