(January 30th, 2015) – PIONEER: Facing off against a rival is an invigorating thing. The excitement coursing through one’s veins at the feeling that, no matter the records involved, this game is special can be downright intoxicating. It’s even been known to carry significant underdogs to amazing victories.
The best way to counter that feeling is through depth, wearing down the opponent until their tiredness has overtaking their adrenaline. Such was the strategy of Hilltop, who stepped onto North Central’s home court and came away with a 71-59 win.
The boys of Pioneer led coming out of the first quarter, 19-18. Hilltop overtook that lead in the second period, though, as they outscored North Central 16-12. Going into the locker room, North Central found themselves in a 34-31 deficit.
Returning to the court, Hilltop continued to wear down the thin roster of the Eagles. The Cadets claimed the third quarter 17-13. Going into the fourth period, the boys from West Unity held a 51-44 advantage. During that final quarter, Hilltop widened the gap between North Central and themselves, winning the stanza 20-15.
Jalen Towers, a senior Cadet, was top scorer on the evening with 22 points. His classmate, Erike Stipe, was close behind with 19 points. Sophomore Tim Maneval added 11 points in the victory as well.
North Central had three double-digit scorers as well, all of which were seniors. Jordan Reeves led the pack with 20 points. Jordan Bailey was good for 16 points, and Josh Sawyer connected on a trio of three-point shots on his way to 14 points.
Depth was the key issue here. Hilltop rotated players in and out of the game regularly, which is something North Central simply doesn’t have the numbers to do, at least to the extent of the Cadets.