By Patrick Kays
A rough second half kept the Hilldale Hornets from advancing to the Large School Boys consolation championship in the Bedouin Shrine Classic as the Nathan Hale Rangers ran away with a 54-43 victory on Thursday at Muskogee Civic Center.
Big shots in the first half by Hilldale and poor shooting from the Rangers gave the Hornets a one-point edge at the break.
The second half would be just the opposite.
The Rangers would outscore the Hornets, 36-24 in the second half. Hilldale shot 9 of 24 in the second half and had 20 turnovers overall.
Derek Altman, who scored half of the Hornets points, forced eight Hale turnovers and led both teams in scoring with 23 points. Altman would be the only Hornet to score in double digits.
“We just didn’t play very well. We shot really poorly,” said Hilldale coach Jeremy Rogers on his team’s performance.
Johnathon Cox and Ze Quan Randles would tie as Hale’s leading scorer with 18 points. Joshua Cavalier started a big 12-4 Ranger run in the second half with 3 consecutive baskets and finished with 14. Emmanuel Hilton had 11 points.
Hilldale (1-6) will host a seventh-place game against McAlester at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Hale (2-6) will play at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Muskogee High School in the consolation finals against Checotah.