ST. JOSEPH — Two months into their 2012-13 Chllicothe High School basketball Hornets, the team’s identity has crystallized – they’re not quite a “one-trick pony,” but they’re close.
They’ll defend tough from opening tip to final buzzer and make nearly every opponent earn every point it gets. However, anything other than that happens on a hit-or-miss basis, especially on offense.
Effectively, the Hornets, except on rare occasions, are nearly-certain to beat anyone with their offense and many times even great defense will wind up being wasted.
Friday night against a team which owned barely half the meager seven wins they owned, the Hornets played their usual stingy defense, holding the Courtwarming host St. Joseph: Benton Cardinals to 15 first-half points and only 25 through three periods. However, for a fifth time in 20 games this season, Chillicothe could not generate even a modest 40 points themselves and, as a result, ended up on the short end of a 41-37 final score.
“Benton gets a lot of credit,” CHS head coach Tim Cool commented for the C-T. “They played well and we struggled to get in any type of rhythm offensively. Our defense was solid but lack of offense caught up to us.
In part by the strategic choice of Cool and his staff that a deliberate offensive pace serves the team best, in 40 percent of their contests, including three of the last five, the Hornets have not surpassed 40 points. Sixty percent of the time, they have been unable to reach the 43 points that are their current average.
Chillicothe’s third loss in a row and sixth in eight outings mathematically assured it of ending the regular season with a sub-.500 record. Even with a victory over Benton, reaching the break-even mark with a closing rush of five wins in a row would have been unlikely with games against Midland Empire Conference leader and defending champion St. Joseph: Lafayette and Cameron still on the docket.
The Hornets (7-13, 1-3) will try to snap their current loss skein and improve their increasingly-slim chances of winning at least 10 times this winter when they host Savannah this coming Friday night.