The Hillsboro Hawks’ Boys Basketball Team opened their season Monday night when they took on the DeSoto Dragons in the first round of the North County Round Robin. Thanks to a big game from Sophomore Noah Holland, the Hillsboro Hawks took home a 61-53 win.
The Hawks had a season to remember last year, finishing the year with a record of 22-6 and falling just one game short of winning the Class Four District Two Championship. If the Hawks want to replicate last year’s success, they’re going to have to do it without their three leading scorers from 2019-20, all of whom have graduated. Hillsboro’s opponent for the opening game was the DeSoto Dragons, a team also opening their season Monday night.
The first quarter was a high scoring one, with the Hawks putting up 18 points and the Dragons outdoing them with 20. The second quarter was where the Hawks began to assert their dominance in the game though, outscoring the Dragons by six to take a 36-32 lead going into the half. One reason for the Hawks taking the advantage was the excellent play of Zach Whaley, scoring eight of the Hawks 18 second-quarter points.
Hillsboro’s offense cooled down somewhat in the second half, scoring just 25 points, but the Hawks’ defense was able to box out the Dragons well enough to secure a win. They allowed just 21 second-half points to grab a 61-53 victory.
The story of the game for Hillsboro was the excellent play of Sophomore Holland, who not only scored his first-ever points at the varsity level, but led the game in scoring as well. Holland finished the game with 24 points on 9-17 shooting, and even more impressively knocked down 5-8 of his three-point attempts. Holland was even essential as a distributor for Hillsboro, tying the team-lead in assists with five while allowing no turnovers and grabbing four rebounds.
The Hawks’ second-leading scorer, Whaley, was another big-time contributor in Hillsboro’s Monday night win. Whaley ended the game with 10 points on 5-10 shooting and 5-5 from the field while adding six rebounds and five assists.
The Hawks got significant contributions from Senior Eric Schneider and Junior Kyle Phipps as well. Schneider nearly put up a double-double, scoring seven points on 2-5 shooting from the field and 3-3 from the free throw line, and bringing down a team-high nine rebounds. Phipps scored eight big points and didn’t miss a shot in the process, going 3-3 from the field and 1-1 from the free throw line.
The Hawks will look to make their record 2-0 on Thursday as they continue on to the second round of the North County Round Robin to take on the Fox Warriors (0-1). The last time these two teams met up was in the 2018-19 season, where the Hawks took home a 77-56 win. This won’t be the last time the Hawks see the DeSoto Dragons either, as they are scheduled to face off again Monday, December 7.