Hillman wins basketball district finals against Posen, 65-45

News Photo by Owen Kinzey The Hillman High School boys basketball team celebrates its victory over Posen High School in the district finals on Friday at Hillman High.

HILLMAN — After taking care of Posen with ease twice this season, the Hillman Tigers (20-2, 10-0 NSLLD) geared up to face Posen again for the district finals on Friday.

Similar to the last two matchups, Hillman took home a commanding victory by a score of 65-45.

With Friday’s win, the Tigers advance to the regional semifinals and will no longer host any remaining games.

Though the team is done hosting, this final home win marks the third consecutive district title for Hillman High School.

“That’s our seventh (district title) in 10 years and our third consecutive, so this moment is pretty special,” Hillman coach Eric Muszynski said. “It’s all a testament to the building of a program and the work these guys put in to make this happen. I’m so happy for these players, this school, and this town, because I know it means a lot to everybody.”

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Hillman High School’s Trenton Taratuta, right, takes a shot while Cuyler Schultz looks on during Hillman’s 65-45 victory over Posen High School on Friday at Hillman High.

While the Tigers started strong and finished stronger, Posen got off to a great start because of a corner three from Logan Timm.

After Timm’s three, the Vikings’ offense struggled, especially against Hillman’s tough, lengthy press defense.

As usual, one man, Trenton Taratuta, controlled the Tigers’ scoring.

Unlike the past game, when he got to the rim nearly every time, Taratuta got to his spots in the midrange and knocked down most jumpers.

His impact as a playmaker also shined throughout the night with his ability to find the open man to set up easy baskets inside and out.

At the end of the first quarter, Hillman only narrowly held the 13-10 lead, but the offense was soon to explode.

Taratuta maintained his same play style, and the points started to flow for the Tigers.

Everything favored Hillman as it had developed a substantial lead until Taratuta reached his third foul.

Having to sit the rest of the second, Hillman’s offense plummeted, but the lead still favored the Tigers 33-18 going into halftime.

Coming out of the break, Hillman continued its intensity and worked just as hard as it did in the first half.

The Tiger’s defense locked down, and Posen rarely scored or had the chance to score.

On the offensive end, Taratuta did his job while dishing the ball to his open teammates.

Heading into the final quarter, Hillman achieved a large enough lead to coast to the finish line.

Although the team allowed more points on defense, the offense kept up as much to close out the 65-45 win.

“Today was more about getting strategic steals and easy baskets at the right time,” Muszynski said. “Our press was super strong throughout the game, and it really gave their ball-handlers a hard time. Allowing ourselves to get easy points was huge, especially when we couldn’t find those points early on.”

As always, Hillman’s leading scorer on the night was Taratuta, who finished with 28 points.


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