POSEN-Fast paced scoring streaks can often mean all the difference in a tight game of basketball. The Hillman boys basketball team learned this lesson on Thursday against Posen in a 76-55 win where it scored 19 points in just under three minutes to take an imposing lead Posen couldn't catch.
The game began with a field goal by Hillman's Hunter Fessler, but Posen took a quick 5-2 lead off the free throws of Brandon Dietz and a field goal by Nicholas Hincka.
Hillman then took a 9-5 lead in just under a minute with field goals from Mason VanPamel and Fessler as well as a triple from Fessler with a little more than four minutes gone from the game. The Tigers led 17-7 at the end of the period.
The second quarter saw a stronger Posen offense led by Hincka and Travis Sharpe which had an eight point scoring streak highlighted by a Sharpe tip in on a missed free throw by Hincka.
Hillman's offense seemed to slow down in the second quarter and Posen fought back to within three, 25-22 with two minutes left before the half.
The Tigers then had an eight-point scoring streak that lasted the last minute of the half highlighted by a VanPamel three with two seconds left, which gave Hillman a 33-23 lead.
"When we went in at half time, we talked about how we had to play with that kind of aggressiveness in the third quarter to make Posen try to match our intensity," Hillman head coach Eric Muszynski said.
The third quarter continued Hillman's scoring streak including eight points by Ty Jones in just over 30 seconds to give Hillman a 43-23 lead.
A 20-point lead is nearly insurmountable even in the best of times and Posen continued to struggle against a zealous Hillman defense. Posen was still able to score as both Hincka and Litwinski both hit three-pointers during a period that saw Hillman answer back with baskets of its own.
However VanPamel had his own streak of two threes and a field goal to end the quarter 60-38.
The fourth quarter was more even for both teams. Hillman didn't score for two and a half minutes which gave Posen a chance to fight to a 60-44 spread.
Both teams became increasingly aggressive which led to a lot of steals, fumbling for the balls and angry glares at what they considered to be dubious calls by the refs. Fessler, Jones and Dylan Ross continued to be effective scorers for Hillman while Hincka, Litwinski, Sharpe and even Martin Mulka contributed strong offensive and defensive pressure.
Posen was unable to capitalize on a nearly scoreless two and a half minutes by Hillman, scoring only five points to end the game 76-55.
Posen head coach Steve Hentkowski was not disappointed by his team's play.
"Overall I think they did a good job tonight. We struggled with Hillman's press at points but we've made a lot of improvement. We need to work on getting in sync as a team and playing better as a team," he said.
Hillman is now 6-2 overall and 5-1 in the North Star League. They are tied for second place with Hale who they host next Friday. Posen falls to 4-4 overall and 2-4 in the North Star League and travels to Mio next Friday.
Hillman's JV also earned a W against Posen. Hillman led in the first quarter 13-2 and in the second 36-8. The Tigers furthered their lead to 46-13 and scored 12 points more in the fourth to finish the game 58-13.
Top scorers for Hillman included Travis Powers with 16, Josh Reinhold with 12 and Dylan Steinke with eight. Posen's top scorer was Chase Lewandowski with seven points.
Hillman (76): D. Ross 5-1-2-11: T. Jones 5-1-2-12: M. Klein 1-1-2-3: M. VanPamel 9-4-6-25: B. Zimmer 1-0-0-2: D. Olschanski 1-0-0-2: H. Fessler 9-1-2-21.
Posen (54): M. Mulka 0-2-3-2: T. Sharpe 3-3-6-8: L. Litwinski 3-0-1-8: N. Hincka 11-5-8-28: W. Beach 0-1-2-1: B. Dietz 0-4-6-4: J. Zabroney 1-1-2-3.