By Darius Cates
On November 13, 2020, Bullock County began the 2020-2021 basketball season versus Russell County Warriors.
The Hornets started a new era with new head coach Kelvin Graves.
“I’m a Bullock County native, and I played here in Bullock County, which makes it even sweeter to come back home and coach my home team,” said Graves.
There were many new faces on the squad this year and returning players playing a more significant role.
In the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, the game did not start with the traditional jump ball.
Instead, the game started with the Warriors taking the ball out from the sideline.
It was a fast-paced first half with both squads moving up and down with a quick offensive tempo. On the defensive end, both teams had a strategy to play full-court press. Bullock County was draining three after three extending the lead.
Not to be outdone, Russell County kept momentum on their own by driving to the basket with ease and finding the open cutter down low. The game was close.
Both teams were evenly matched, but the Hornets had a 36-33 lead by halftime.
The intensity of the game continued in the second half. Bullock County remained to rain in the threes behind the arc.
The Hornet’s defense shut down Russell County’s penetration to the lane and got defensive rebounds preventing second-chance points.
There were points in competition where the Hornets took a double-digit lead.
At the end of the third quarter, it was looking like an exciting fourth quarter.
With under four minutes to go in regulation, the Hornets had a ten points lead, but the young age played a role.
The threes were no longer hitting, and turnovers plague them on offense (Nineteen total turnovers).
On the defensive side of the ball, Bullock County could not stop the Warriors’ inside drive.
In 2:07 to go in the game, Russell County took a one-point lead after a free throw. In the midst of the Warrior’s run, the energy of the Hornets had been drained. Russell County took the 70-66 win.
Coach Graves stated after the game, “We have a great young team. We can play with anybody. I think we have the potential to be pretty good. Being a 4A school competing with a 6A school tonight will help us in the long run.”