Caleb Riordan | Ameritime Sports Writer
The Hillsboro Hawks Freshman Basketball squad took out the Fox Warriors, De Soto Dragons and North County Raiders on their way to winning the Herculaneum Hoopsters Freshman Tournament.
The Hawks opened the tournament against Fox on Tuesday. They jumped out of the gate shining offensively. Luka Pool, Nick Marchetti and Payton Brown all scored four points in the first quarter. The Hawks combined for 15 and held a six-point lead after the first quarter.
Fox then ramped up their attack and scored 15 in the second. Hillsboro scored 13, with the help of five points from AJ Heuszel, but the Warriors cut into the lead, leaving the Hawks with a 28-24 lead at the half.
Hillsboro locked back in defensively in the second half though and held Fox to just eight points in the third quarter. Five points from Gavin Hite helped the Hawks to 11 points in the quarter, as they entered the fourth with a seven-point lead. Hillsboro sthen cored 11 more and held Fox to just ten, and the Hawks wrapped up a 50-42 victory to kick off their tournament.
Pool, Brown and Dominic Sutton led the team with eight points each. Hueszel and Chase Sucharski both had seven points. Marchetti and Hite both scored six.
The Hawks took on the De Soto Dragons on Thursday. The game started slow but Hillsboro held the early advantage. Sucharski and Pool each scored a basket in the first and helped their team to eight points. They held the Dragons to only two points, and took a six-point lead into the second. The Hawks ramped up their attack and added 13 more points to their total, highlighted by Heuszel, who had six to lead the way in the quarter. De Soto picked things up as well and scored 11 of their own, but Hillsboro led 21-13 at the half.
The Hawks figured something out at halftime and came out with a revamped attack. Sutton helped with seven points in the quarter, while four other Hawks had at least four points in the quarter as well. They held a convincing 45-26 lead heading into the final frame. Hillsboro closed out the game with 15 more points in the fourth to give them the 60-39 victory.
Heuszel, Sutton and Hite all scored 11 to lead the team. Sucharski and Brown finished with eight points each, while Pool scored seven of his own.
Hillsboro decided t0 keep things rolling against the North County Raiders. The Hawks exploded for 29 points in the first quarter versus North County, as Sucharski led the way with 12 points in the first. Five other Hawks had baskets in the quarter as well. On top of their offensive outburst, they absolutely tortured the Raiders defensively. They pitched a first-quarter shutout and held a commanding 29-0 lead after one.
Pool helped the squad add to their lead in the second quarter with five points and Hillsboro totaled 13 more in the second. North County found a way to get on the board and scored 11 points of their own, but the Hawks led 42 -11 at the half.
Deja Vu? Hillsboro had another offensive explosion in the third. Sucharski scored seven, Marchetti and Sutton each had five and the Hawks scored 28 points total in the quarter and held North County to just four. The fourth quarter was more of the same, and the Hawks sealed up a convincing 81-17 victory. They were crowned the Herculaneum Hoopsters Tournament Champions.
Sucharski led his team with 19 points. Pool was just behind with 12 of his own, while Marchetti scored ten points and Heuszel had nine. Eight Hawks saw the ball hit the bottom of the net at some point in the game. The win was a total team effort.
“The kids played really hard with great energy,” Head Coach Bill Sucharski said. “It was a true team effort defensively. Really happy for the kids to be able to respond after last night’s game versus Fox.”
The win puts the Hawks at 13-5. Next, the Hawks run up against the Festus Tigers on Friday, Feb. 5th.