LOMETA — The final seconds were dwindling, and Lometa led by 60 points, but it did not matter.
Regardless of the situation, the Hornets’ mentality is to give maximum effort on every play, and against Evant, they did just that.
Despite cruising to an 89-26 home victory, Lometa players were chasing loose balls, feverishly defending and crashing the boards even as the last seconds were elapsing.
It is simply how Aaron Nuckles demands his team plays.
“That is what we do,” he said. “When you step in between the maroon lines, if you are not diving on the floor, you’re not going to play — regardless of the situation. We do not care.”
The Hornets (14-5, 4-0 District 28-1A, DII) never took their foot off the accelerator against the Elks, holding their opponents to less than nine points per quarter, while scoring at least 20 per period.
Led by Eric Nichols’ game-high 14 points, six Lometa players finished with 10 or more points as the Hornets scored 15 unanswered points in the first quarter to pull away after the Elks created an early 6-5 lead.
After the game, Nichols echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“That’s what we are taught to do,” he said of Lometa’s hustle, “and we don’t stop until the buzzer sounds.”
Nichols compiled a solid all-around game, finishing with six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks to go along with his scoring.
He was not the only Hornet to contribute a big performance though.
Sophomore post Kyle Molter finished with a double-double, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds while scoring 10 points. Kendall Willis hauled in nine rebounds off the bench to complement his 10 points on offense, while Ivan Jasso tallied a dozen points, five steals and three assists.
Everyone on Lometa’s roster found a way to contribute in the victory, though, with six Hornets grabbing at least five rebounds each, while four players had at least three steals and six finished with at least two assists.
While some blowout wins are not even worth watching during ensuing practices, Nuckles saw plenty of positives he intends to point out to his players over the upcoming days.
“Our posts were getting interior passes and seeing things, and that is something you want to put the film in and watch,” he said. “Honestly, we haven’t seen some of those things this season–open people, cuts, ball movement.
“That is stuff we need to keep doing.”