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Strong defense carries Hornets past Falcons

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PORTSMOUTH — This would be a really bad sandwich. Good bread but no meat between.
As it turned out, it was a really good defensive effort as Coal Grove gave up 18 points in the first and fourth quarters but only seven points in the other two quarters and the Hornets routed the Minford Falcons 61-43 at the Buckeye Elite Showcase Saturday.
The Hornets held Minford scoreless in the second quarter and gave up a mere seven points in the third quarter as they built a 26-point lead.
“We were locked in defensively. After the first quarter, we played some of the best defense I’ve seen us play,” said Hornets’ coach Kevin Vanderhoof.
“If we continue to build off that, we can be a really good defensive team. We were able to put some pressure on the ball.”
The teams traded 3-pointers in the first quarter as Coal Grove took a 20-18 lead.
The Hornets had nine points in the second quarter but with the defensive effort the lead was 29-18 at the half.
Coal Grove outscored Minford 22-7 in the third quarter and it was 51-25.
The Hornets (2-1) were led by Evan Gannon with 14 points and Cory Borders with 14. Jaylen McKenzie and Aaron Music added eight points each.
“We rebounded really well. We started Nate Harmon and he did well on the boards. We only had 10 in uniform and they all played and they all contributed,” said Vanderhoof.
Ethan Connally scored 12 points and Collin Coriell 10 to pace Minford (0-2).
Coal Grove hosts Portsmouth on Tuesday.
Coal Grove 20 9 22 10 = 61
Minford 18 0 7 18 = 43
COAL GROVE (2-1): Evan Gannon 16, Cory Borders 14, Jaylen McKenzie 8, Aaron Music 8, Payten Smith 6, Ethan Short 4, Nate Harmon 3, Evan Holmes 2, Kyle Sites 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-51 7-18 61. 3-pt goals: 8-17.
MINFORD (0-2): Collin Coriell 10, Cameron Dalton 8, Kelton Kelley 5, Branson Ashley 5, Elijah Vogelsong 3, Tanner Gampp 3, Trenton Zimmerman 3, Ethan Connally 12, Drew Skaggs 2, Jonathon Strickland 2. Totals: 17-49 1-5 43. 3-pt goals: 8-21.