Hornets sneak by with last-second win



Hitting a game-winning 3-pointer often is the dream of a basketball player.

Doing it on senior night makes it even sweeter.

With less than a second left on the clock in Friday’s home game against Christel House Academy, Medora senior Gavin Henson shot a 3-pointer from the right wing and made it. He also was fouled on the play with 0.1 seconds left in the game.

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He missed the free throw, but the Golden Eagles didn’t have time to shoot, and Medora won 52-50.

In late December, Medora lost to the same team 70-33 in a holiday tournament at Edinburgh.

“I’m still feeling it,” Henson said with a big smile of what it meant to hit the shot to give his team the win.

“It feels great,” he said. “It was on my bucket list to hit a game-winning shot. It’s off now.”

Knowing it was senior night and his last home game, Henson said he came into the game with the mindset of playing his hardest.

In making the shot in the corner, Henson was heavily defended but found a way to make it fall.

“A lot of teams would have panicked and taken the shot with eight seconds to go,” Hornets coach Mark Morin said. “They milked it down a little too long for me, but they kept making that extra pass, and it was kind of fitting that (Henson) hit in the corner.”

Trailing 38-33 going into the fourth quarter, Medora (4-19) used a strong transition game and drove to the basket to tie the game at 46 and 48, the latter coming with 1:35 to go.

On the ensuing play, the Golden Eagles’ 6-foot-5 senior, Jeff Davis, made a basket inside the paint for a two-point lead.

Medora turned the ball over with 16.8 seconds to go and was forced to foul a couple of times to get Christel House Academy to the free throw line.

Jerome Hilliard missed the front end of a one-and-one with 10.8 seconds to go, and Medora’s J.D. Fish grabbed the rebound.

The Hornets moved the ball around the court until it landed in Henson’s hands for the big shot of the night.

“That’s the team that has been showing up in practice, and we’ve never put it in game time,” Morin said. “That’s the best full game that we’ve played all year. Normally, when we make one mistake, we make four or five in a row, but tonight, we might have made two in a row, but we bounced back.”

Slow starts to the first two quarters and careless turnovers limited the Hornets to 20 points in the first half.

A 3-pointer and two free throws by Owen Sullivan in the final minute, however, pulled Medora within 25-20 at the break.

In the third quarter, the Hornets played turnover-free. They also became more aggressive in transition. Sullivan made three baskets, Henson made two and Fish had a field goal and a free throw.

Medora, however, still trailed by five going into the final eight minutes.

That’s when they kept the foot on the gas and finished strong.

“What I liked is 52 points is like 100 the way we’ve been scoring, so that was great,” Morin said. “We started the game off and we were just shooting 3s. I don’t mind shooting 3s, especially when they are going in. You’ve got to mix it up a little bit.

“They just kept plugging along,” he said. “That says a lot about them. I was happy for them. Really, I couldn’t be more proud of these guys.”

Fish led all scorers with 21 points, followed by Sullivan with 17 and Henson with 12.

Hilliard led Christel House Academy (4-19) with 18 points, and Davis added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Howie Loggins had a game-high 16 rebounds.

Morin said the win is great going into Tuesday’s sectional game at Edinburgh against Shawe Memorial, which only beat the Hornets by five in the season-opener.

“That’s a game that we’ve got a chance to compete,” he said. “And if we play like this, I think we can hang in the game.”

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