Rock’s end Hornets’ season

Published 5:44 pm Thursday, February 15, 2007

Poplarville was the last team in Division 8-4A to start it’s season on the basketball court.

And, unfortunately for the Hornets, they were the first squad to see its season come to an end as well.

Poplarville fell for the third time this season to St. Stanislaus, losing 85-71 to the Rockachaws in the first game of the Division 8-4A Tournament Monday afternoon.

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The defeat ends the Hornets’ year at an even 11-11, and sends SSC into the state playoffs as well as into the semifinals of the event on Thursday.

The loss ended a season of adversity for the Hornets, whose season was delayed two weeks because most of the squad was on the football team that made it to the second round of the state playoffs and then they lost two of their top players to an injury and grades as well.

“We didn’t quit, but it wasn’t quite the type of year we expected to have,” veteran Poplarville head coach John Miller said. “Because of different reasons, we just never were able to get into any type of rhythm, we could never get anything sustained going. But those things happen, it’s part of the game.”

Despite all of the problems this season, the Hornets jumped out to a one point halftime lead on SSC at 33-32, thanks to 14 first half points from standout senior Ike Bowden.

“I was concerned,” said SSC head coach Jay ladner. “We’d already beaten them twice this year, and I don’t like facing a team in the first round after that’s happened. They played well, we just had a pretty good third quarter.”

Indeed. The Rock’s used a 22-4 run in the third frame to take a 60-44 lead with less than a minute to play before the start of the fourth quarter.

“We missed some wide open shots to start the quarter, and they made us pay,” Miller added. “You can’t miss easy shots like that as much as we did and expect to win.”

The Hornets were able to cut the deficit to seven in the final stanza, at 76-69 on a Bowden 3-pointer with 1:30 to play, but could never get any closer.

The Hornets were at a disadvantage inside, with their tallest player the 6-foot Bowden. SSC’s 6-foot-4 center Thomas Carmago and 6-foot-3 forward Jeremiah Morgan were able to take advantage of that situation.

Carmago scored 14 points in the first quarter alone, and finished with 31. Morgan added 15 and Pedro Maciel scored 18 for the winners.

Bowden made his last hoops game with Poplarville a big one despite the loss, as he tallied a game high 32 points in the defeat.

Lavelle Henry added 16 for the Hornets and Pierre Raines chipped in 15.