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Gatesville is living in a time of uncertainty, and the Hornets are thriving.

Despite having to sit virtually its entire roster due to coronavirus concerns, Gatesville played shorthanded Saturday, hosting Waco Live Oak Classical School, and although the odds were stacked against them, the Hornets were prepared.

With just two varsity players in its lineup, Gatesville jumped out to an early lead and survived a late comeback attempt to earn a 53-46 victory at home.

Considering there was essentially a junior varsity team on the floor, Hornets head coach Brit Campbell was thrilled with the result.

“This is just an awesome group,” he said. “I have to give all the credit to the kids and my assistant coaches.”

“It is nice to see younger guys step up with no hesitation. They just accept the challenge, believe in themselves, and that is just good for the future of the program.”

Paced by Jake Appelman, who scored a team-high 18 points, the Hornets led 19-7 following the first quarter but saw the advantage shrink to four points, 30-26, by halftime. The Falcons tied the game in the fourth quarter, but junior Logan Edwards responded with a 3-pointer, propelling Gatesville to victory.

“The guys just kept fighting,” Campbell said. “They kept clawing and kept scraping, and they ended up pulling out a win.”

Edwards finished with a dozen points, matching the output of teammate Jack Carroll, a sophomore, while Carter Williams tallied seven points in the victory.

Now, Gatesville (5-12) prepares to enter its District 6-4A schedule, opening play at Brownwood on Tuesday, and due to COVID-19, Campbell is currently clueless as to exactly who will be available for the contest.

He is certain of one thing, though.

“We won’t know anything until guys are tested and we see who gets to come back,” Campbell said, “but these guys are going to be ready.

“We are going to go to work with whoever is here, and the good thing is, we are playing some good basketball right now. We’re actually peaking at the right time.”

GATESVILLE 53, WACO LIVE OAK 46

Live Oak Classical (46)

Chakmahjiam 23, Quarles 8, Buros 6, Ishio 3, Sirain 2, Wallace 2, Cheek 2.

Gatesville (53)

Appelman 18, Edwards 12, Carroll 12, Williams 7, Tindell 2, Nichols 2.

Live Oak 7 19 12 8—46

Gatesville 19 11 11 12—53

3-Point Goals – Live Oak 7 (Chakmahjiam 7), Gatesville 7 (Carroll 3, Appelman 2, Edwards, Williams). Free Throws – Live Oak 5-8, Gatesville 10-19. Fouled Out – None. Total Fouls – Live Oak 13, Gatesville 9. Technicals – None.

Records – Gatesville 5-12.

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