The Fair Play Hornets claimed the Class 1, District 5 district championship with a 20-point victory over the Everton Tigers. The Hornets pulled ahead early in the first period and led 39-23 at the half.
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The Hornets lit up the scoreboard in the 3rd period with an 11-4 run in the first four minutes, leaving the Tigers to limp into the 4th quarter behind by 29 points (64-35).
The Tigers recovered at the net in the 4th period, but they could not close the deficit enough for a win. The game ended at 76-56.
The Hornets advance to the Class 1 state tournament, facing Macks Creek in sectionals on Tuesday at SBU in Bolivar.
The Tigers may have opened the second-half with an eye on recovering from their 39-23 deficit, but the Hornets stopped that plan cold. Lance Schaffer followed Tristen Williams’ opening basket with a 3-pointer after the Tigers missed on their possession.
The Hornets’ Brody Wicklund followed Schaffer’s trey with another basket. After the Tigers missed three attempts on their next possession, the Hornets’ Brian Smith and Schaffer sank back-to-back baskets. Zach Murphy also contributed to the Hornets’ 3rd quarter 25-12 romp with five points.
Fair Play coach Lynn Long credits the Hornets’ running game.
“We shot well, mainly because we were moving the ball. Sometimes you stand, you get stacked on offense, you settle for a shot. But we got some stuff going hard. We ran the floor. Of course, they’re going to make you run the floor, and that’s the way we play best too,” said Long.
The Hornets’ captain Lance Schaffer led at the net. Schaffer posted 16 of the Hornets’ 19 first-quarter points, with a total of 33 on the night.
“I felt like it was our time,” Long commented about the Hornets’ district win.
The Everton Tigers end their season with a 20-5 record and second-place finish in Class 1 District 5.
Fair Play – 19 20 25 12 -- 76
Everton -- 8 15 12 21 -- 56
Fair Play – Lance Schaffer 33, Brody Wicklund 18, Zach Murphy 9, Jalen Wakefield 7, Tristen Williams 6, Brian Smith 3
Everton – Dave Allen 19, Cody Brewer 10, Bryce Turnbough 10, Logan Brown 7, David Jansen 6, Nich Hurd 4