In a game where shot-making was in short supply, Hillgrove defeats Harrison, 38-32.
Both schools have had slow starts to their seasons. Hillgrove had a 3-5 record, and the Hoyas were 4-8 going into the contest. Despite the early struggles, Friday offered the opportunity for a strong start to region play.
From the tip-off, the game was offensively challenged, as each team struggled to get shots to fall. When the first quarter came to a close, Harrison had ground out a 10-7 advantage over the Hawks.
Presumably to generate offense via their defense, Harrison elected to press at times during the second quarter. While the Hawks didn’t handle it with precision, Evan Cole was able to use the Hoyas’ aggressiveness against them by throwing down a wide-open dunk.
Compared to the rest of the game, the second quarter featured an outburst on the offensive end for each team. Hillgrove scored 14 points and Harrison scored 11. The Hawks took a 24-18 lead with them into the half.
Hillgrove’s Evan Cole opened the third quarter with a dunk, giving the Hawks an 8-point advantage. Harrison fought back, and closed the quarter with a 3-pointer by Jeremy Austin to bring the Hoyas within four.
The final stanza opened with Hillgrove leading 32-28. The game’s offensive struggles were amplified during the fourth quarter. Neither team could buy a bucket in the quarter. Harrison scored four points, and two of those came via the free-throw line. Hillgrove scored six points. Two of those were the result of a dunk by Cole in the final seconds of the game. Nevertheless, Hillgrove walked away with the win.
Hillgrove’s Sterling Eason and Evan Cole were solid throughout the game. Eason scored 9 points, and Cole contributed 8 points, including three dunks. For the Hoyas, Nic Mangram led the way with 10 points.
Next, on Saturday, Hillgrove goes on the road for a non-region game against South Forsyth. The Hawks continue region play on Tuesday, as they play North Paulding at home. The Harrison boys go to Roswell for a non-region game on Saturday. Both the Hoya’s boys and girls go to North Cobb on Tuesday to resume region play.