Maumelle Coach Michael Shook is finding out that his Hornets play down to their competition.
Expected to win their conference games, it has been hard for the Hornets (12-7, 8-0 4A-4) to put opponents away. So for now, Shook just wants Maumelle to win like it is supposed to and win by the 10 points.
"It’s hard for me, and I know it’s hard for the guys to get up," Shook said. "Every game, we know we are the better team. My guys play up and down to the competition, and I don’t care as long as we take care of business."
Last week, the Hornets defeated Dardanelle, 73-56, at home and Waldron, 90-72, on the road. In the Dardanelle meeting, they jumped out to a 22-9 first-quarter margin and led 41-24 at the half. However, the biggest margin they owned was a 20-point cushion which occurred with a little over a minute left in the first half. In the third quarter, a 15-point lead with 2:31 left evaporated to a seven-point cushion until Maumelle put the contest away in the fourth quarter.
Junior JB Minix led the Hornets with 17 points, and senior Nick Cox added 14 as did senior Kendall Donnerson along with 13 rebounds. Shook has been pleased with the play of Minix and Cox.
"We play point guard by committee, and one of them brings the ball up," Shook said. "Together, they get us into transition and both are shooting 40 percent from the three-point line. They have the green light to shoot. Cox has been playing with a lot more confidence, and he is not afraid to run the floor."
At Waldron, Maumelle was down by 13 points before it started playing the way of which it is capable. Shook said it was like oh crap, we are down by 13. The Hornets cut that margin to six at the end of the first stanza. Minix’s 17 points once again led his team with Donnerson adding 15. Senior Derayun Canada chipped in 11 points, and junior Tyshun Robberson contributed 10.
Last night, the Hornets traveled to Pottsville, and the Apaches have become a friendly rival. However, Maumelle was without Minix and Donnerson in the first half as they had technical fouls at Waldron and had to sit out. Friday, the Hornets host Mena and won the first meeting, 75-60.