PICKERING – Hornbeck led early but Pickering scrapped its way back into the game in the second half.
However, the Lady Hornets put together small runs to pick up the 53-34 win Friday night at Pickering High School.
"We let them get in our heads a little bit, which took two of our players out of the game," Hornbeck head coach Matthew Killian said. "We talked after the game about keeping our cool in those situations. Other than that, I thought we played well. I think the difference in the game was the way we worked. We hustled."
Hornbeck led 32-15 at halftime, but Pickering opened up the half on a 6-0 run. The Lady Devils cut it to 10 on an and-1 by Arianna Yates to make it 33-23.
"I feel like we played hard," Pickering head coach Morgan Spears said. "We didn't quit from the beginning to the end. Even when I put in my second string with 30 seconds left, they didn't quit. I preached before the game that no matter what that scoreboard says, we're not going to give up. One day, it's going to pay off.
"We got a little momentum, but we made some inexperienced mistakes. There was a lid on the goal, at times."
Pickering could not get it under 10 points, and Hornbeck ended the third period on a 5-0 run to make it 45-29.
The Lady Hornets outscored Pickering 8-5 in the fourth to hold on to the win.
"They are mature," Killian said. "We called a timeout when they were coming back on us. I told them to keep their cool, and we responded well."
Hannah Dahlhoff led the Lady Hornets with 18 points.
"She's so athletic and so quick," Killian said. "Her hands are fast, and she has great hand-eye coordination. She's young, too, so once she gets that strength and experience, she's only going to get better."
Calli Haymon finished with 12 and Peighton Rhodes added 11 in the win.
Yates led Pickering with 10 points.
The Lady Devils (3-15) play a lot of underclassmen, as they are setting up for the future.
"I told them after the game that we need to work on game-like situations," Spears said. "We are getting the good looks and make good offensive plays, but we cannot finish. Once we learn to finish, I think we're going to be unstoppable. It's going to take time."
Hornbeck (5-13) have played a majority of its games up from Class C with district play starting in less than two weeks.
"I feel like we are heading in the right direction," Killian said. "The only time this team has got a chance to play together is this year. We've only gotten better. If we can keep that up, we should be at the top of our district."