WESTVILLE - It was homecoming Friday night at Yellowjacket Field House, and while the gowns and ladies were things of beauty, the ballgames that followed were not. But while the Colcord boys fell by 30, the Lady Hornets scratched, scraped and overcame some adversity to pull off an incredibly hard fought win.
In deference to the pregame homecoming ceremonies, the boys' game was contested first. After a pair of empty trips up and down the floor by both teams, Westville got on the board with a Hershall Gifford deuce and the Jackets would never look back.
Despite shooting 4-of-13 from inside the arc, Westville, anchored by five of Justin Self's game-high 15, knocked down two of three attempts from the outside to score 15. While the Jackets finally put together some offense, their defense harassed their guests into turning the ball over nine times, scoring only on a trey by Jay Vang and a field goal from Zach Riley.
Leading 15-7, the home team continued to pour it on in the second quarter. Forcing eight more Colcord turnovers, a half dozen Yellow Jackets got together to shoot 8-of-13 from the floor, scoring 21.
While the home team was busy having their best offensive quarter of the game, the Hornets shot 3-of-11 from the field and 0-for-3 from the foul line, scoring only six.
Down 36-13, the visitors needed to score early and often to make a contest of it in the second half. But Westville had other things in mind, as Self exploded for half of his team's 18 third period points. Colcord would turn the ball over 14 more times before the night was ended and only scored five in the third.
The final eight minutes were played out by the respective benches, with Chuck Watson scoring five of the Yellow Jackets' fourth quarter 11. The Hornet reserves scraped together nine for the 63-27 final.
On the heels of the previous 30-point yawner, the near-capacity homecoming crowd stayed around in anticipation of a more competitive lady's contest. For their patience, they were treated to an old-fashioned barnburner. All five Lady Jacket starters teamed up for 5-of-12 deuces and 3-of-5 free throws to score a baker's dozen in the opening frame.
Thanks to eight turnovers Colcord was not able to score until Jordan Pike threw down a three-pointer near the midway point of the first period. But after falling behind 10-0, the Lady Hornets went on a 9-3 run to end the quarter down by four.
Another half dozen turnovers plagued Colcord in a second quarter that saw Westville's Elizabeth Hernandez put in 11 of her game-high 17 points.
The Lady Hornets countered with a big effort out of Kindle Spry that saw her put in three buckets and grab three boards on her way to the game's only double-double. Add to that a pair of Brooklynn Prater deuces with a Shelley Swicegood field goal and the visitors were within six at 28-22 at the break.
After the intermission, Colcord took much better care of the basketball on offense, but the Lady Jacket's Bailey Helm knocked down four of her next five attempts from the floor, accounting for all eight of her team's third quarter points.
The Lady Hornets, however, weren't able to make up any ground as they got only four each by Swicegood and Spry to start the fourth trailing 36-30.
That was where the fun began. Endeavoring to keep the game under control the officials appeared to tighten up their calls and sent the teams to the foul line for a combined 24 times in the fourth. Westville shot an anemic 8-of-15 free throws while Colcord had an abysmal 3-of-9 from the stripe.
But the Lady Hornets were able to connect from the floor getting a critical trey each by Pike and Payton Denny along with Emalee Copeland's old fashion three-point play. The play of the game came with 14.4 remaining in the game, when Swicegood drove the lane, got the bucket to put her team on top for the first time of the night and drew the foul. A stunned lady Yellow Jacket squad truly never got off another good shot, giving Colcord the big come from behind victory.
Both Colcord teams will play at the Afton Tournament on Tuesday. The Lady Hornets will play at 4 p.m. with the Hornets to follow at 5:30. Both games are against Bluejacket.