DANSVILLE?— Some timeouts are worth more than others.
After trailing by eight at the half, Dansville had cut Hornell’s lead to just three in the latter stages of the third quarter when Kirk Scholes summoned his Red Raiders to the bench for a full timeout.
The Red Raiders closed the quarter on an 8-0 run and never slowed down, pulling away from the Mustangs for a 68-50 Livingston County Division I league victory Friday night in Dansville.
“I probably had to chew some butt again,” Scholes said of the timeout. “I thought it was a game of runs, but I felt like we’d play with no intensity, then we’d play with lots of intensity, then we’d play with no intensity. We didn’t defend very well at the beginning of the game and the beginning of the third quarter.
“There’s a lot of positives, though. We had a lot of contributions in a lot of areas, but defensively 50 points is a little high for my liking. We did some good things. It was good to come on the road and get a win. Certain parts of it were pretty good.”
Sam Dagon and Elliott Flint helped key the 8-0 run with back-to-back triples as Hornell took a 51-40 lead into the fourth quarter. Dagon’s 17 points led a balanced Hornell (10-5) offense that featured all five starters scoring in double-figures.
Richard Brooks did much of his damage in the fourth quarter, finishing with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Anthony Buisch had 12 points, eight boards and five steals to lead a Hornell defense that clamped down in the second half, quickly turning what was a closely contested game into a rout in the fourth quarter.
“That’s what we talked about at halftime a little bit,” Scholes said. “When you get somebody down, you want to go for it right then and there and not let them hang around. That’s why I was kind of disappointed with the way we came out in the third quarter, but then we got the message a little bit and they turned it up a notch.”
The Hornell surge left the Dansville (4-12) sideline lamenting a possible upset that got away. Curtis Davis banked in a buzzer-beating heave from three-quarter court that gave the Mustangs a 17-15 lead after the first quarter.
Trailing 35-31 in the third quarter, Dansville had four free throws and possession of the ball after Hornell was whistled for a technical foul.
“We made the first free throw, missed the second, missed the two technicals, got the ball and we didn’t score,” said Dansville head coach Dave Moodie. “That was a big swing for us. At the end of the first quarter emotions were high. We had that great three-quarter court shot that went in and gave us the lead.
“Second quarter, they went on a run and caused us some detrimental turnovers — turnovers where we don’t even get a shot off. We’re a good offensive rebounding team, and if we don’t get a shot off we don’t get a second chance at offensive put-backs. They made us speed the game up, which we talked about how we didn’t want that to happen because Hornell is very good at it. They’re athletic, they get turnovers and they’re good at scoring in transition.”
DJ Betts led Dansville with 10 points. Derek Wampole had eight points and seven rebounds, while Cameron Davis added seven points and seven boards for the youthful Mustangs.
“We don’t have a lot of senior leadership and varsity experience,” Moodie said. “We’re heavy with the juniors. The seniors that I do have don’t have a lot of high school level basketball experience, so it’s hard to slow the game down, especially at points when it’s a close game and the team you’re playing against is pressing you a little bit to speed you up. It’s hard to do that, but we have shown signs that we’re capable of doing it. I hope that continues into sectionals.”
The Mustangs were without senior center Ian Forbes, sidelined with a broken foot.
“It hurts,” Moodie said. “He is one guy that’s a senior leadership guy. He’s been in the program all the way up through. He’s really the only guy on our team that has that (experience). He does a great job of being at practice and at the games talking to the guys.”
Hornell’s Isaac Bradley had a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards. Flint finished with 11 points and a team-high six assists.
Dansville travels to Avon Tuesday before hosting Letchworth on Senior Night Feb. 10.
Hornell hits the road for 13-1 Caledonia-Mumford Tuesday.
“They’re a quality team,” Scholes said. “At their place, I’m sure it will be a great environment. It’s going to be a challenge for us. They play up-tempo, they like to play fast. They’ve got a big kid inside that does everything for them. They’re a very physical team. It’s a team that we can’t underestimate by any means. We’re going to have to play a good basketball game to get a win.”
Hornell is in the midst of a four-game road trip to close the season as it battles for sectional seeding.
“We feel like it gets pretty tough with Dansville, Cal-Mum, Wayland,” Scholes said. “Then we’ve got to go to Aquinas which is no easy task by any means. We’ve got our work cut out for us. We’ll see what we’re made of on the road. We’re trying to get to at least the top-four and get a home game. We think if we can get a couple more we have a good opportunity for it, but we’ll see how we play.”
Hornell 15 19 19 15 — 68 Dansville 17 9 14 10 — 50
HORNELL:?Anthony Buisch 4 3-4 12, Jack Galatio 1 0-2 2, Elliott Flint 3 3-4 11, Sam Dagon 6 4-6 17, Richard Brooks 5 1-1 13, Isaac Bradley 2 7-10 11, Matt Mauro 1 0-0 2. DANSVILLE: DJ Betts 3 3-6 10, Jordan Douglas 1 0-0 3, Noah Bacon 2 0-0 6, Will Kershner 1 0-0 2, Curtis Davis 1 1-4 4, DJ?Jones 2 2-2 6, Derek Wampole 3 2-2 8, Cameron Davis 3 1-6 7, Evan Dieter 2 0-0 4. 3-point goals:?Hornell 6 (Buisch, Flint 2, Dagon, Brooks 2); Dansville 5 (Betts, Douglas, Bacon 2, Curtis Davis). Fouled out: Dieter (D).