Pats win ninth straight on special nightFebruary 6, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
LINCOLN CITY — Murray Becher and Simon Scherry have frequently basked in the limelight these last four years for Heritage Hills, and Thursday was just the latest example of that.
Coach Nate Hawkins of the Patriots (14-3) presented Scherry a special basketball with his name on it, in commemoration of getting his 321st career assist Jan. 31 at Evansville Mater Dei. Scherry’s 321st career helper surpassed Jason Wilkerson’s previous all-time feat of 320.
The ball reads, “#12 Simon Scherry. Heritage Hills Boys Basketball All-Time Assists Leader. 321 Assists,” in white lettering.
“It feels good,” Scherry said. “To know that I’ve gotten teammates open this whole time, it feels good to finally get it.”
That alone would’ve made a for a notable night as Scherry scored 19 points en route to the Pats’ 75-45 win against Boonville, their ninth straight victory. However, Becher entered the night with 1,540 career points, 10 from breaking Roger Kaiser’s North Spencer scoring record. The all-time scoring leader for the Patriots surpassed that, breaking a scoring record for the third time this season. He previously surpassed Tim Denning’s Heritage Hills boys record, and also Abby Wahl’s school scoring feat.
“It’s a great feeling, but I couldn’t do it without great teammates and great coaches,” Becher said.
Becher scored six points in the opening quarter, pulling him closer to the record. The Pats and Pioneers traded buckets in the early going, with the latter having 2-1 and 4-3 leads, but Heritage Hills then pulled away, going on a 12-0 run during the first quarter to create separation.
He tied the North Spencer record with a 3-pointer in the second quarter, giving the Pats a 34-12 lead. Becher took another three and missed it. He checked out for a bit in the second quarter. The Pats still held a 17-point lead, but took a timeout after allowing a few threes. Their all-time leading scorer came back in trying to change things with 2:18 to play, and that’s when history called his name. Again.
Becher drove to the basket, getting a layup underneath the rim, and a record that had stood for more than 60 years was history. The student section got on their feet and cheered Becher’s latest accomplishment. He ended the game with 17 points.
“I was focused on playing,” Becher said. “I really wasn’t thinking about the record or anything, just trying to win and keep the wins rolling.”
Hawkins appreciates the hard work Scherry and Becher have put in. He sees them as two special players getting to take home two special honors.
“All I can say is I’m very proud of both of them,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins said Kaiser himself will come from Georgia to be in attendance Feb. 14 against Forest Park and Feb. 15 against Evansville North. The 1957 Dale graduate and former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket is expected to present Becher a special ball before the game against the Rangers that is akin to the one Hawkins gave to Scherry on Thursday.
Junior Jake Johnson drained a buzzer-beating three to give the Pats a 47-27 lead at the half. Johnson himself had a milestone of his own, scoring his 100th career point and finished with 11. Junior big man Blake Sisley, who delivered multiple dunks on the evening, ended with a game-high of 21.
The Pats gave up six 3-pointers and some offensive rebounds throughout the evening in spite of the 30-point win. Hawkins thought the Pioneers attacked the glass harder than the Pats did. He thought his players expected to have the ball land in their hands when a shot went up instead of putting a body on someone. Hawkins said it wasn’t the team’s strong suit Thursday, even though they’ve been good at doing that this season. He talked about focusing on the rebounding, but also cleaning up the defense because he thought the Pats were slow in their rotations at times.
Heritage Hills will return to action Saturday against Jasper at Cabby O’Neill Gymnasium. Hawkins praised the Wildcats for being a good rebounding team, and said it’s important for all five players to get boards and be successful.
Saturday’s game is the first varsity basketball game at the venue in five years, something the team has talked about.
“I think that they’re excited about it,” Hawkins said. “We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve been able to play in a lot of different field houses, a lot of different facilities this year with us traveling and playing at Southport, playing at New Castle at the Hall of Fame Classic and to be able to now go play at Cabby, with all the history that’s there, that’s going to be a lot of fun.”
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