Some might call it a Cinderella story, but everyone knows glass slippers aren’t allowed on the court. This is Hackett Hornet basketball and the only glass allowed to be on the floor is from a shattering backboard. Although there were no backboards being shattered Tuesday night, the Hornets did raise the roof as they defeated the once undefeated Charleston Tigers 41-36.
The Hornets took to the hardwood on a mission to make a statement to the rest of their 3A opponents. Charleston being a premier program was just the team Hackett needed for that purpose. Hackett played aggressive defense and tacked on some sure shots but pulling away from the Tigers wasn’t easy. Charleston attempted to get their high-scoring offense in order, but the Hornets defense built a nest around the goal forcing the Tigers to earn the hard points. Hackett kept their mental mistakes at bay which kept Charleston from getting easy steals and turnovers.
With showstopper Jake Fisher out for the game, the Hornets leaned on their entire bench to step up. Charleston had to face a hungry Hornet squad who was ready to cut their teeth against the best. If that wasn’t intimidating enough for Charleston, they were also faced with a healed up Ethan “Superman” Slavens. And then there was the one, the only, THE “Awesome” Austin Cowell who nearly owned the scoreboard all night.
Head Coach, Kent Elmore said “This was a huge win for our boys. Our team finally turned a corner as far as energy and execution. The pure effort in our players was by far the biggest factor in the game. We made Charleston uncomfortable on our defensive side of the ball. We were still without one of our starters, but our boys stepped up and showed that next man up mentality. I’m very proud of our bench. They all played a huge role in this win to get us this victory and back in the win column.”
“Awesome” Austin Cowell had the book keeper sharpening their pencil every three seconds with his powerful court skills and led the Hornets in scoring hanging 18 points on the Tigers defense. Ethan “Superman” Slavens and Ty Smith paired up for 7 hard-fought points apiece. Cash Oliver was money against Charleston as he sank 5 points. And Fisher Shipman rounded out the scoring with 4 points in the game. The big win brings the Hornets to an overall record of 3-6 and 2-3 in conference. But don’t let that record fool you. With the confidence built by beating Charleston Tuesday night, the Hackett faithful might as well draw a line across every team listed above Charleston on their schedules because this is a new Hornet team. That being the case, the Hornet’s “New Game 2” will be Friday, January 15 as they take on the 2019 defending 3A Champions, the Waldron Bulldogs.