The Hillcrest boys’ basketball team started the season on the road with a Little Eight Conference victory over the Brandon-Evansville Chargers on Tuesday night. The Comets trailed 28-24 at the half but rallied to take a 54-46 win.
“This was tough, well-coached Brandon-Evansville team that we faced tonight,” said Hillcrest Head Coach Ryan Garvin. “Coach Trent Hintermeister always has his guys ready. Three of our starters had 2 or 3 fouls in the first 8 minutes, so we had to ride Mr. Consistency, Caden Fischer, and fellow starter Luke Christensen for much of the last ten minutes of the first half. Matthew Knutson came in and did a good job on the boards for us and had some great finishes around the rim in that stretch. David Stephen-Wangboje and Zayne Weinrich also played some incredibly valuable minutes in that first half to help keep it close.”
Sam Brumfield led the Comets with 16 points and Noah Brumfield added a dozen. Christensen, Knutson and Fischer all finished with 6 points each.
“After being down at the half, I thought Sam and Noah and Yuchan Ha responded really well defensively," stated Coach Garvin. “Both Sam and Yuchan’s defense on the ball in the second half was superb and the opening 5 minutes of team defense in the second half were what truly turned the game around for them tonight. Sam has truly grown into a great floor general. He sees the floor well and, I think, took the shots that came to him tonight.”
Leading the way for Brandon-Evansville were Dezmond White and Tyler Bitzan with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
"Give Hillcrest credit, they are really well-coached and work their tails off," said B-E Head Coach Trent Hintermeister. "Our defense was great for about 90% of the game. We let them go on a 9-0 run in the second half that put us in a tough spot. We got stuck with a lineup on the floor that needed subs, and I didn't take a timeout when I should have. I need to do a better job of recognizing that and pulling the trigger sooner, that's on me. Offensively, we couldn't get the lid off the rim. Our execution at the end of the game was fantastic, but the ball didn't go through the hoop on our open looks. I give our guys credit for their end-of-game composure. We're excited to learn from this game and move forward."
“Brandon-Evansville did a great job on the boards against us,” said Garvin. “That will be an area of focus going into the rest of the week. We’ll need to do a better job of that against our upcoming opponents if we expect to come up with any W’s in that stretch leading up to Christmas.”
Hillcrest will host Pelican Rapids on Thursday and will play at Ashby on Saturday.