For the first time since 2010, the Hackett Sr High Hornets will be making an appearance in the State Basketball Tournament. “To be able to make the state tournament my first year here is such a blessing but more importantly I’m so happy for my guys,” expressed first-year Hackett coach, Kent Elmore. “They bought into a new system and have given me a lot of joy this season. A decade is too long to stay away from the big dance and we plan to make the state tournament a standard for Hackett basketball.”
The Hornets have come a long way in their basketball season facing many ups and downs but now the cards are starting to fall beautifully into place. Hackett got a big win in their Regional match-up with Yellville Thursday night by pulling away from the Panthers at the end for a final score of 48-42. Helping to punch their ticket to State was Cash Oliver with 16 points followed by Dylan Kats with 12, Zach Gragg with 11, Jake Fisher with four, Austin Cowell with three, and Tyler Satterfield with two.
“The game prep we were able to have after last week was a huge help for us. We were able to break down a lot of game film and have a plan put in place for us to be successful. Coach Adams did a great job helping me find weaknesses in their game. Our guys don’t want the season to end and that’s a great attitude to have this part of the season. When I walked in the locker room after the win my senior captain, Dylan Kats, wasn’t satisfied. That’s the attitude I love to see. We struggled early last night and late in the game we had seniors step up on both sides of the floor. Cash Oliver gave us a huge spark. He was a pest on the defensive end and was able to boost us offensively. I have three sophomores on the floor a majority of the time and no one would ever be able to tell. They have stepped up in their roles and play very maturely.”
The Hornets will continue Regional play in the semi-finals at Eureka Springs tonight, February 28 at 8:30 p.m. against rivals the Lavaca Arrows. “I have always liked our match-ups against Lavaca. We have given them two great games and I fully intend the third game being in our favor. We have to stay composed and limit their second chance opportunities. The offense will come to us throughout the game. We have to win this game on the defensive side of the ball.” The winner of tonight’s game will go on to face either Flippin or Hector in the championship round on Saturday at 7:30. The loser will rally for a third-place victory on Saturday at 1:30.
Photos courtesy of Becky Satterfield