For the third consecutive year, Highland Rim’s Hornets have won the County Tournament basketball championship.
Friday night, the Hornets defeated South Lincoln’s Eagles, 45-31. The tournament was held at Ninth Grade Academy.
Highland Rim is coached by Heath DeHart. South Lincoln is led by Coach Titus Wright.
The Hornets wrapped up their regular season undefeated at 8-0 and the number one seed going into the tournament. The Eagles were the two seed with a 5-3 regular season record.
South Lincoln advanced to the championship game defeating Flintville, 35-25, on Tuesday night. Highland Rim got a bye in the first round and won over Unity, 68-28, on Thursday night.
In the first quarter of the championship, the Hornets won the period, 6-4.
With 2:35 in the second, the Eagles took the lead for the first time, up 11-10. The lead would go back and forth seven times in the remainder of the period. With 40 seconds on the clock, Brad Alford dropped one from the line, and the Hornets were up 19-17 at the break. Both teams added 13 to the board in the quarter.
The Eagles knotted it at 19-19 early in the third, but Cole Beddingfield answered for Highland Rim with 5:20 in the period. The Hornets would not trail again. Highland Rim won the frame, 13-10, and was up 32-27 at the end of three.
The Hornets kept their foot on the gas, taking the final stanza, 13-4, for the win.
Cole Beddingfield led for Highland Rim with 14 points. Alex Suszczynski added 12; Zac Tennison and Brad Alford had 5; Neland Harwell and Holt Richardson, 4; Chase Hall scored 1.
The Hornets were without a three but hit 19 shots in the paint. From the line, they were 7 of 13.
Zay March led for the Eagles with 8 points. Austin Colbert and Noah Sapach had 7; D.J. Jones, 5; and Luke Phillips scored 4.
South Lincoln hit three from the arch coming from Colbert, Sapach and Jones. From the line, the Eagles were 0 for 2.