Johnny O’Brien finishes through contact against Hutchinson

Johnny O’Brien finishes through contact against Hutchinson for a bucket inside, Thursday, Dec. 9.

Hornets boys hoops hosted the Hutchinson Tigers on Thursday, Dec. 9. It was their second game of the season and their first at home. The home opener didn’t go exactly as planned as the Hornets lost 67-53.

The game got away from Big Lake at first, but they battled back in the second half to get the game back to single digits, but turnovers and fouls doomed the blue and gold in a game Johnny O’Brien ended up fouling out after leading them in scoring.

The game opened up with the Tigers hitting a three with the Hornets answering with a three of their own. The Tigers played defense the entire 94 feet and trapped the ball carrier with a double team that required multiple passes just to get the ball past half court for the Hornets.

Using their size and physicality, Hutchinson beat up on Big Lake scoring tons inside the paint. It was a tough shooting half for the Hornets as well. Still hanging around with six minutes left in the first half, the Hornets turned the ball over and the Tigers finished a fast break layup to increase their lead to 26-14.

With under 30 seconds left in the half, Big Lake drilled a three to put them back into striking distance and went into halftime trailing 34-21.

O’Brien opened the second half nailing a catch and shoot three to make it a ten point game.

Kade Layton later drilled a three of his own to cut the deficit to single digits a couple minutes into the half. Playing really scrappy defense, the Hornets were rewarded with some steals and a quick 8-0 run after Isaiah Terlinden scored inside through contact and nailed the free throw to complete the and one opportunity. That got the Hornets to 42-30 six minutes into the second.

Another Hornets steal and Blake Anderson finished through contact, but was unable to sink his and one free throw that would have cut their deficit to ten.

Fighting all night to stay in it, the Hornets continued to commit too many fouls and turnovers.

Layton would hit a three and after another Hornets three ball with 6:27 left to bring the score back to ten, 53-43. About two and a half minutes later another Layton three brought them to within single digits. Ryker Stukenholtz hit his own three with three minutes left making it a 62-53 game, but that’s as close as the comeback attempt would get.

Fouls and turnovers plagued the Hornets as they fell to the Tigers, 67-53.

Despite the loss, the fight Big Lake showed was encouraging. O’Brien was the go-to guy on the court for the Hornets and if Layton and the rest of the bunch can continue to space the floor and open up the inside against the zone defenses in high school, the Hornets could become a dangerous team.

O’Brien led the Hornets with 15 points. Kade Layton and Joe Stepp were next with nine points each. Mitchell Hill had eight.

Next for boys Hornets hoops this week are home games against 0-4 Rocori on Tuesday and 4-1 Mounds View on Saturday.

Big Lake 70, Sauk Rapids-Rice 76

The Hornets opened up a season with a loss on the road against the Storm on Tuesday, Dec. 7. No stats were available.

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