Hornets start strong but can’t finish in road loss

BLOOMINGTON — The Medora boys basketball got off to a good start Monday night at Bloomington Lighthouse Christian Academy, but the Hornets struggled after the first quarter in their eventual 68-24 loss.

It was Shepard Earl’s aggressiveness on the glass and in the paint early that allowed Medora to be competitive against the Lions early on.

Earl scored four first-quarter points, and it was Braxton McCory who heated up toward the end of the quarter. He hit two midrange jump shots, and then drilled a 3-pointer to put Medora out in front 12-9.

Bloomington Lighthouse scored a basket with 10 seconds left to cut the lead to one, but Medora led 12-11 after the first quarter.

“We were just hitting some shots,” head coach Mark Morin said after the game.

But that was the last time the Hornets led in the ball game.

Bloomington Lighthouse turned it on in the second quarter, outscoring Medora 26-4 in the quarter to take a 37-16 lead into the locker room.

“They were a lot more aggressive,” Morin said. “I thought we made some improvements, but tonight, their pressure was up a notch and we didn’t handle it very well.”

The Lions increased their pressure on the Hornets, getting easy baskets in the transition. They also got the lead thanks to the hot shooting from Will Wickstrom, who hit four 3-pointers in the first half to lead all scorers with 17 points.

Bloomington Lighthouse committed 13 fouls in the first half, and Medora got to the line 19 times, but the Hornets couldn’t take advantage, making just seven of those free throws.

“We were in the double bonus early,” Morin said. “We kind of would’ve been in the game if we could hit some free throws.”

In the second half, the Hornets could only muster up four points in each quarter.

McCory led the team with 12 points, Earl scored seven (five coming from the line), Eli Sturgill scored two, Kacie Inscoe two and Dawson Cornette one.

Morin said the team needs more from Earl.

“We need something out of Shepard Earl,” Morin said. “This wasn’t one of his better games.”

The Hornets, now 2-7 on the season, will be playing again this Friday and Saturday in the Southern Roads Conference Tournament.

“We’ve made some improvements (since the start of the year),” Morin said. “I thought we played a heck of a game on Friday (against Dugger Union). But then like this happens and you scratch your head.”