Playing two days in a row last week, the Maumelle Hornets extended their winning streak to six games before hosting conference leader Pottsville last night.
With last Tuesday’s game being cancelled because of the weather, the Hornets (11-9, 7-1 4A-4 prior to last night’s game) made up their contest at Dardanelle last Saturday. Prior to the 66-28 victory over Dardenelle, Maumelle defeated Waldron, 71-53, last Friday. The Waldron matchup was the second meeting for the two schools, and the Hornets had a chip on their shoulder as the Bulldogs at the time were ranked sixth in the Democrat-Gazette. Maumelle won the first meeting by six points.
"Waldron is no longer sixth," Maumelle Coach Michael Shook said. "CAC has moved into that spot. We took care of the ball better, and our press turned the ball over more. The first time we played them man, and they shot 11 threes. We took care of the 3-point shot, but I believe their big man scored 27 points."
Freshman Shawn Williams led the Hornets with 12 points, and senior Jeremy Collins added 11 points as 12 of the 14 players scored. Against Dardanelle, junior forward Kendall Donnerson netted 14 points with several players with eight points and six points. In that game, it was important for the Hornets to focus and not overlook the Sand Lizards.
"It was 25-0 before they scored," Shook said. "It was a game after a big win over number six and before the Pottsville game. I told the guys to not worry about what was coming up and what we did."
Going into last night’s contest, Pottsville owned an 8-0 league record while Maumelle was second at 7-1. It was the second meeting and Pottsville won, 62-54, on Dec. 4. However, the Hornets are different since that first matchup. They run more zone defense now and not as much man as they did the first time they played Pottsville. Also, the players are shooting and taking care of the ball better.
"I think the other thing is I was personally still trying to figure out certain situations," Shook said. "Looking at the film, I had people in the wrong situations. Now, when we get in tough situations, I know who is comfortable and who isn’t."
Shook has also been experimenting with the starting lineup, but now has used the same one the last three games. Right now, the five are sophomore guard JB Minix, sophomore guard/forward Tyshun Robinson, sophomore forward Gary Burton, senior guard/forward Cole Thomas and Donnerson.
"This is tallest possible line up I can have and playing a zone, the length has helped us," Shook said. "It’s nice to have six or seven who can start, and everyone has a chance and gets to play. I think the guys are starting to see when we play as a team what we are capable of."
The Hornets travel to Mena on Friday.