Caleb Riordan | Ameritime Sports Writer
The Festus Tigers triumphed over their rivals the Hillsboro Hawks Friday night for their third straight win. This was Festus’ first victory over Hillsboro since 2015.
The Hawks had previously ruled the rivalry and won the past ten matchups with the Tigers. Festus was prepared to put a stop to that on Friday.
“The mindset was just to come out and play with the best defensive energy possible,” Collin Reando said. “By getting stops we could gain momentum on the offensive end and finish more plays.”
Festus came out firing from the opening tip. Arhmad Branch and Collin Weinhaus helped get things started for the Tigers and each scored five points in the first quarter. Cole Rickermann and Reando each contributed four points as well. Festus led 20-14 after one.
The Tigers stayed rolling. Rickermann scored eight more points in the second and Branch helped the team out with six more of his own. Festus held the Hawks to just eight points and extended their lead to 34-22 by the end of the half.
Festus continued to keep the pressure on. Rickermann kept his big night going with six more points in the third. Reando added five more to his total as well. They outscored the Hawks 17-14 in the quarter and held a 15 point lead going into the final eight minutes. Hillsboro was finally able to outscore the Tigers in the fourth. However, the Tigers clutched up and went 10-13 from the free-throw line in the quarter. They secured a 64-53 win over the Hawks for the first time in over five years.
“I think that we trusted each other very well on offense,” Reando said. “We made extra passes and no one took selfish shots. We Just worked together and were able to come out on top.”
Rickermann and Branch had success scoring the ball throughout the entire game. Rickermann led the team with 21 points and Branch was just behind with 19. Reando scored nine, JD McDowell and Desmond Davis each scored four. Weinhaus had five points and Connor Westhoff had a bucket as well.
“We just had to have a good week of practice and come to the game with the right mindset to be successful,” Rickermann said. “I think we brought good defensive intensity that translated to success in our offense.”
The win pushed the Tigers’ record to 11-4 overall and 3-1 in conference play. Any win does great things for a locker room. A conference win over a rival that you haven’t beat in five years will have the Tigers sleeping soundly tonight. Festus looks to build off this three-game win streak Tuesday, Jan. 19 against Crystal City.