By Darius Cates
Last Tuesday, the Hornets traveled back to St. James to face the Trojans for the third time in recent weeks.
This time it was for the semi-final of this season’s 4A Area 3 Tournament. The Hornets started off to a rocky start, with foul trouble jeopardizing their play. Similar to the previous two games, the third matchup seemed like a dog fight.
St. James was taking advantage of Bullock County’s penalties by heading to the free-throw line. Although penalties plagued them in the first half, the Hornets stayed close.
They started taking it to the paint and used their size and athletic advantage. By halftime, the Hornets only trailed by one point (28-27). In the last two periods, the dog fight continued.
St. James attacked the inside to benefit from the Hornets’ foul penalties. The Trojans could not convert at the charity strike to extend the league.
KJ Graves took control late in the third quarter with his hot outside shooting knocking down two three-pointers (9 Points total). The Hornets started to lose energy in the fourth quarter.
Not only did they struggle with foul trouble, but it was the offensive end that was troubling for Bullock County. The Hornets stopped moving the ball down low and settled for outside shots.
St. James was able to rotate against the Hornets’ offensive scheme taking away their strength. Towards clutch time, St. James was able to consistently make free throws (two players fouled out) and score fast-break points off turnovers (Hornets finished with 11 turnovers).
In the closing moments of regulation, the Hornets sparked a comeback, but it was a little too late.
In the end, the Hornets took a 59-56 loss ending the 2020-2021 season. De’Kari Anthony finished with 15 points, and Trevone Palmer finished with a double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds.