CARTERVILLE — The Nashville boys basketball team needed a win Friday night to remain in the SIRR Mississippi Division title chase, and it delivered with a 48-34 victory over Carterville.
The Hornets (15-10, 5-2) held the Lions (13-11, 5-2) to just four points in the fourth quarter. Nashville hosts Pinckneyville, which is unbeaten in the conference, tonight.
“Every conference road win is big, and Carterville played very well at our place, and I wasn’t very happy with how we played that night,” said Nashville coach Brad Weathers. “Thankfully, tonight we knocked down some perimeter shots, and of course, the big Ford kid didn’t play, and he brings another dimension to their team. I thought we did a nice job on their guards defensively.”
Carterville’s Luke Ford didn’t suit up because of an injury, and Nashville center Brogan Kemp delivered 11 points for his team.
Taylor Heil made a pair of short jump shots to pull Carterville within 41-34 with 4:23 to play. The Hornets shut out the Lions the rest of the game.
Hayden Heggemeier and Ryan Brink each scored baskets in the paint to put Nashville up 11 points late in the contest.
“I think we caused a few turnovers there, and maybe they were pressing a little bit trying to catch up,” Weathers said. “I thought our defense was real solid through that stretch. We had to take care of it and get stops, and we did there at the end.”
After Kemp scored down low for Nashville, Carterville’s Blake Jackson buried a jump shot, and the Lions trailed 30-25 with 2:30 left in the third quarter.
But Carterville never got in a rhythm offensively during this game.
“I think we had four air balls and one off the side of the backboard, and we missed stuff at the rim all night long,” said Carterville coach Shane Hawkins. “A lot of the stuff at the rim was just Nashville’s physical play. We’re so physically weak that when there’s any contact at the rim, we get knocked down or miss shots. It is really frustrating.”
Brink led Nashville with 18 points. Heil paced Carterville with 10 points.