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Hillman defeats Mio, 59-46, sending them forward in the post-season games

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Hillman boys’ basketball plays Mio on Tuesday in Hillman. The Tigers defeated the Thunderbolts 59-46. With this win, they move forward in the post-season games and prepare for the next game on Friday in Hillman.

ALPENA – After earning a first-round bye due to a 20-2 record and a 10-0 record in the conference, the Hillman Tigers sought complete control over Mio on Wednesday.

While Hillman struggled early, the second half was executed perfectly, earning a 59-46 victory led by the standout star Trenton Taratuta.

His defensive premise and unguardable offense tools helped the Tigers escape with the win.

“We started very well and took the lead early, but it seemed like our guys took their foot off the gas pedal and stopped playing with the same energy and intensity they had before,” Hillman coach Eric Muszynski said. “Although we were down after the half, we didn’t hit the panic mode, and we really decided to give it to our best guy in Trenton (Taratuta).”

Taratuta and the Tigers were out in front from the tip-off, scoring a fourteen-point quarter to begin the game.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Hillman boys’ basketball plays Mio on Tuesday in Hillman. The Tigers defeated the Thunderbolts 59-46. With this win, they move forward in the post-season games and prepare for the next game on Friday in Hillman.

Taratuta had eight points and had help from Brenden Rouleau, Blake Kennard, and Cuyler Schultz with a basket each.

Conversely, the Thunderbolts were limited to nine points after having difficulty breaking Hillman’s press.

Eventually, Mio found the weakness in the middle of the court, allowing Kostas Archo and Brody Fox to knock down a pair of triples.

While Archo only finished the first with four points, his time to lead the team arose quickly.

Into the second quarter, Archo scored every single point for Mio, ending the second with fifteen points by himself.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Hillman boys’ basketball plays Mio on Tuesday in Hillman. The Tigers defeated the Thunderbolts 59-46. With this win, they move forward in the post-season games and prepare for the next game on Friday in Hillman.

Six points came from threes, eight came from twos, and the final point came at the charity stripe.

As for the Tigers, similar results occurred.

Taratuta had all but two points, except he was contained to just seven points.

This offensive scoring drought for Hillman left the team down one point going into the half.

Although Taratuta didn’t have the greatest start, he exploded offensively in the third quarter.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Hillman boys’ basketball plays Mio on Tuesday in Hillman. The Tigers defeated the Thunderbolts 59-46. With this win, they move forward in the post-season games and prepare for the next game on Friday in Hillman.

Knocking down both three-point attempts and scoring twelve points at the rim, Taratuta carried Hillman to an eighteen-point quarter, the most of any player all night.

While Archo still responded with three more three-pointers, the Tigers took a 46-36 lead and would never look back.

The consistent scoring from Taratuta left the Thunderbolts with no answer on defense and completely demotivated their squad.

In the final quarter, Hillman held the ten-point lead and needed to coast to the finish line for the win.

A team effort of six points from Taratuta, five from Rouleau, and four from Schultz got the job done, ultimately resulting in the 59-46 win.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Hillman boys’ basketball plays Mio on Tuesday in Hillman. The Tigers defeated the Thunderbolts 59-46. With this win, they move forward in the post-season games and prepare for the next game on Friday in Hillman.

While Hillman returned with the 13-point victory, Archo kept firing from deep as he ended with another double-digit quarter.

He finished the game with 38 points overall.

“There’s not a lot of coaches that get the opportunity to coach a kid as good as Trenton (Taratuta). He’s a total game-wrecker, and he carried us to victory tonight. We decided to put him at the top of our press on the defensive side of the ball and really allow him to take over on offense just by getting to the basket, and he did just that,” Coach Muszynski said.

Taratuta dominated the game’s flow, ending with 39 points and the win.

The Tigers prepare to move forward with post-season games.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Brenden Rouleau looks for an opening to take the shot in Wednesday night’s game in Hillman. Rouleau and the Tigers brought home the win, defeating Mio 59-46. Following this victory, they move forward in their post-season bracket and will play Friday in Hillman.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Trenton Taratuta heads down the court during Wednesday night’s game in Hillman. The Tigers took on Mio Thunderbolts, ultimately snagging the win with a 59-46 victory. Taratuta led the team with 39 points on the night.

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