HORNBECK – Matched up with one of the top teams in Class B, Hornbeck gave No. 3 Stanley all it could handle in its best performance of the season.
However, the Lady Hornets came up short, falling to the Lady Panthers 53-49 at home Tuesday night.
"We played well and played hard," Hornbeck head coach Matthew Killian said. "I'm proud of them. It comes down to the end of the game where they started pressing us, and they created turnovers. We missed some free throws, and they made free throws."
Hornbeck falls to 8-5 on the season, but despite the loss, Killian says there were a lot of positives to take out of the game.
"That's the best we looked, even though we lost," he said. "I told them that I've never been more proud of them, win or lose, because they played the whole game. It just came down to the final minute, but I'm very optimistic.
"We have good leadership. We have three seniors that are good leaders and know how to push the team."
Hornbeck was led by 28 points by Carolina Jara-Selvage, who did most of her work in the paint.
"She has great touch and can do it with either hand," Killian said. "She shoots with basically both hands. She doesn't know if she's left or right handed, so that really helps when she is around the rim. She can finish with either one. She's got such good touch and can finish over anybody."
Stanley led 17-16 early in the second quarter, but the Lady Hornets went on a 9-0 run to go up 25-16 midway through the period.
Hornbeck led by just two after the third quarter, and in the fourth, the playmakers for the Lady Panthers took over.
The Lady Hornets led 46-39 midway through the fourth, but Stanley went on a 10-0 run to retake the lead.
With 1:14 left in regulation, McKayla Williams converted on a layup, giving Stanley its first lead since the second quarter.
Williams scored 11 points in the final period and 23 in the game, while Destiny Jones scored three in the fourth and 17 for the game.
With 27 seconds left in the game, Williams split a pair of free throws, and Jara-Selvage hit one-of-two on the other end to make it 51-49 with 20 seconds left on the clock.
Williams drained two free throws with 17 seconds remaining to put Stanley up four, and the Lady Hornets could not get a shot to fall in the final seconds to extend the game.
"We got a little tired and quit cutting," Killian said. "We stopped moving and settled for stuff we shouldn't have settled for.
"We got relaxed and started throwing long passes. They're so quick that they just picked them off."