- Our Sites
- The News-Gazette
- NewsTalk 1400 WDWS-AM
- Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS
- 107.9 WKIO
- Community News
By Danya Long
For The Leader
The Heritage boys’ basketball team kicked off their season on Monday, Nov. 19 with the Tri-County round robin tournament held at Oakland. The boys started off a little slow, but picked up the pace by the end of the four-game tournament.
The Hawks traveled to Oakland to face off against Salt Fork in their first game of the season. The Hawks struggled in the first quarter, having difficulty stopping the Storm’s offense and finding the net on their end of the court. The Storm outscored the Hawks 22-7 in the first and took a sizeable lead to start the game. The Hawks’ offense picked it up a bit in the second quarter and managed to hold off the Storm’s offense more. Allowing only 11 points in the quarter, the Hawks still only brought the score to 33-17 going into halftime.
Coming into the third quarter, the Hawks got their game together and outscored the Storm.
The score stood at 45-33 after the third with only one quarter left to play. The Hawks fought hard in the final quarter, but couldn’t close the gap to clinch the win. The buzzer sounded and the scoreboard read 62-47 in favor of Salt Fork, handing a loss to the Hawks in the first game of the season.
Senior John Taylor led the charge for the Hawks with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Seniors Cody Reed and D.J. Robertson also played very well off the bench for the Hawks. The team as a whole brought down 28 rebounds in the game as well.
In game two of the season and the Tri-County tournament, the Hawks took on Georgetown-Ridgefarm on Nov. 20. The Hawks took a quick lead in the first quarter, outscoring Buffaloes 6-4. Heritage held onto the lead in the second quarter with both teams scoring eight points each. The score was 14-12 in favor of the Hawks going into halftime.
The Hawks and Buffaloes were evenly matched throughout the game, keeping the score close.
In the third quarter, both teams racked up 14 points and making the score 28-26 with one quarter to play.
The Hawks lengthened their lead in the fourth, making sure to clinch their first victory with a final score of 44-38.
For Heritage, Taylor put up 17 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Brandon Richardson added another ten points. Senior Austin Dickey also helped the Hawks to victory with a tough floor game at point guard and provided solid defense to keep the score close.
Playing their third game in three days, the Hawks hit the court against Tri-County on Nov. 21. Once again, Heritage pulled out to a quick lead in the first quarter. The score stood at 18-13 in favor of the Hawks going into the second quarter. The Hawks maintained that lead over Tri-County going into halftime with a score of 33-19.
Heritage kept that lead the whole game and outscored the Trojans in each quarter. The third quarter showed both teams settling in, scoring less on both sides. The Hawks still came out with the lead, winning 44-28 with one quarter left. Outscoring the Trojans 9-8 in the fourth, the Hawks found themselves on top in yet another game. The final score was 53-36 and making the Hawks record 2-1 with one game left in the tournament.
Richardson went 7 for 10 with field goals and 16 points for the game. Sophomore Chance Lemmon went 5 for 8 from the three-point line, resulting in 15 points for him in the game. Taylor struggled with foul trouble early in the game, but still helped the Hawks to victory with his 11 rebounds and five assists.
Head Coach Andy Place described sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald as a key player in the game.
“Fitzgerald played an outstanding game with seven rebounds, including three put backs for six points and did many thing that do not show up in the stats with screening angles, ball reversals, and great defense,” said Place.
The Hawks took a rest for the holiday and came back on Nov. 23 to face off against Bloomington Cornerstone Christian in the final game of the round robin.
The Hawks came out shy on the court in the first quarter, allowing the Cyclones to put up 14 points to their six.
Heritage fought back in the second quarter and managed to find the net for 16 points. However, it wasn’t enough to bridge the gap that Bloomington Cornerstone Christian had built, and the score stood at 35-22 going into halftime.
Heritage tried to rally in the third quarter but only put up 14 points, making the score 53-36 in favor of the Cyclones.
The Hawks’ managed to rally in the final quarter, outscoring Bloomington Cornerstone 20-12.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, it wasn’t enough to take the lead in the end. At the buzzer the Hawks trailed Cornerstone Christian 65-56, handing them their second loss of the season. Heritage finished out the round robin tournament with a 2-2 record, breaking even before going into two home games.
Taylor went 14 for 16 from the free throw line, making up 14 of his 20 points for the game just from the free throw line.
Dickey and Reed both added nine points each for the game for Heritage.
On Nov. 30, the Hawks will host Georgetown Notre Dame de LaSalette in their first home game of the season.