ENOSBURG - The Enosburg Hornets hosted the Mt. Abraham Eagles on Friday, Jan. 21, falling 41-40 in a tightly contested game that came down the buzzer.
Gavin Combs, Devyn Gleason, and Blair Archambault got things rolling for the Hornets, answering an Eagle three with eight points of their own, Combs with a layup in traffic, and Gleason and Archambault with threes. Enosburg held an 11-6 lead at the end of the quarter.
Mt. Abe narrowed the lead early in the second, capitalizing on their height on the boards. Archambault dropped four points to help hold off the Eagles, and Shea Howrigan drained a three to extend the separation.
Gleason snuck a pass through traffic, hitting Combs, who powered to the basket to give the Hornets an eight-point lead in the last three minutes of the half. The Eagles responded scoring on four consecutive possessions, including buzzer-beater to tie the game at 20 apiece at the close of the first half.
An early basket and an And-1 gave the Eagles a five-point lead, but a Hornet three and a pair of free throws for Combs knotted the score midway through the third. Combs took the line a second time, hitting one shot to put the Hornets ahead. The lead didn't last long, as the Eagles netted two threes, taking their largest lead of the evening and closing the quarter 33-28.
Enosburg took the court in the fourth, trailing by five. Gleason's bucket brought the Hornets within one with just over two minutes remaining in the game. Moments later, his next basket gave the Hornets the lead with a minute left and both teams in the bonus.
The Eagles inbounded the ball after a timeout, sinking a basket to take the lead. Enosburg and Mt. Abe each called for timeouts in the final seconds. Combs, who'd been strong for the Hornets all evening, scored with ten seconds on the clock. The Hornets got a shot off at the buzzer, but it glanced off the rim, handing the Eagles the victory.
Enosburg coach Chad Lovelette complimented Combs' and Archambault's contributions, "Gavin was all over the place defensively. I think that was the best game he's ever played. And Blair also had a great game for us."
While the Hornets didn't get the win, Lovelette was pleased with what he saw on the court.
"It was a really hard-fought, physical, competitive game. I loved our fight; I thought we competed from tip to horn, which was our main goal tonight. We can build on that going forward.
"On the court, there were so many times guys were diving all over the floor to get the ball. That team is big across the board, and we didn't back down at all. I'm as happy as I could be without a win."
Enosburg high scorers: Devyn Gleason had 12 points, and Gavin Combs had 9.