BRYAN– In the second game at Bryan High School on Wednesday, March 1st, the 21-1 and #6 team in Division IV, Hilltop Cadets took on the Emmanuel Christian Warriors. This match up was the second meeting of the season between the two squads as Hilltop downed EC on December 3rd by a final of 53-30.
Ryan Brooker put the Cadets on the board first with a short fall away jumper from the left block at the 7:13 mark. Coleman answered for EC before Tim Maneval stroked a trey from the right wing. The Warriors added two free throws by Williams to make the score 5-4 Hilltop as Cadets Coach Sam Boehnlein signaled for a timeout.
The move paid immediate dividends as Hilltop responded with a 7-0 run, first on basket by Steven Riley, then five straight points from Sam Shilling who came off the bench sizzling. Both teams traded turnovers, but EC was able to hit a three to pull to within 5 points, 12-7.
Maneval made the second of two foul shots, then the Warriors added 4 points. Kohl Collins ended the quarter with a basket to put Hilltop on top 15-11.
Emmanuel scored first to begin the second stanza, but the Cadets replied with baskets by Brooker of an offensive rebound of his own miss, and a basket inside by Tyler Suboski to up the lead to 6 points, 21-15.
Riley added a score, and Maneval did too pushing the advantage to ten points. Parmalee scored five straight for EC, but once again Collins hit a triple from the right baseline just as the backboard lit up signifying the end of the quarter, and stifling any momentum the Warriors had built.
Hilltop shot the ball very well the first half going 13-23 from the field, as well as hitting 2 out of 5 from behind the arc. A bench played an important role in the first half as well with Collins and Shilling each scoring 5 points.
The third period started with a three pointer by EC’s Coleman. Brooker countered and Suboski added a bucket for the Cadets making it 35-23.
Parmalee scored again for EC, but Hilltop got a free throw from Suboski, then another basket by Brooker on a nice turn around J. Parmalee got another bucket, but Brooker stayed on fire with a triple from the right wing. With 3:50 left in the third the Cadets led by 14points, 41-27.
Black hit one from downtown for the Warriors, but Hilltop still expanded the margin as Riley hit a three pointer from the left baseline, then got a steal and fed Maneval for a layup. The clock showed 2:32 remaining in the third, and a score of 46-30 in favor of the Cadets.
Freisner got a basket for EC, but Maneval responded with four straight points to close out the quarter as the Hilltop lead now stood at 18 points, 50-32, after three.
Coleman added two for EC, but Maneval picked up where he left off as he added his eighth consecutive point for the Cadets to begin the final period. Coleman hit a three after a Hilltop turnover. However, Hilltop left no doubt in the outcome as Brooker scored seven successive points extending the lead to 59-37. The margin prompted Boehnlein to clear the bench with 2:16 left and allowed the starters to receive a nice ovation from the Cadet faithful upon exit. Austin Schaffner closed out the scoring for Hilltop with 1:36 remaining.
Williams added a basket with just a little over a minute left to provide the final score for Emmanuel Christian. As time expired the Cadets had won 61-39 and in the process also captured their 18 consecutive victory.
Hilltop shot a blistering 26-48 from the field good for 59%, including 6-9 on shots behind the arc. This offset an abysmal night from the charity stripe where the Cadets converted on just 3 of 12 tries.
The Cadets were led in scoring by Brooker’s 19 points and Maneval’s 16 tallies. Riley added 7 points, while Suboski had 5 points. Quinn Smith was held to just two points, but contributed several rebounds and directed the defense. The Hilltop bench came up big registering 12 points as Schilling and Collins scored 5 apiece in the first half, and Schaffner added a late basket for 2 points.
Following the contest Coach Boehnlein was pleased with the effort, especially defensively. “A great defensive effort on our part. We had some lapses here and there, but overall it was a good feeling to get our first tournament win.” Turnovers were a concern of Boehnlein’s.
“Turnovers really killed us again. We had 19 the first time we played Emmanuel, and had too many again tonight. We did a lot better in that respect when we played Hicksville the first time. I believe we had only nine. We took care of the ball when we had to that game and took good shots. It should be a good game Friday night.”
The triumph advanced Hilltop to the Sectional final on Friday, March 3rd, for a rematch with Hicksville and a ticket to Districts at stake.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
Hilltop – 15 15 20 11 – 61
Emmanuel – 11 9 12 7 – 39
Kent Hutchison may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org