HILLMAN-Local rivalries often have a way of firing up sports teams. The Hillman and Posen boys basketball rivalry sparked up on Friday night as the Tigers won a 65-46 game against the Vikings that may have felt like sweet revenge for the 73-36 rout the Posen girls put on Hillman the night before.
"There's a lot of energy and aggression when that kind of rivalry is there. Both teams were really aggressive defensively but we did a good job of setting the tempo of the game at the very beginning, which helped us sweep Posen in the regular season for the first time in two years," Hillman coach Eric Muszynski said.
Hillman's aggression began immediately with a Hunter Fessler field goal less than 30 seconds into the game. Posen answered back with a Luke Litwinski triple that put Posen (6-9, 4-8 NSL) ahead for the first and only time.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Hillman’s Hunter Fessler puts up a lay-up during a boys basketball game against Posen Friday at Hillman High School.
The Tigers (10-5, 9-3 NSL) countered with a staggering 14-0 streak that Posen broke with a minute and a half left in the quarter. By the time the quarter ended with a Mike Olschanski field goal, Hillman was up 20-7.
Olschanski was especially effective in the first quarter, scoring six points and snatching a lot of rebounds. Ty Jones was also incredibly effective, hitting a double-double with 17 points and 11 steals on the night.
Olschanski also hit a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
The second quarter saw more relaxed Hillman play which Posen pounced on. Nick Hincka got some offensive momentum going for Posen while Brandon Dietz and Litwinski were also vital. Litwinski hit a three two minutes into the quarter to bring the score to 20-13, but it was the closest Posen got for the rest of the game.
"We got within about seven there at one point but we really had a hard time with their press tonight. We've been successful against it before but when you have 29 turnovers in a game, you aren't going to get the win," Posen coach Steve Hentkowski said.
The Vikings also ran into trouble at the free-throw line, letting Hilllman hit seven of eight free throws in the quarter while hitting two out of four of their own. The half ended with the Tigers up 33-17.
The third quarter saw more foul trouble from Posen as it gave Hillman eight easy points. The Vikings were able to pick up seven of their own free points.
Hillman's Dylan Ross was an effective rebounder and scorer in the third quarter, hitting a field goal and two free throws. Jones was also highly effective, hitting a three while Mason VanPamel hit a field goal and two free throws.
The normally accurate VanPamel missed more shots than normal due to increasing offensive man-to-man defensive that caused a lot of chaos on the court.
"We played man-to-man really well tonight. I think it's the best we've played it all year," Hentkowski said.
Warren Beach was especially effective at causing trouble for Hillman, but with a stalled offensive attack and only two field goals in the third quarter, Posen couldn't capitalize offensively as they ended the quarter trailing 50-28.
Coming back from a 20-point deficit is tough in the best of times and Hillman's increasing defensive pressure wasn't making it easy for Posen. The Vikings weren't making it easy for the Tigers either. but points were scored tit-for-tat keeping the game firmly on Hillman's side.
Jones continued to be an effective offensive presence while VanPamel opened up a lot of scoring opportunities.
The Vikings never gave up, especially not Hincka who scored 15 points in the fourth quarter.
"When we jumped out real quick like that, the game was kind of a foregone conclusion. Our press kept Hincka out of the game for the first quarter which really helped us get the kind of lead we needed to get the win," Muszynski said.
Hillman's JV team also came up with a big 54-29 win.
Hillman (65): M. Olschanski 4-5-6-13: D. Ross 4-3-4-11: T. Jones 5-6-8-17: M. VanPamel 3-7-10-13: B. Zimmer 1-0-0-2: B. Clark 3-0-0-6: H. Fessler 2-1-3-3.
Posen (46): M. Mulka 0-1-2-1: L. Litwinski 2-5-6-11: N. Hincka 6-9-12-22: W. Beach 2-1-2-5: B. Dietz 1-3-4-5: A. Kwiecien 1-0-0-2.