Pats shoot way to another winFebruary 18, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
LINCOLN CITY — Heritage Hills has used perimeter shooting to separate itself from the competition during its now 12-game win streak, and Tuesday proved to be no different, draining 14 threes in an 84-55 win against Evansville North.
The Patriots (17-3) welcomed the Huskies, and after opening with a 3-2 lead, that’s when the 3-point barrage started to ensue. Senior Cole Sigler banked one from long range, as did junior Jake Johnson — a 6-0 run just like that. Murray Becher drained a trio of them in the opening quarter alone. Six players banked at least one three, including junior big man Blake Sisley.
“I just think we got a bunch of guards that can attack and we’re beating people off of the dribble, it’s opening up those free lanes and allowing our kids to shoot rhythm threes,” Patriots coach Nate Hawkins said. “I’m so happy for them because we spend so much time shooting in practice and shooting and shooting and shooting, and every one of them are capable shooters.”
The Pats have three games remaining in the regular season before playing their sectional opener. The Huskies got some offensive rebounds in the second quarter and turned defense into points as both teams scored 15 points each in the second. However, Hawkins trusts his defense to give Heritage Hills a chance if the team doesn’t shoot as well as it did on Tuesday. He pointed to that after the win. The Pats began the third quarter on an 11-0 run with Sisley getting four of his team’s first five buckets to begin the second half and Hawkins noted how the Pats got the stops during that stretch as well.
Tuesday saw another commemorative basketball handed out in Lincoln City. Hawkins presented senior Simon Scherry with a special ball after Scherry scored the 1,000th point of his career Feb. 8 at Jasper. He did this for Scherry Feb. 6 against Boonville in honor of becoming the all-time assists leader. He had 1,011 in his career going into Tuesday, according to multiple sources, and a 19-point performance against the Huskies puts him at 1,030.
“It feels good,” Scherry said. “To be the assists leader is nice because it’s getting other people open, but then, to have good enough teammates to get me open, it feels good. It means a lot.”
“I think Simon is just good in about any area that you ask him to be,” Hawkins said. “There’s some nights that he’s got to facilitate. There’s some nights where he’s got to hit shots. There’s some nights where he’s got to guard the other team’s best player and he’s just a complete basketball player.”
Becher has received multiple basketballs this season after becoming the team’s all-time leading scorer in December, as well as Feb. 14 for breaking Roger Kaiser’s North Spencer scoring record. The latter game saw him receive his commemorative ball from the Indiana Basketball Hall of Famer himself.
“It’s a really neat thing,” Hawkins said. “I’m just really happy to be able to do that and be able to give that to the guys because these guys over the course of my four years here at Heritage Hills have done nothing but give me everything that they’ve got; and they work so hard. It just goes to show you that when you do work that hard and you do put the time in and spend the countless hours in the gym, the reward that you can get.”
The trio of Sisley, Becher and Scherry all brought the crowd on their feet in the fourth quarter. Sisley and Becher each had two-handed jams. Scherry joined in, moving through the air for a one-handed slam. Heriage Hills brought some of its reserves in the final two minutes as the starters walked off the court to a standing ovation. “I tried to go up earlier and didn’t get one down,” Scherry said. “They called goaltending. So, I just had to get my one down because I didn’t get the other one. So, I was just thinking I had to get my one.”
Becher finished with 20, Sisley with 17 and senior Cayden Kratzer brought 14 off the bench. Hawkins feels this is a much better team than it was in December, such as shot selection and how often the Pats share the basketball. He cited the four players making it in double digits.
“I think we’re maybe passing up a good shot for a great shot,” he said. “That’s what great teams do.”
A win on Friday at Tell City would deliver the Pats their third consecutive Pocket Athletic Conference championship. There’s not one area Hawkins intends to focus on after Tuesday’s win.
“I think that we’ve got to just get back to doing the things that we do, continuing to work on our offensive and defensive schemes and continuing to get better,” Hawkins said.
For more photos from the game, click here.
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