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By DANYA LONG
For the Leader
Senior John Taylor was at the reins for the Heritage Hawks boy’s basketball team after the holiday, leading the team in scoring in their last five games in the Hayden’s Classic tournament held at Heritage last week.
The Hawks took on Georgetown-Ridgefarm and Salt Fork on Dec. 27, going 1-1 in their first two games. The next day they faced off against Decatur LSA and Shiloh, falling to both teams in the tournament. The last game of the tournament put the Hawks up against Bismarck-Henning, with Heritage pulling out a victory in the end of a close game.
In game one of the tournament, Heritage and Georgetown-Ridgefarm took to the court in a tough game. The Hawks trailed the Buffaloes in the first quarter, ending it with a score of 17-12. Both offensively and defensively, the Hawks stepped up their game and took the lead from the Buffaloes in a big way. Outscoring Georgetown-Ridgefarm 21-5 in the second quarter, Heritage took a 33-22 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
Both teams came out strong in the third quarter, scoring double figures on both sides. The Hawks didn’t give up their lead though, ending the third quarter with a score of 50-43 in favor of the Hawks. Heritage came out big again in the final quarter, once again outscoring the Buffaloes 21-5 and ending the game with a final score of 71-48.
The Hawks had a big game against Georgetown-Ridgefarm, pulling down 26 rebounds as a team but committing 15 turnovers. Taylor put up 14 points, along with senior Brandon Richardson and sophomore Chance Lemmon with 14 points each. Taylor also contributed five assists and five rebounds for the Hawks, while Richardson brought down seven rebounds and Lemmon was two for five from three-point range.
Later that day, Heritage hit the court against Salt Fork for game two of the tournament. Both teams fought hard during the game, but Salt Fork came out on top. In the first quarter, they outscore the Hawks 16-7, creating a nice lead that the Storm maintained throughout much of the game. Heritage came out stronger in the second quarter, scoring 10 points to Salt Fork’s five points. The score at halftime was 21-17 in favor of the Storm.
Heritage and Salt Fork came out of the locker room evenly matched, scoring 14 points each in the third quarter and still giving the Storm a four-point lead. Salt Fork outscored Heritage 23-16 in the fourth quarter, keeping their lead and ending the game with a 58-47 final score. The loss was the sixth of the season for the Hawks and the first of the tournament.
The Hawks committed 16 turnovers against Salt Fork, but brought down 23 rebounds and had nine steals as a team. Taylor led the team with 19 points, going three for six from three-point range, and bringing in three of the team’s nine steals.
On December 28, Heritage took on Decatur LSA in their third game of the tournament. The Hawks struggled against the Lions’ defense, not able to come away with a win. Decatur outscored Heritage 11-8 in the first quarter, mounting a lead that they wouldn’t give up during the game. At the end of the first half, the Lions went into the locker room with a 28-15 lead.
The Hawks tried to close the gap in the second half, keeping the game close.
They scored 13 points to Decatur’s 15 in the third quarter. Heritage’s offense was battling the Lions’ defense, finally outscoring them 17-16 in the fourth quarter. At the buzzer the final score stood at 59-45 in favor of Decatur LSA, handing the Hawks their seventh loss of the season.
Heritage only committed eight turnovers against the Lions and pulled down 30 rebounds, but still couldn’t come out on top. Taylor was the high scorer for the Hawks with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while senior D.J. Robertson added another 10 points.
In game four of the Hayden’s Classic tournament, the Hawks took on Shiloh on the court.
The game proved to be a tough one for both teams, neither giving up a bit until the buzzer sounded. Shiloh pulled out with an early 18-8 lead in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Heritage came out stronger and scored 15 points. However, it wasn’t enough to overcome Shiloh before halftime, and the score stood at 32-23 in favor of Shiloh.
Both teams started out slow in the second half, only scoring a combined 12 points in the third quarter. Trailing by 11 points going into the fourth quarter, the Hawks mounted a rally and outscored Shiloh 17-8. It wasn’t enough to come out on top though, and the final score found Heritage on the losing end of a 47-45 outcome.
Once again, the Hawks showed their strength as rebounders with 28 total rebounds for the game. Taylor helped lead the charge for the Hawks with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
In the final game of the tournament, Heritage hosted Bismarck-Henning on December 29. The matchup proved to be an even one, with both teams keeping it close throughout. Heritage and Bismarck-Henning came out strong, scoring 11 points each in the first quarter and tying up the game. The Hawks took the lead in the second quarter, outscoring Bismarck-Henning 12-8 and ending the half with a score of 23-19.
Bismarck-Henning shortened the Hawks’ lead, scoring 11 points to Heritage’s 10 points in the third quarter.
The Hawks weren’t willing to give up their lead easily. They outscored Bismarck-Henning 18-15 in the fourth quarter and came out with a 51-45 victory at the buzzer.
With a 6-8 record the Hawks ended this year on a high note. They brought down 32 rebounds against Bismarck-Henning. Taylor and sophomore Jordan Wolf both contributed 12 points each for the Hawks, and Richardson brought in 11 points as well. Taylor went four for eight from the free throw line and brought in eight rebounds. Wolf went two for seven from three-point range, and Richardson added four assists and eight rebounds for Heritage.
The Hawks took a short break from the court for some practice, and take to the court again on January 4 when they travel to Arthur High School. They will also hit the road to Indianapolis on January 5 to face off against Martinsville High School.