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By Danya Long
For the Leader
The Heritage Hawks boys’ basketball team came away with one loss and one win in their two road games last week.
While they only won their second game against Martinsville High School on Jan. 5, their game against Arthur on Jan. 4 was nothing to shrug off.
The boys carry a lot of momentum in their last few weeks of the regular season.
The Hawks started out the game strong, outscoring the Knights 21-18 in the first quarter.
Both teams fought hard, and the lead changed hands multiple times throughout. The Knights picked it up just a little in the second quarter, but couldn’t quite take the lead going into halftime.
The Hawks held a 32-31 lead going into the locker room.
Heritage looked to continue their lead, but the Knights controlled the ball better in the third quarter and took over the game.
Outscoring the Hawks 17-12, the Knights took a 48-44 lead with only eight minutes left to play in the game. Neither team was ready to give in, making sure every play counted for something.
The Hawks won the final quarter by outscoring the Knights 23-21, but came up just short in the end.
At the buzzer, the scoreboard read 69-67 in favor of Arthur. A devastating two-point loss handed the Hawks their ninth loss of the season.
While Heritage didn’t come out on top in the game, their performance wasn’t something to be disappointed in. The Hawks racked up 19 assists and 35 rebounds in the game, along with shooting nearly 60 percent from the field.
Four Hawks ended the game in double figures, with senior Brandon Richardson leading the way. Richardson put up 18 points and managed to pull down six rebounds to lead Heritage.
Sophomores Jordan Wolf and Chance Lemmon also put up some big numbers for the Hawks, especially in the three-point range.
Wolf added 15 points, all of which were from the three-point line.
Lemmon contributed another 13 points and four assists, while shooting .500 from the arc.
Senior John Taylor rounded out the top four with 11 points, four assists, and 14 rebounds for the Hawks.
On Saturday, Jan. 5, the Heritage Hawks made their way to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to face off against the Martinsville Bluestreaks on the same court the Indiana Pacers compete on during the season.
The Hawks added an impressive win to their record, beating out the Bluestreaks 65-37 in their seventh victory of the season.
The Hawks got off to a slow start, trailing 4-2 early in the first half.
It didn’t take long for them to get their heads in the game though, mounting an impressive 20-1 scoring run over the Bluestreaks.
At the end of the first quarter, Heritage had a 22-5 lead and a lot of momentum on their side.
The second quarter was much of the same as the Hawks outscored the Bluestreaks by nine points.
Going into the second half, Heritage held a nice 38-12 lead.
Whatever the Martinsville team discussed during halftime in the locker room got them motivated and more focused in the second half, coming out stronger against the Hawks’ offense.
At the end of the third quarter, the Bluestreaks had found the net for 13 points but still couldn’t overcome the Hawks.
The score stood at 54-25 in favor of Heritage with just eight minutes left to play.
During the last quarter, the Bluestreaks once again found their rhythm.
They outscored the Hawks 12-11 in the last minutes of the game, but it wasn’t enough to take the victory from them.
The final score found the Hawks on top with a 65-37 win on the biggest court they will play on all season.
The Hawks put together a notable performance, shooting 53 percent for the game, bringing down 34 rebounds, and taking 15 steals against the Bluestreaks.
Once again, Heritage had four leading scorers in double digits.
Senior Cody Reed led the team with 15 points, nearly all of which coming from his four made three-point shots. He also added five rebounds to the team total.
Richardson followed with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Taylor contributed 12 points, eight rebounds, and seven steals for the Hawks. Wolf rounded out the top four with 11 points of his own to help lead Heritage to their win over Martinsville.
The Hawks take the week to rest and work on their game until they take on Okaw Valley on Jan. 11 at home.
Heritage, who is now 7-9, will prepare for their final nine games of the season before the post-season contest begins on Feb. 18.