Ravens Recap

Ravens Recap

Article Credit: Zach Ulin/KCII

The Hillcrest Raven boys and girls basketball teams put everyone in a festive mood prior to Christmas break on Thursday, sweeping the visiting Huskies of Cedar Valley Christian in a boy/girl doubleheader.

In boys action, the Ravens ran away from the Huskies 64-17. Hillcrest used suffocating defense in the first half, pitching a shut out in the first quarter to lead 20-0 and put themselves on top 35-5 at intermission. The Ravens enacted the running block by winning the third quarter 19-9 and finished the game on a 10-3 run with reserves that spanned the entire fourth frame. This week, Hillcrest head coach Dwight Gingerich talked with KCII Sports about the most impressive parts of his team’s performance. Gingerich said, “The guys really did a great job playing sticky defense. Getting into passing lanes. They made things difficult on Cedar Valley Christian. We got everybody in and the guys off the bench came in and played well. We had Owen Scott step in the starting lineup in the guard court, he came in and gave us some good defense throughout the game. Kale Bailey also made a start for us as a freshman and played well. Our veterans, Seth Ours, Mason Bender, and Bryce Bailey played also played well. Just the balance of those three guys to lead the way this year has been very important for us. They’re juniors, but are playing like seniors with the experience that they have.”

The Ravens shot a sizzling 55% from the floor, dished out 22 assists, and had 19 steals. Seth Ours led the Raven attack with 25 points and eight assists. Mason Bender finished with 23 points. Mason Helmuth was best on the boards with seven and Ours, Bender and Helmuth all had four steals. The win pushes Hillcrest to 8-2 going into the holidays. CVC is 1-8.

In the ladies contest, the Ravens rolled to a 53-21 win. Head coach Mitchell Drey spoke with KCII Sports about the winning formula and the momentum it gives his team going into break. Drey said, “We came out quick and finished the game strong. We got Claire (Withrow) open looks early, we attacked in our full court press. We made Cedar Valley Christian deal with our full court and half course pressure with Claire (Withrow) and Malia (Yoder) at the top of the 2-3 zone.  We extended the lead into halftime and then got some of our backup girls in so they could get some quality minutes. It was a great win going into break. We’ve had a lot of close games through the first eight games in conference.

Read More HERE!


Hillcrest Union in Kalona played host to a Southeast Iowa Superconference hoops doubleheader Tuesday between the home Ravens and visiting Winfield-Mt. Union Wolves. The boys contest went to the guests 72-35. WMU led 16-11 after one quarter, but took control with a 23-5 run that spanned the entire second period to lead 39-16 at half. The Wolves doubled up the Ravens in the third, 16-8, to stretch their advantage to 55-24 before outscoring Hillcrest 17-11 in the final frame. The Wolves dominated the numbers, winning the turnover battle 28-12, outrebounding the Ravens by 14, dishing out 15 team assists and had eight players score. Senior forward Abram Edwards led WMU with 20 points and six boards, he spoke with KCII Sports after the game about what led to his and the team’s success. Edwards said, “I thought we did a good job defending people, staying in front, and helping when we needed to. Offensively, we worked the ball into the post, then found shooters on the outside. We looked weak side and found cutters. Creating turnovers for fast breaks and easy buckets also helped. (When you’re out there on a run) it’s a lot of fun! You have that momentum going for you. The whole team feels like you’re clicking and you can’t really do anything wrong. Feels great!”

Carter Loyd had 15 points, Cam Buffington 12, with a team best six assists and Cole Milks scored 11. Hillcrest was led by a career high 10 points off the bench from Mason Helmuth. The win keeps WMU atop the Superconference North Division at 8-0, 9-1 overall, Hillcrest is now 5-3 in conference, 8-3 on the season.

The girls game belonged to the Ravens 56-48. WMU took an early 10-8 advantage before Hillcrest closed the first quarter on an 8-0 run to take a lead they wouldn’t give up the rest of the night. The teams played even in the second leaving the score at 24-18 Ravens going to half. Hillcrest won the third quarter 16-10 to extend the lead to 40-28 going to the fourth and started the final period with a 10-0 run that included a Claire Withrow four point play to put the contest away. The Ravens won the stat sheet including the turnover battle 34-26, pulled down 30 rebounds and went eight of 11 at the line in the win. Hillcrest had five players make the scoresheet led by a game high 23 points for Malia Yoder to go with nine rebounds. Withrow scored 20, including five made threes. Niva Helmuth pulled in nine boards. Yoder, Withrow and Helmuth joined KCII sports to talk about the keys to the win. Helmuth said, “I think just working really hard on defense was important. Putting in the effort. Knowing where you’re supposed to be. We knew our part. Once you make a shot, it gets loud. It’s easy to keep going! ”

Withrow continued, “We’ve all been putting in a lot of work over break on defense and pressuring the ball. Those things really helped us out tonight. We came out strong in the fourth quarter. We all played together. We made strong passes, we took good shots. The energy in the gym was great!”

Read More HERE!