Hornets work to win close games

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 10:19 am on Wednesday, February 01, 2012

STANTON — The Central Montcalm Green Hornets girls basketball team has lost its last two games by a combined eight points.

In one game, they led by double-digits and the other they trailed by double-digits. At 3-8 overall the Hornets are looking for a complete game.

On Friday, the Hornets lost at home 46-41 to Lakeview. They led by 10 points twice. On Saturday, the Hornets lost 50-47 at White Cloud. They trailed by 19 points, but got to within one point late in the game.

Hornets coach Marty James — third year as co-coach with wife Lynn James — said it’s a matter of learning how to win games. “Our toughest thing is, we are getting better, but we are still learning how to win,” James said.

“It’s not something that was ingrained in this program.” James said the close games, despite the losses, are a good sign. “We are starting to turn some corners,” he said. “These close games are going to turn into close wins. But we have to get there first.”

Reaching the point of success also means defeating some of the teams that have had that success for many seasons like Lakeview, Big Rapids, Reed City and Morley Stanwood. All four teams are part of the CSAA.

“We have to get past the traditions of some of these other teams,” James said. “Lakeview has been winning for years. Reed City has been winning for years. Big Rapids and Morley Stanwood, too.

“We’re getting close, but now we have to win some of them,” he added.

The Hornets are led by a few seniors in Karli Clark, Kortney McKeown and Alex Barnwell. McKeown had 15 points and Barnwell had 11 rebounds on Saturday. Clark had a double-double on Friday with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

“It’s her third year on the varsity team,” James said of Clark. “In three years, not just because of the point totals, but her complete game with defense, rebounding and points, this is the best she has played.”

James said these seniors have been through a lot.

“These girls that are seniors, they have come through some lean years,” James said. “There were times when we would not be competitive in any situation.”

The Hornets are getting close, but the still don’t want to lose.

Down by 19 points with two minutes left to go in the third quarter the Hornets fought back to within one point late in the game. A couple of White Cloud free throws sealed the win.

That effort is what James is talking about. His team has the talent and effort to win games. Now they just have to get over the hump.

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