What a difference one year makes.
Last year, the Medora boys basketball team finished with a record of 4-20. This year, as the Hornets head into sectional play, they have an overall record of 10-12.
Medora won its fourth game on Jan. 13 this year. The Hornets then closed the regular season by winning five of their final six games by an average margin of 25.8 points.
A big reason for the team’s success was not graduating any seniors from last year. The two leading scorers from last year, Shepard Earl and Braxton McCory, returned this season and still led the team in scoring.
Earl is averaging 14.2 points per game, and McCory is averaging 13.0. Eli Sturgill, the third senior on the roster, also is in the starting lineup.
The Hornets then added a lot of young talent. Freshmen Hudson Johnson and Jaxon Nugen both started for the team down the stretch, and they also get contributions from Damian Salas, Dawson Cornett, Eli Lane, Kade Wright and Kacie Inscoe.
There’s more depth than head coach Mark Morin is used to having in his in his eighth year at the helm.
“It’s real nice,” Morin said. “You can kind of use the bench as a teaching tool, and I haven’t had that very often. I like this team. We have a mix of some seniors and some freshmen. It’s really all on them. I have not been around a team that has worked as hard as they have in the offseason.”
As good of a season as Medora has put together, the Hornets are facing a tough task to open up sectional play tonight in the New Washington Sectional.
Shawe Memorial and New Washington will play the first game at 6 p.m., and Medora will play the second game against Rising Sun at 7:30 p.m.
In the five of six games Medora won down the stretch, the one loss in there came to Rising Sun. The game took place Friday, and the Shiners (10-13) dominated in a 72-29 victory.
Medora trailed 21-14 after the first quarter, 38-21 at halftime and 61-24 at the end of the third.
Dylan Martin led Rising Sun with 16 points in the game. Brady Works scored 15, Brody Morris had 10, Nate Elliot 10, Peyton Merica seven, Ben Shorten five, Tanner Peters five and Gavin Shorten four.
For Medora, Earl scored 10, McCory nine, Johnson five, Sturgill three and Nugen two.
Despite the overwhelming different in Friday’s contest, Medora feels like it was a bad game and that its team is much closer to Rising Sun than 43 points.
The Hornets hope to put their best foot forward tonight to keep their season alive.
The winner of Medora and Rising Sun will advance to the sectional semifinal against Crothersville on Friday night.