Malvern Hornets overcome Martins Ferry, advance to regional tournament at 26-0

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They had to scratch, claw and bite, but the Malvern Hornets remain unbeaten as they move to 26-0 and right into the regional tournament for the first time since 2017.

Malvern started the game red hot, opening up the Division III East District Championship game on a 6-0 run, including four straight points to open the game by Rodney Smith. The Hornets were ready to run away with the district championship.

But Martins Ferry said not-so-fast, scoring 7 straight to take a 7-6 lead over Malvern. Then it was on like Donkey Kong for these two teams with a regionals appearance on the line.

Shot for shot, the Purple Riders and the Hornets were matching each others shots and the game was tied 11-11 after one quarter of action.

Ferry held a slight 30-28 advantage at the half. But the third quarter, that’s what set the Hornets apart for the Purple Riders. Mainly the last 90 seconds of the quarter as Malvern outscored Martins Ferry 9-2 in the final stretch with points across the roster.

Malvern continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter, as they cruised to a 61-50 victory.