On Friday, January 20, the same day that Donald Trump was sworn in as the President of the United States, the Hiland’s boys basketball team traveled to Newcomerstown to play in a game carrying huge implications in the Inter-Valley Conference.
The Hawks were able to escape Newcomerstown with a 68-54 win, but just like Trump’s presidential efforts to gain the White House, it was anything but easy.
Hiland, sitting on top of the IVC with Garaway and Strasburg nipping at their heels just one game back, started off well and got some solid looks. However, a scrappy Newcomerstown team stuck around, got a few buckets and scored enough to tie the game at 13 at the end of the first quarter.
However, the second quarter was a different story, but not in the way that one might think. Newcomerstown went on a big run, getting hot from behind the arc, and played suffocating defense, and the great effort pushed the Trojans ahead of Hiland at one point by a dozen points.
Newcomerstown was looking to play David, and maybe take down the IVC’s Goliath.
Goliath was stunned, but didn’t go down.
Hiland responded with its own run. The Hawks used a suffocating defense of their own to create turnovers and fast break opportunities, which it converted into points. At the half Hiland led 30-27 with the Hawks having created a 15-point turnaround in the quarter.
The second half would be a different story, and Hiland came out all business, that was clearly etched on the faces of the Hawks. The Hawks caught fire, specifically Turner Horn, who scored 16 in the quarter, and he forced turnovers and used them to create opportunities for his teammates. Horn proved why he was in contention for IVC player of the year, and lead Hiland to a 50-41 point lead, heading in to the fourth.
The fourth quarter was of little surprise, as the Hawks continued to suffocate the Trojans, and found scorers from throughout their roster. In the end, Hiland simply had too much and the Hawks would go on to pull away to the 68-54 win. Horn’s 26 points were just two points short of his career high. Kobe Miller added 14 points and Andy Miller pitched in with 11, while Chris Kline added seven and Scott Troyer scored five.
Bryce Barbera paced the Trojans with a gallant 22 point effort, he was aided by Brennan Wilkin’s 18 points.