Hornets nab tourney title
Nashville completes 4-0 week, defeats host Wesclin, 61-52
Columbia rallies past Lebanon in overtime for third
TRENTON – The Nashville Hornets captured the title of the 19th annual Wesclin/Lebanon Thanksgiving Tournament on Saturday night with a 61-52 win over the host Warriors.

Coach Brad Weathers' club wasn't perfect on this night, but his 4-0 club had very few flaws.

In the victory the Hornets committed just three turnovers and, despite missing three consecutive free throws in the final quarter, the defense didn't allow the missed opportunities to spoil the championship party.

In this storied history of this basketball program, Nashville always seems to have a good post player who will do damage on both ends of the floor.

This season Brogan Kemp, a 6-foot-6 senior, has stepped into that role.

Kemp netted 23-points to lead Nashville and he grabbed eight rebounds as well.

He also led a stingy defensive effort with three key blocked shots, he did this while also dealing with foul trouble which put him on the bench for parts of the second half.

While Kemp was doing damage to the Warriors on the inside, 6-foot-3 senior Ryan Brink led the outside attack with 13-points, including three 3-pointers.

Also hitting some key long range shots on the night, 6-foot-3 sophomore Bryce Bultman ended up with 12-points (two 3-pointers) in the title game triumph.

Even in defeat the Wesclin Warriors showed signs of a bright future.

Starting four juniors and a sophomore, the young guns held their own with Nashville.

The top marksman on the night for Coach Brent Brede was 6-foot-4 junior Hunter Ottensmeier, who netted a game-best 25-points for the 3-1 Warriors.

Six-foot-five sophomore Nate Brede added 11-points in the defeat, that was nearly a win except for a slight scoring lull at the end of the third quarter in which Nashville took hold of the lead and never gave it back.

Mick Stephens, a 6-foot-3 junior, and 6-foot-2 junior Justin Kellogg added six-points each while Stephens grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

“I thought as hard as they (Wesclin) are to guard, the Ottensmeier kid is a matchup problem for us. He is big enough that if you have a guard on him he takes it inside, if you put a big kid on him he goes outside and hits 3's. But we got some stops at crunch time when we got a little bit of a lead,” said Coach Weathers.

Nashville fired off the first big run of the night, breaking a 4-4 tie with a 7-0 swing.

Kemp scored a pair of baskets in the move on an offensive rebound stick back and a score from the left block.

Kemp (1-of-2) and Brink combined for 3-of-4 from the stripe and an 11-4 advantage at the 3:31 mark.

But Wesclin closed the frame strong, due to Ottensmeier getting loose for a trio of 3-point bombs to close the gap.

Two from the left corner and a one from right wing on an assist from junior guard Brandon Courtney with just :02 left in the quarter closed the frame at 16-14 Nashville.

Wesclin evened the contest just :12 into the second quarter on a pair of free throws by Brede.

Then the two teams traded baskets for the next three and a half minutes, producing three tie scores and three Nashville two-point leads.

After consecutive buckets by Kemp gave the Hornets a four-point spread, Wesclin answered with a charge that got them back the lead for a brief moment.

A free throw by Courtney, a baseline drive by Stephens and a pair of baskets by Ottensmeier gave the Warriors a 29-28 lead with :51 remaining in the half.

The second score from Ottensmeier was on a fast-break off an outlet pass from Stephens, one of the few transition baskets allowed by Nashville in the title tilt.

Kemp again put points on the board with a drive in the lane for a 30-29 halftime lead.

Nashville managed to answer every Wesclin attempted scoring run in the third quarter with points of their own.

Junior guard Brandon Schnitker nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing to give Nashville back the lead at 35-32 while Bultman hit a pair of big 3-pointers as he netted eight-points in the quarter.

The Hornets broke the game's last tie (39-all) with a Bultman 3-point bomb from the left wing beginning a 12-4 run.

Brink also added two outside bombs and when Bultman added a 20-footer from the left wing with just :03 left, the Hornets were in business at 51-44 heading to the final frame.

Despite Kemp going to the pine with his third personal at 5:08 of the quarter, the Hornets found other ways to get things done.

They went to a long-range attack where they were successful (4-of-5 from the arc) to take control of the game.

Kemp came back into the game to begin the quarter but he was called for an offensive foul with 6:19 left.

Nevertheless, as they had done in the third quarter, his teammates quickly picked up the offensive slack.

After back-to-back scores by Ottensmeier, the Hornets used the clock to their advantage by running their offense in a more patient way.

Senior guard Hayden Heggemeier scored on an inbounds play on an assist from Bultman and Kemp added another score to the title game resume.

His bucket in the paint extended the advantage to eight-points.

Wesclin committed a costly turnover on its next possession and the Hornets proceeded to run almost two minutes off of the clock before Kemp grabbed an offensive rebound for his final points of the night for a 57-47 lead with just 1:21 left.

Coach Weathers' club could have slammed the door shut a bit sooner in the final 1:19 but they uncharacteristically missed three consecutive front ends of 1-and-1's.

Unfortunately for Coach Brede's bunch, they couldn't take advantage of the opportunities.

After the second missed free throw, Ottensmeier drove the lane for what seemed like a sure score only to have his shot rejected by Kemp from behind.

Nashville finally put together a string of made free throws (4-of-4 from Bultman and Brink) to seal the nine-point championship conquest.

“I think our big kids played well tonight and I think that compliments our guards. I know we missed a couple of free throws and Bultman missed two of them. He is one of our best free throw shooters and he recovered from that,” said Coach Weathers, talking about Bultman making two straight in the final minute.

Nashville ended up shinning on both sides of the coin on this night.

The Hornets hit 24-of-41 from the floor (58.5 percent) and were 6-of-11 from the 3-point line (54.5 percent).
They held a slight rebounding edge 20-18 and after two first quarter turnovers, they had just one miscue in the final 24 minutes of action.

Wesclin played a very good game also hitting a slightly lower, yet respectable percentage.

The Warriors finished 17-of-37 overall (45.9 percent) but were a pretty good 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) from the arc.

They committed just seven turnovers themselves in what was a very cleanly played offensive game by both championship caliber teams.

The Hornets head back to the floor next week with a road game in the SIRR Mississippi Division at Anna-Jonesboro on Friday and then a Saturday hosting of long-time rival Waterloo Gibault.

The Warriors host 3A Mascoutah on Tuesday and then go to Columbia in Cahokia Conference Mississippi Division play on Friday night.

Wesclin topped Columbia in the tournament, 61-52, on Wednesday night, the exact same score as its title game defeat against Nashville.

“Coming in, on paper, I didn't know if we could beat them unless we really played well and tonight we did. They have some weapons now, they have some players that are hard to stop,” said Coach Weathers. “They can score a lot of points. I never felt comfortable until about :25 to go.”

Wesclin (52) – Kalmer 0 0 0-0 0, Rakers 0 0 0-0 0, Stephens 2 0 2-2 6, Courtney 0 0 4-6 4, Ottensmeier 7 3 2-3 25, Kellogg 1 1 1-2 6, Brede 0 3 2-2 11.
2FG-10, 3FG-7, FT-11-15, PF-16.

Nashville (61) – Schnitker 0 1 0-1 3, Heggemeier 2 0 2-2 6, Bultman 2 2 2-4 12, Carson Parker 0 0 0-0 0, Brink 1 3 2-2 13, Cameron Parker 0 0 0-0 0, Briles 2 0 0-0 4, Kemp 11 0 1-2 23.
2FG-18, 3FG-6, FT-7-13, PF-14.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.

The Eagles rebounded from losses to Nashville and Wesclin this week to finish 2-2 in the event with a rally for an overtime win over the Greyhounds in the third place game.

Coach Mark Sandstrom's club trailed early and went into halftime down 11-points to the 1A Lebanon team.

However the Eagles rallied to force overtime and took control in the extra session in what turned out to be a 22-point swing.

Six-foot-six sophomore Jon Peterson netted 27-points in the win, including nine-points in the fourth quarter and another basket in the OT.

Senior guard Greg Long hit for 16-points, with 4-of-6 free throws in the overtime session to help secure the victory.

Lebanon (1-3) got 16-points from junior Derrick Guthrie and 14-markers from junior Logan Schieppe in the loss.

Lebanon (54) – Jones 4 0 1-4 9, Schieppe 3 2 2-2 14, D. Krumsieg 3 0 3-5 9, Bennett 1 0 0-0 2, Guthrie 0 5 1-2 16, L. Krumsieg 1 0 0-0 2, Grob 1 0 0-0 2, Rappolee 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-13, 3FG-7, FT-7-13, PF-26.

Columbia (65) – Peterson 11 0 5-8 27, Germain 0 0 2-4 2, Long 5 0 6-8 16, Worley 0 0 0-1 0, Hubler 0 0 0-0 0, Knox 5 0 1-3 11, van Breusegen 2 0 2-4 6, Khoury 1 0 1-4 3, Heubner 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-11, 3FG-5, FT-8-12, PF-15.

Fouled Out – Bennett, Guthrie - Lebanon.
Technical Fouls – None.
The All-Tournament team consisted of Kemp and Brink of Nashville, Courtney and Ottensmeier of Wesclin, Jason Holmes and Jon Peterson of Columbia and David Krumsieg of Lebanon.