SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- After losing three consecutive games and being without star player Dorial Green-Beckham, the Hillcrest Hornets were able to defeat the Rolla Bulldogs at home 65-63.
In his first game back since playing in the Army All-American football game this past weekend, Green-Beckham got the Hillcrest back on track with 27 points and the win.
"It is a big adjustment coming back and trying to get back in rhythm with my teammates," senior Dorial Green-Beckham said.
The game was back and forth from the beginning, with neither team getting too large of a lead. Sophomore David Macintosh came off the bench for Hillcrest to hit two big shots in the first quarter to give his team the lead. The Hornets lead most of the first half, but a late surge by Rolla to end the second quarter left the Bulldogs up by one at halftime.
Rolla was living by the three pointer in the first half, hitting five three pointers, totaling 15 of the teams 27 first half points. Senior David Cox had three of the five threes that helped the Bulldogs have the halftime lead.
"I did not feel like we pressured the ball well and they have good shooters," Hillcrest head coach John Schaefer said.
Senior guard Austin Petry of Hillcrest is usually the teams main three point threat. But against Rolla, Petry did not hit a field goal in the first half, and did not hit a three until the fourth quarter. Petry finished the game with eight points.
In the third quarter of the game, Hillcrest's defense did a much better job of limiting second chance points for Rolla and also running their three point shooters off the line and forcing them to drive into the lane and put up a contested jumper or lay up. Green-Beckham and Hillcrest were able to then turn that defense into offense, with Dorial scoring 11 points in the third quarter alone.
"It is on my part to go out there and be a leader," Green-Beckham said.
But still with the teams much improved defense, Rolla was able to hang around, being down just two heading into the fourth quarter.
Rolla senior forward Keegan Garner tried to lead his team back in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter, 16 in the game. But behind big shots from Roy Hardy, Juwan Johnson, and Dorial Green-Beckham.
The Hornets have a short turn around to their next game, as they are scheduled to play in the Tournament of Champions Thursday at JQH Arena.