Rebounding from a loss, Hillcrest pours on the points against Columbus

By Giovanni Coronel
Posted 1/11/23

Hoping to flip the script in 2023 the first game of the new year for the Ravens was a rematch against the Wolves but unfortunately for Hillcrest the results ended up the same as the first matchup. …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Rebounding from a loss, Hillcrest pours on the points against Columbus


Hoping to flip the script in 2023 the first game of the new year for the Ravens was a rematch against the Wolves but unfortunately for Hillcrest the results ended up the same as the first matchup. Winfield-Mt Union on its home court were able to claim victory over conference opponent Hillcrest for the second time this season with a final score of 59-42 on January 3. 

In the first quarter the game was closely contested and it was the only quarter where Hillcrest held a lead. A turning point of the game was when a Winfield-Mt Union player was able to elevate and dunk the ball, much to the jubilation of the home crowd. After the energetic dunk which fired up the crowd the Wolves went on a 9-2 run to end the first quarter. 

The second quarter is where the deficit became too large for the Ravens to overcome. Scoring only three points in the second quarter Hillcrest went into halftime trailing 30-12. 

“We played much better in the second half, after struggling to make shots in the first half, including from point-blank range,” Hillcrest coach Dwight Gingerich said. “Winfield came with a lot of energy and got big buckets off the bench in the first half. Overall Winfield was clicking on a lot of cylinders and we couldn’t dig ourselves out of the first half hole.”

In the second half Hillcrest did improve offensively and the hustle of senior forward Grant Bender was a big reason why. 

“Defensively we were tighter overall as the game progressed. In the second half we executed better, took better care of the ball, and made shots we struggled to connect on in the first half,” Gingerich said. “Grant came through for us down the stretch and played fearlessly. He was very aggressive, and was able to get Winfield to bite on fakes and draw fouls.”

Bender was the leading scorer for the Ravens with 16, and 14 of those points came in the second half. He was able to drive to the basket with efficiency and that effort also helped him in the rebounding apartment. Bender led his team in rebounds on the night with five. 

Hillcrest senior guard Luke Schrock was the second leading scorer, with 13 points. Schrock also led the team in assists with five on the night.


Hillcrest 65, Columbus 20

Bouncing back from a loss on the road, Hillcrest returned to its home court and were able to secure a victory with a 65-20 win over conference Columbus on January 6. 

With this win the Ravens improve to 6-2 in Southeast Iowa Super Conference play, sitting in third in the overall ranking, behind WACO and Winfield Mt. Union. 

Hillcrest poured on the points in the first and second quarter, scoring a whopping 20 points in each quarter, and went into halftime with a 27 point lead. 

The Ravens defense limited Columbus’ offensive so well that when Hillcrest’s point total reached 21 in the second half they already had enough points to win the game. Columbus scored eight points in the first quarter, its quarter high for the game, and only scored one point in the final frame. 

Stealing the ball 21 times and collecting 13 offensive rebounds as a team, Hillcrest made any Columbus comeback a nonstarter. 

Hillcrest sophomore guard Seth Ours scored a team high 17 points on the night. Ours got well acquainted with the three point line during this game as he went 3-for-4 from deep, shooting 75% from beyond the three point arc. He also was able to dish out three assists and grab three rebounds. 

Not too far behind Ours was Hillcrest senior Grant Bender who was the second highest scorer with 16 points. Bender also recorded two steals and nabbed four rebounds. 


Danville 61, Hillcrest 51

Capping off its busy week in a non-conference game at home, Hillcrest fell short in a 61-51 loss to Danville on January 7.

While the Ravens were not able to match up to Danville’s impressive offensive performance, Hillcrest was able to keep the score within striking distance throughout the whole game. 

Heading into halftime Hillcrest was trailing by just 10 points and then after narrowly outscoring Danville by two points in the third quarter the Ravens found themselves with just an eight point disadvantage.

Unfortunately in the final frame of the game Danville outscored Hillcrest 15-13, putting the end to any potential comeback. 

Bender was the leading scorer on the night for the Ravens, with 16 points. The second leading scorer was senior Luke Schrock with 13 points. 

Continuing its five-game home stretch, Hillcrest (6-4) welcomed fellow conference member Highland (1-8) on January 10. This was the second time these two teams played each other this season with the first game being a blowout victory for Highland, 71-13.  

It will be a tough matchup at home for the Ravens when undefeated conference leading WACO (10-0) comes to town on January 12. 

Ending a busy week at home for the final game in its five-game home stretch, Hillcrest will battle Keota (10-2) in a non-conference game on January 14.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here