SHAWNEE – The Macomb Hornets fell to the Class B fifth-ranked Paden Pirates 63-28 Wednesday night at the Little River Conference Tournament.
"Paden is a good bunch and they're going to go a long way this year," Coach Matt Riggs said. "We're a young team and when you're dealing with a young team you're going to have difficulty making plays consistently." The Pirates jumped out to a 10-0 lead before Macomb's Blaine Cope put the Hornets on the board. Freshman Ian Horn knocked down back-to-back buckets, but Paden ended the first quarter with an 18-7 lead.
Macomb's best stretch of basketball came midway through the second quarter as they went on an 8-3 run led by freshman Darian Rougeaux, who scored 5 points in the run but trailed 29-15.
"We started moving the basketball and making their zone go sideline to sideline," Riggs said. "Our guards made some shots, and defensively we made them take shots that we wanted them to take, and thankfully they missed them." Paden ended the first half with a 38-17 lead.
The Pirates held Macomb to 5 points in the third quarter. Cope and Caleb Browning each made a free throw in the drought, and Rougeaux made a three at the end of the quarter as Macomb trailed 55-24.
Macomb managed seven points in the fourth quarter.
For Macomb, Horn and Rougeaux were tied for the team lead with eight points each.
Paden's CJ Gunns led all scorers with 20. Luke Gunns and Colten White joined him in double figures with 14 and 12 respectively.
Macomb will face the winner of New Lima and Mason Friday night at 8:45 p.m.