No matter what happens this week, the Maumelle Hornets have the number two seed into next week’s 4A-4 district tournament wrapped up.
Last night, the Hornets (15-9, 11-1) hosted Dardanelle for senior night. On Friday, they finish league play at home against Subiaco. Even if they would lose both contests, they would finish second in the conference and get one of the two automatic berths to regional play. But, two victories make them conference co-champs. (That is if Pottsville also wins out).
"I would like to win both," Maumelle Coach Michael Shook said. "It will be neck and neck who gets the one seed and who gets the two seed. If we would win both our games by 10 points, I think we could get the one seed."
Maumelle and Pottsville split during the regular season and with the same eight-point margin. Now it comes down to points against the other league teams with 10 points being the maximum. The one and two seeds get byes to the semifinals in next week’s district tournament and thus get automatic bids to the regional tournament which will be hosted by Maumelle.
The thing Shook wants the Hornets to concentrate on this week is to not take any team for granted. He sees that the league opponents have been better the second time around and wants the Hornets to not get caught up in whom they are playing.
"In the district tournament, it will be the third time we will have played (the opponent)," Shook said. "It’s hard to beat someone three times in a row. We can’t underestimate anyone and have to play hard."
Last Tuesday’s contest at Dover was rescheduled to Wednesday because of the threat of severe weather. Because Dover was shooting well, the Hornets pulled out a 78-72 victory. Junior Kendall Donnerson was the leading scorer with 25 points, and freshman Shawn Williams chipped in 18. Senior Cole Thomas and sophomore JB Minix reached double digits with 10 points.
"It was one of those games where the kids played hard and executed what we wanted to do, but they (Dover) shot extremely well," Shook said. "They forced us out of our zone and had two guys with hands in their faces and were still knocking them down. Looking back over their stats, they hadn’t scored over the 50’s all year."
Last Friday’s home contest with Booneville was a 72-45 victory for Maumelle. Donnerson finished with 18 points, Minix added 16, Williams contributed 11 and Tyshun Robinson and Kendall Terry chipped in 10. While the contest ended up being a blowout, it didn’t start out that way.
"I try to not call a timeout in the first half, but in the first two minutes of the game we were playing like a word I can’t use," Shook said. "I think I called a timeout one minute into the game. After that, we started playing harder but still not the way we were capable. At the three-to-four minute mark, we were doing what we are supposed to do."