Someday some team will knock the Hiland Lady Hawks off of their perch high atop the Inter-Valley Conference.
That time may someday arrive, but for now the other league teams continue to look up at them from far below with binoculars as Dave Schlabach’s Hiland juggernaut rolls merrily along.
Hiland put the finishing touches on its 24th straight Inter-Valley Conference title by disabling a pair of IVC South foes this past week to sew up another spotless IVC round of games. Hiland hasn’t lost an IVC contest since the 2013-14 season when it fell to Garaway 50-41 late in the year in a season that saw the Lady Pirates share the IVC crown with the Lady Hawks.
Since then it has been all Hiland, and on Tuesday, Feb. 5 when the Lady Hawks recorded a 73-20 win over Buckeye Trail and Wednesday, Feb. 6 when Hiland destroyed Ridgewood 99-19, it was clear sailing for Hiland.
The win over Buckeye Trail was actually a thing of beauty as Hiland systematically dismantled one of the league’s better teams. Hiland bolted to a 25-8 lead through one quarter as it established control, Brynn Mullet and Kyli Horn knocking down a host of 3-pointers. By the time half-time rolled around, Hiland had established a dominating 43-16 advantage and would never be challenged.
In the second half Hiland turned to its defense and stymied the Warriors to the tune of just four second-half points.
Leading the charge was Zoe Miller, who produced yet another double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Horn and Mullet added 14 and 13 points, respectively. Aila Miller scored six points and grabbed six boards, Kendra Shetler provided six points and five rebounds, and Abby Miller added a career-high seven points to the victory. Morgan Yoder added six assists and seven steals to the win.
Hiland’s win over Ridgewood was even less anticlimactic as the Lady Hawks bolted to a 25-7 lead in the first quarter and then stuffed the Generals in the second period, holding them scoreless while tacking on 26 points to their own side of the scoreboard for a commanding 53-7 lead.
The third period saw Hiland explode for a whopping 31 points as they converted a large number of steals into easy lay-ups on the other end.
Schlabach played everyone liberally in the game with five Lady Hawks posting double figures in the scoring column. Zoe Miller led the way with 16, Horn added 15 by hitting three more triples, Shetler and Yoder each scored 12 points, and Mullet tacked on 10. Several other Hiland players approached double figures with Shelby Miller scoring eight and Aila Miller and Tegan Harris both scoring seven.
As has been the case all season, Hiland pounded the glass to the tune of a 41-14 edge with Zoe Miller and Abby Miller both snaring five caroms and Mullet, Shetler and Krista Troyer all grabbing four.
However, it was the turnovers that stood out in this one, Hiland forcing the Generals into a massive total of 48 miscues, a number that included 33 steals. Krista Troyer recorded eight thefts, seven went to Shetler and Mullet, and Morgan Yoder recorded four. Yoder also added nine assists on the night, and Hiland also drilled 9-of-17 three-pointers on the evening. Katie Rettos led Ridgewood with eight points while Abby Harding added six.
The wins improved Hiland’s overall season mark to 19-1.