Hornets grind down ‘Dogs, stopped by Rockets
The Colby Hornets split their final conference games of the season, defeating Granton on the road on Tuesday, but falling on the road in Spencer last week Friday to finish the season with an 8-8 mark in league play.
The Hornets came into their Friday night conference clash with the Rockets hoping to play spoiler. Spencer had other ideas, and after a slow start, quickly mounted a comeback to sweep the season series.
Colby had dropped their last two games, but Spencer had pulled off a shocking upset in their prior game, knocking off the Neillsville Warriors by one point.
As a result, the Rockets had all the motivation in the world, knowing a win over Colby would mean a share of the Eastern Cloverbelt title.
Colby forced the Rockets to earn the victory, and the Hornets, held a 31-29 advantage at the break.
The lead would not last long, and with Colby committing 27 turnovers, Spencer had ample opportunity to get back into the game. Fouls also became a factor, with Spencer rewarded with multiple trips to the charity stripe.
“We had a two point lead at half, and it should have been more,” Hornets head coach Jimmy Flink said. “We got fouled on our last two possessions, and didn’t get the calls. Then the second half the fouls were 8-0 with eight minutes left. Overall, fouls in the second half were 14 to five, and we shot four free throws and Spencer shot 18.”
Those free throws allowed Spencer back into the game, and even with the Hornets converting almost 50 percent of their shots, the Rockets out-scored Colby 32-20 to prevail 61-51.
Connor Jeske had a huge game, scoring a team high 17 points. Harley Schmelzer tallied nine points, Brent Jeske had eight points and Isaac Karl and Richard Streveler had six apiece.
Gavino Lopez and Roman Schmitt rounded things out with three and two points.
The Colby Hornets snapped a three game losing skid with a lop-sided road win over conference rival Granton on Tuesday.
Colby controlled the proceedings from start to finish, racing out to a 34-19 advantage at the break. The Hornets continued to apply the pressure into the second half, holding the Bulldogs to under double digits until almost the very end.
Colby snapped off 42 points while holding Granton to just 13 points in the second half as just four Bulldogs scored all game long.
Colby on the other hand saw a plethora of Hornets with their names in the scorer’s column. Brent Jeske scored a game high 14 points, as older brother Connor had 12.
Gavino Lopez and Roman Schmitt finished with nine apiece, Harley Schmelzer scored eight and Noah Robida pitched in with seven. Jaden Underwood tallied six points, Richard Streveler had five points and Brandon Voelker added four points.
The Hornets will host Fall Creek at 7:15 p.m. this Thursday in the Cloverbelt Crossover. Colby holds a ninth seed in the postseason, and will play Pacelli on March 3 at 7 p.m.