MERTZON, TX — The 2023 Basketball season officially ended for the Irion County Hornets last Friday, March 3, at Western Texas College in Snyder.
The Hornets fell short of their State Championship ambitions in the Regional Semifinals against the Benjamin Mustangs, 67-52. While not the outcome that anyone in the Concho Valley expected or wanted, besides maybe rival schools, looking back, this was an important season for the Hornets.
First things first, the Hornets traveled to Western Texas College Coliseum to take on the Benjamin Mustangs in the Regional Tournament. Hornet coaches said before the game that everyone felt good, and they were ready for 32 minutes of hell.
Early on, the Hornets were up against the wall and found themselves down 10-0 early. At one point, Irion County had several shots go up on one possession, but none fell. By the end of the first quarter, the Mustangs held onto a 10-point lead, 19-9. In the second quarter, the Hornets woke up, outscored the Mustangs 15-8, and went into halftime down 27-24.
A slow third quarter held the Hornets back while Benjamin scored another 20 points. The Mustangs had a 47-33 advantage in the fourth quarter. In the final frame, the Hornets added 19 points to their total, but the Mustangs put up another 20 points, which finished off the Hornets 67-52. Trevin Cofffell led the Hornets in scoring.
Irion County finished the season with a 27-2 overall record and went a perfect 10-0 to win their district. The Hornets climbed to No. 4 in the Texas 1A State rankings and beat several teams in higher classifications throughout the year. They had wins over Odessa Permian, Midland High, Lake View, Brady, and Miles on their schedule. While some of these wins came in tournament season, it was impressive nonetheless.
The Hornets claimed district and bi-district titles, won the area championship and were regional quarterfinal champions before they fell to Benjamin in the Regional Semifinals.