Hilltoppers end Hornets’ season

Struggling to win basketball games all season, the Medora girls basketball team was always in for an uphill battle on Tuesday night.

In a rematch against Shawe Memorial, the Hornets mustered up a handful of points, but were unable to keep pace with the Hilltoppers, falling 43-22.

Medora started the season with nine girls on the team, but injuries and players leaving put the number of healthy players down to seven and later to six.

For a stretch in December, the Hornets played three games in as many days with just six players.

In the final three weeks of the season, they were down to just five players and forced to cancel their final two games before Tuesday’s sectional opener due to not having a healthy starting five.

Needless to say, this season has been especially hard on the players that stuck around for all 16 games.

“It’s easy for me to yell get back, do this and do that,” Medora coach Brad McCammon said. “But when you don’t have the bench, the girls just don’t have the stamina.”

Senior Kelsey Turner, junior Kaitlyn Cobb, sophomore Jarey Babcock and freshmen Mariah and Maria Cobb are the five that kept at it all season long.

McCammon is proud of the those girls that continued to show up day after day.

“When you get down to five, it’s a gut check,” McCammon said. “It’s been tough, and when we got down to five, I asked them, ‘Do you want to continue the season?’ They said, ‘Yes, we want to finish it out,’ and they did, and I’m very proud of the effort they gave.”

With so few players, McCammon noted he’s had to practice at times with the junior high team.

He hopes with a handful of players returning coupled with early experience from potential incoming freshmen will bode well for the Hornets for the 2020-21 season.

“It’s making them better,” McCammon said of the junior high girls practicing with the high school girls. “ Selfishly, it lets me know what I’ve got coming up next season.”

Mariah Cobb led the Hornets with 17 points, while Kelsey Turner added four. Jarey Babcock rounded the scoring with one.