The seventh lead change of the fourth quarter gave Hackett a one-point lead with 27.9 seconds to go Monday night and the Bearcats were unable to answer on their last possession.
The Hornets took the lead, 55-54, with two free throws after Raiden Ferguson was called for a blocking foul for the second time in the final two minutes of the game.
The Bearcats held for a late shot but gave themselves time for two chances. After a miss the Bearcats retained possession through a jump ball call, but still couldn’t get a winning shot to fall to ruin the Hornet homecoming festivities.
Although it was Hackett’s homecoming night, the Bearcats and Hornets took the floor a night earlier than scheduled to avoid a possible winter storm.
The Bearcats, who saw a four game winning streak snapped, had taken an 8-7 lead on a first quarter 3 by Dakota Mattson and led until the 6:07 mark of the final quarter.
The lead reached 11 at 21-10 when Colter Fisher capped a 10-0 run inducing a Hornet time out. Fisher would finish with 13 points and also had four assists.
Hackett scored the next six points but the Bearcats pushed it back to double digits behind a 3 from Ferguson and a basket by Jace Washburn.
Ferguson scored 13 points on the night and Washburn would lead the Bearcats with 15 points and also grabbed eight rebounds.
The lead hovered around seven until the final minute of the half when Ferguson hit another 3 to make it 11 again at 33-21.
Two free throws – Hackett was 8-of-9 from the stripe in the half – cut it to 33-23 at the half.
The lead reached 11 again on a Fisher free throw after a stretch of 2:35 with neither team scoring to start the half, and a 3 by C.J. Johnson (shown) 3 had it 37-27 with 4:01 left in the third quarter.
Hackett then scored the next seven points – in 43 seconds – and the lead fluctuated between four and seven the rest of the quarter, settling at 41-37 through the quarter.
A 3 started the final quarter and got Hackett within one but Fisher pushed it back to three at 43-40.
Consecutive baskets by Hackett gave the Hornets their first lead since the opening quarter and started the seven lead changes down the stretch.
The Bearcats are scheduled to play both Friday and Saturday at Charleston and Cedarville, respectively. The boys will play first in Cedarville, tipping at 5 p.m.