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Hornets advance to region quarterfinal
Brandon Keno splits the MacArthur defense and drops in a shot for East Central. The Hornets defeated the Brahmas 80-75 for the area championship.
SAN ANTONIO -- After earning playoff victories over O’Connor and MacArthur, the East Central Hornet boys basketball team has punched its ticket to the region quarterfinals.
The Hornets began their playoff run Feb. 17, with a bi-district matchup against O’Connor. The two teams squared off at South San High School, and gave fans quite a show en route to a 55-52 final score.
East Central got things rolling in the first period, but O’Connor stayed close. The Hornets held a 12-9 lead after the first eight minutes, but then improved upon things in the second. East Central nearly doubled up on O’Connor in the second stanza, outscoring the Panthers 11-6, and taking a 23-15 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
The Panthers came out strong in the third period, though, and the scoring tempo quickened. East Central didn’t quite keep pace with O’Connor, but still held a 38-33 lead going into the final period of play.
O’Connor again outscored East Central in the fourth period, but only by a basket, and the first-half lead proved large enough for the Hornets, as East Central secured a 55-52 victory.
Senior Jeremy Jones led the way with 16 points, followed by Ceddrick Ali with 12 points. Brandon Keno was good for 9 points, and Brandon McClure tossed in another 8.
The bi-district win put East Central into the area championship with MacArthur, and the Hornets once again celebrated victory, this time by the final score of 80-75.
East Central started the game well, dropping in 19 points in the first eight minutes. MacArthur struggled to keep pace, though, and managed just 10 first-period points. The lead continued to grow for East Central in the second period, as the Hornets outscored the Brahmas 22-14 in the second, and took a big 41-24 lead into the break.
When the teams came back to the floor for the third period, though, things looked a whole lot different. The Brahmas came out as a different team, and proceeded to light up the scoreboard with 26 points. The Hornets lost ground throughout the period, scoring just 15 points, as they watched their lead dwindle to just 6 points.
Head Coach Jeff Sweet and the Hornets knew they had to pick things up in the fourth, and that is exactly what they did. While the Brahmas still managed to outscore the Hornets in the fourth, it was just by a single point. Although MacArthur outscored East Central 25-24 in the fourth, the Hornets were able to hold on for the 80-75 victory.
Five different Hornets managed double-digit scoring nights. Ali led the way with 20 points, followed by McClure with 17. Keno scored 12 points, Jones dropped in 11, and Albert Jimenez was good for another 10.
The Hornets advance to the region quarterfinals following the area win, and were set to square off with the Madison Mavericks on Feb. 25 at the Alamo Convocation Center. Results were unavailable at press time, but can be found online at www.wilsoncountynews.com.
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