The hornet is a small creature with a nasty reputation. One sting can make you regret ever wanting to confront one. Just ask opposing teams in the Class 2, District 4 basketball tournament, as they felt the wrath of the Crystal City Hornets. Behind a smothering defense and the performance of tournament MVP Donovan Tullock, the Hornets claimed their first District title in 6 years.

After a first round, Covid forfeit by Crossroads Prep, Crystal City cruised to a 65 – 36 win over Bismarck in the semifinals. The win placed the 11-11 Hornets in the Championship game against the #1 seed Valley Caledonia Vikings, who were 13-9 on the season. They would also be playing the Vikings on their home court in Caledonia in front of a raucous crowd.

Crystal City took control from the opening tipoff. Utilizing a trapping, half-court press and winning almost every contested battle for the basketball, the Hornets’ defense created numerous turnovers and never allowed the Viking’s offense to find a rhythm.   Head Coach Phil Tessereau says they wanted to put pressure on Valley’s guards…

Crystal City Head Coach Phil Tessereau

Crystal City surged to a 16 point lead at halftime and never looked back. With the lead in hand, Coach Tessereau knew that achieving victory was a matter of focus…

In the first half, Valley’s defense seemed intent on shutting down the high-flying Tullock, which led to plenty of scoring opportunities  for the other Hornets. Carson Short scored the majority of his 14 points in the first half after getting open looks at the basket and shooting 60% from the field. Tullock knew that if Valley was intent on stopping him, it would open up the floor for his fellow Hornets…

Tournament MVP Donovan Tullock Holds the District Championship Plaque

Despite being double and triple-teamed, Tullock still managed to score 18 points and was voted the District 4 MVP.

In addition to Tullock and Short’s contributions, Hornets Logan Anderson added 8, while Calloway Dashner and Hunter Bassin tallied 7 points apiece. Carson Short led the way on defense with 8 rebounds and 4 steals. Anderson collected 4 blocked shots during the game.

Tullock was one of 6 seniors on Crystal City’s roster this year who had plenty of motivation to make a run for the District Championship. Last season, they made it to the title game, only to lose by 4 points to Brentwood.

Another motivating factor was how close the seniors were with one another. Donovan Tullock moved to the Crystal City school district just prior to beginning his freshman year. He says there was chemistry with his teammates right from the start...

Coach Tessereau says that winning the District Championship in his first year at Crystal City has been challenging, and very special….

In addition to District MVP Donovan Tullock, Hornets players Logan Anderson, and Carson Short received All-District honors.

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