The state’s top-ranked Class 2 Hamilton Hornets got off to a quick start Saturday night in the Lawson Invitational championship rematch with Richmond. The Hornets put the first 8 points on the board and then held off several Spartan challenges in a 59-43 victory.
Led by tournament MVP Keagan Prather’s 18 points, the Hornets remain unbeaten in 10 games, and avenges one of its two tournament finals losses to Richmond from last season. Richmond drops to 6-5 for the year.
Hamilton found its way inside as the Hornets jumped to an early lead, while the Spartans had trouble getting the offense going. The first RHS field goal did not come until Blaine Broderick found the range with 5:11 left in the opening period. The Spartans managed to fight back and cut the deficit to 16-15 entering the second quarter. Caleb Benhardt hit a 3-pointer to open the second quarter and give Richmond its first and only lead of the game. It would be nearly the entire quarter before the Spartans would get another field goal as Ty Tweedie ended the drought with a bucket with just over a minute remaining before intermission.
Hamilton opened up a 32-25 lead at the half, and began the third period with a 10-2 run to take control. The Hornets took a 48-36 lead into the final 8 minutes.
The Spartans ended the night hitting 7 of 17 free throws, and were just one for 7 at the stripe in the second half. Hamilton made 12 of its 15 free throws.
Robert Brewer, who was named to the All-Tournament team, led Richmond scoring with 10 points, with Broderick, who was also selected to the squad, adding 9 more. Da’Ron Jenkins scored 7 for the Spartans, followed by Kyle Carroll and Cody Gorham with 6 apiece.
PHOTO: Richmond’s Robert Brewer and the rest of the Spartans found tough going down low against the Hamilton Hornets Saturday night in the title game of the Lawson Invitational. (Photo by Russ Green/The Daily News.)