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From Brendan Schweigart

Hornell gets ‘Moore’ out of the inside game in 55-47 win over Aquinas

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Hornell coach Brian Dyring talks to the team after Aquinas cut the lead to two in the final minutes. Hornell went on a 7-0 run to end the game. John Anderson photo.

Story and video by JOHN ANDERSON

The Hornell girls’ basketball team was struggling with 3-pointers in the second half Saturday, but the first half defense was as good as you could ask for.

Hornell’s defense held Aquinas to zero first quarter points and the Red Raiders raced out to a 30-7 halftime lead.

Aquinas was able to cut the Hornell lead to 49-47 with just 1:34 left. But Junior center Madelyn “Maddie” Moore dominated, scoring 21 points with 12 rebounds to lead Hornell over Aquinas, 55-47.

Game highlights and interviews with players and coaches after the Aquinas victory. Video by John Anderson.

“The past couple days, I’ve been getting in trouble in practice for not being aggressive in practice, so I thought, let me do what the coaches told me to do,” said Moore. “I wanted to earn the trust (of my teammates) so they would pass it in to me and I had to finish.”

With injuries to seniors, the team has had to make adjustments.

“It’s been hard work this season, especially the young kids who have come up to do their best to fill positions as we’ve had some bad injuries,” Moore said. “They will be coming back soon and it will be great when everybody comes back together.”

Senior Jane Spitulnik had 17 points and 12 rebounds for Hornell (9-2). She is also excited to see the team back at full strength.

“The fact we are 9-2 and we are not 100% healthy, we are without our best point guard, a forward guard out, but when we are all back, we’re going to be good,” Spitulnik said.

Jordyn Dyring handed out five assists, had five rebounds and scored eight points for Hornell while Loren Green had 10.

“We showed grit and battled. I told them after the game in the locker room, the first half, the way you played defensively and moved the ball and executed, you showed that you are a team that when it gets back to full strength, you are a legit finals contender,” said Hornell coach Brian Dyring. “The second half, you showed you are a team that could host a first round game and get beat. Which one do you want to be? They said the first one. So we have to compete. it’s not physical, it’s mental. When you get up big, you have to put the hammer down and not let teams get back in.”

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Dyring said it was tough with three 8th-graders and a freshman having to contribute with injuries. He also said Aquinas’ Abby Pfluke was a difference, as the senior guard had 25 points and drained five 3-pointers. 

As for Moore, Dyring said, “Her play inside won the game for us. Teams were face-guarding our guards and it was hard to get good looks. But I told her, if you post-up and you are assertive, you get to play one-on-one for 32 minutes. Team will not leave our shooters to go help. If you want to dominate and score, go do it! And she did tonight, she was phenomenal.”

Dyring said this is one of his most enjoyable seasons ever as a coach and credits Spitulnik for her leadership.

“It’s exciting. I told them, I’ve coached 20 years and this is one of the funniest years I’ve had coaching because they are putting all these puzzle pieces together and making it fit and finding ways to make the team gel. Without the senior leadership of Jane Spitulnik, who has probably been my best captain, boy or girl, I’ve ever had, she’s somehow keeping these young kids in and keeping everyone else together. So kudos to her for piecing this all together.”

Hornell will have some tough games coming up hosting Pavilion on Tuesday and at Dansville on Friday, Jan. 28. They also have contests coming up with Wellsville on Feb. 8, Haverling on Feb. 11 and Waterloo, which could be ranked No. 1 in the state by the time they play in Hornell on Feb. 14.

Box score

Aquinas 0 7 27 13 — 47

Hornell 15 15 14 11 — 55

AQUINAS: Abby Pfluke 9 2-9 25; Loren Green 4 2-2 10; Amaris Watts 1 0-0 2; Molly O’Toole 2 0-0 6; Jade Harvey 2 0-2 4. TOTALS 18 4-8 47

HORNELL: Jordyn Dyring 3 1-2 8; Lillian Hoyt 1 0-2 3; Jane Spitulnik 6 4-6 17; Selena Maldonado 1 0-2 2; Maddie Moore 10 1-5 21; Juliet Marino 1 2-4 4. TOTALS: 22 8-21 55

3-pointers: Aquinas 7 (Pfluke 5, Harvey 2) Hornell 3 (Dyring, Hoyt, Spitulnik

Total Fouls: Aquinas 18, Hornell 11. Fouled out: Harvey (A)

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