COLUMBUS GIRLS, HILLCREST BOYS SCORE FRIDAY SUPERCONFERENCE WINS
Articles courtesy of Zach Ulin/KCII
It was a Southeast Iowa Superconference basketball doubleheader split Friday between the Columbus Wildcats and the Hillcrest Academy Ravens in Junction. The Columbus girls used suffocating defense to lock up a 44-11 victory over the visiting Ravens. The Cat’s corralled the Ravens all night, not allowing a field goal for the first 21 minutes of the game, only allowing two in total on the night, forced 37 Hillcrest turnovers and won the boards by seven. The Wildcats started the game on a 19-4 run that lasted the entire first period, and followed that with a 10-1 second quarter sprint to lead 29-5 at half. A 13-2 Columbus run out of the break enacted the running clock and put the game away. The Wildcats were led by a monster double double from Lily Coil with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Ariana Vergara added 12 points. Hillcrest was led by three points each from Malia Yoder and Lydia Beachy. After the contest, Coil, Frannie Sosa and Maddie Howell joined KCII sports to talk about the dominant Columbus win. Coil said, “Our defense was able to tire out the best player that they have and she couldn’t get a shot off. That’s what we needed. We trust the process like everyone tells us to, especially coach. We like to steal the ball and run. It’s amazing to see that many turnovers in one game. We used to be the ones that turned it over a lot but now, it’s not us and it feels great.
Howell continued, “We also communicated really well on defense. Shouting out screens and knowing where their shooters are. We said at the beginning of the season that defense was going to get us wins and that proved it tonight.
Sosa added, “We were focused on the one specific player. ‘Smelling their breakfast’ as coach likes to tell us. Tonight really proved how our defense works. It’s just about creating those opportunities with our defense. We do it in practice, and now we’re doing it in games.”
Columbus remains tied for the league lead at 8-1, 10-3 overall. The Ravens are 4-9 on the year, 1-9 in the Superconference.
The boys contest saw the Ravens race to a fast start and run away with a 64-19 win. Hillcrest led 23-6 after one and 45-9 at half to enact the running clock. Hillcrest won the third quarter 16-7 to ice the contest. The Ravens forced 30 Columbus turnovers and held the Wildcats without a field goal for the first seven minutes of the game. Hillcrest won the glass by six and had 18 team assists. Seth Ours led the Ravens with 22 points, including six threes. Bryce Bailey added 15 points, Mason Bender 12 and Rowan Miller led with seven assists and six boards. After the game, Ours and Miller joined KCII Sports to talk about the Raven win. Ours said, “Before games we always set a goal for kills. A kill is three defensive stops in a row. We had a lot of those tonight. All of the momentum was on our side. I felt like we did a good job on offense of keeping the ball moving against their zone and I was able to move to the open spaces. My teammates did a good job of driving and kicking and I was able to hit shots.”
HILLCREST DROPS HEARTBREAKER TO COMETS AT BUZZER SATURDAY
A split second decided the outcome Saturday in a non-conference boys basketball contest for the Hillcrest Academy Ravens as they fell to the West Liberty Comets at Hillcrest Union 52-50. Things were tied at 15 through one quarter, but a 13-0 run for the Comets, that included a six minute Raven drought from the floor gave West Liberty a 29-23 advantage at half. The two squads played even up in the third, each posting 11 points. West Liberty led by seven with just under two minutes remaining as the Ravens started a furious comeback that saw them trail by just one with under 30 seconds left. After the Comets split a pair of free throws, Hillcrest had the ball, down two, with eight seconds on the clock. The final play featured a drive down the lane, that saw the ball jarred free by a Comet defender, into the hands of freshman Kale Bailey who calmly drilled a 16-footer to send Hillcrest Union into momentarily delirium before it was ruled the shot came after the horn sounded. Following the game, Raven head coach Dwight Gingerich talked about his team’s play and the factors that decided the contest. Gingerich said, “(In the second quarter) We got a little tentative against their zone. They had us spread out. We weren’t in attack mode the way we needed to be. Our kids really hung in there and fought and battled right back. If we get a half a second more, that shot counts. What a shot by Kale (Bailey) to knock that down. Seth (Ours) is shooting the ball well. Rowan (Miller) did a great job penetrating, he had seven assists and that doesn’t surprise me. He’s been great doing that for us. Bryce Bailey did a lot of good things for us tonight too. Kale Bailey is a freshman and he’s getting better all the time. Lincoln Miller came in tonight and hit a shot at a key time too.”
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