By Darius Cates
On Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, the Hornets faced the Valley High School Rams at home. The Hornets came to this game winless so far in the season, looking for their first victory.
From the opening of the game, it was evident that it would be a tremendous battle. The Rams displayed pure speed and athleticism. They even showed their outside range shooting behind the three-point line.
However, Bullock County gains momentum with defense turning into transition points. The game was competitive yet low scoring, with the score being tied 13 apiece at the end of the first quarter. In the second period, the pace of the game started to slow down. Both teams got into foul trouble throughout the quarter, turning the game into a free throw contest (Hornets finished 10-18).
Heading towards the end of the first half, the game picked up intensity. Both Hornets and Rams found ways to cut through their opponent’s defense to score in the paint. The Hornets had a close 29-28 lead by halftime. It was a faster tempo in the second half.
Each team gained extra points due to their hustle plays on the floor. Players were diving on the hardwood, playing tough physical defense, even a moment of healthy competitive banter from both squads. The Hornets still held on a 44-40 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Bullock County began to pull away with quick scoring down low. Junior Dekarie Anthony hit huge shots beyond the perimeter and finished with 15 points, four assists, and four rebounds. With a little over two and a half minutes in regulation, Valley started a comeback. The Rams tied the game 53 -53 with 2:09 to go in regulation. They took a two-point lead (58-56) with 42 seconds to go.
With 26 seconds remaining, Trevone Palmer was fouled going up for a layup. The game was down to four seconds, and Palmer had a chance to tie the game with two free throws. He made the first but missed the second to send the game to overtime.
After the Hornets’ foul, the Rams shielded the game with two shots from the charity strike (Hornets were over the foul limit). The Hornets fail short 60-57 to Valley in a great nail biter. Sophomore KJ Graves also put up numbers finishing with 15 points and three assists.