Hornets ground Eagles

Published 11:44 pm Friday, February 11, 2011

LINDEN — John Essex put together a 22-point fourth quarter to get past A.L. Johnson 56-49 Friday and advance to the finals of the Class 1A, Area 4 tournament.

A.L. Johnson led the Hornets 37-34 to begin the fourth period before watching the Hornets run out to a 22-12 advantage in the decisive quarter.

Essex led by two at halftime before posting only eight points in the third period.

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The Hornets’ Wayne Bonner scored 16 points to lead all scorers. Keonta Alvis had 12 points while A.J. Bennett finished with 10.

Deandre Langhorne led the Hornets with 15 points while Kynard Craig added 12.

The win sets John Essex up for a Valentine’s Day date with top-seeded hosts Linden, who advanced to the finals with a win over Sweet Water Friday night.

The Hornets’ victory also guaranteed the team a berth in the sub-regional round. Following Monday’s title games, the winner of Class 1A, Area 4 will host the runner-up of Class 1A, Area 1, an tournament final that pits Fruitdale against McIntosh. The winner of that game will host the loser of of the Linden-John Essex game.