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Hiland and Gallia play in regional semi-final
Hawks' defensive wizard Kate Kaufman (21) and Gallia's Morgan Lyons battle for a board during the regional semi-final at Pickerington North High School.


Hiland darts out to early lead, keeps the pedal to the floor

Quick starts. They’re important. Every game. In every sport.

You know what is even better than quick starts?

Hot starts.

Really hot starts.

On March 2 in the Div. IV Region 15 semi-final the Hiland Hawks girls basketball team came out of the locker room with smoke trailing them.

The Hawks outscored South Gallia, by two touchdowns, 21-7 in a torrid first quarter and Hiland would keep the pedal down on their way to a convincing 54-33 win over the Rebels.

Hiland (20-6) was just plain blistering in the first quarter hitting all five 3-pointers they hoisted up. Junior Mallory Stutzman dropped three from downtown, Evie Mast nailed one and the extremely active post Joplin Yoder splashed one down.

The old adage blasted out by sports fans all over the country goes something like, “It all starts at the defensive end.”

Well the Hawks went ahead and flipped that around. They lit up the hardwood on the offensive end first and then turned their energy and focus to the defensive end.

Getting all Steve Wojciechowski-like, the Hawks held the Rebels (22-4) to just 12 second half points and limited 17 points per game scorer Morgan Lyons to just four points for the game. Gallia scored just six points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth.

Good offense. Maybe even better defense. That total encompassing effort by the Hawks has earned them a trip to the Div. IV Regional final on Saturday, March 4 at 7pm. The Hawks will be taking on Portsmouth Notre Dame who beat Fisher Catholic at the buzzer 46-44.

Hiland was led in scoring by junior point guard Ashley Mullet who scored nine first half points and 10 second half points for her game-high 19 points. Mullet’s running mate Stutzman finished with 17 points, with 15 of her 17 coming in the first half. The Hawks got a massive effort from Yoder who nearly went all double-double on the Rebels, scoring 12 points and ripping down eight rebounds.

The Rebels were led in scoring by Emma Clary and Madison Summers who each had nine points. Tori Triplett had eight points for Gallia in the loss.

Here’s some big plays of each quarter to round up this game recap.


The Hawks actually trailed early 2-5 right out of the gate as the Rebels scored on their first two possessions. But Hiland answered the call going on a 13-0 run fueled by two Stutzman 3s and the bomb from freshman Evie Mast. The Mast three made the score 15-5 with 3:12 left in the first period and forced the Rebels to finally call and timeout and figure out what just hit them.


When Clary hit a jumper for the Rebels midway through the second period it cut the Hawks’ lead to 25-17, but that was as close as they would come the rest of the game. Mullet’s one three of the night came at the buzzer of the second quarter and gave the Hawks a 31-22 lead at the intermission.


There wasn’t a whole lot of offense in the third quarter. Hiland held the Rebels to just six points, but only scored eight on their side of the scoreboard. Summers made a deep ball with just over two minutes left in the third, but Mullet answered with a layup and and a free throw to end the quarter, otherwise the Rebels would have outscored the Hawks in the third.


The Hawks spent most of the fourth at the free throw line tallying more points, little by little, to their lead. The lockdown “D” was enough that the Hawks really didn’t have to chuck up too many shots to hold of the Rebels.

Follow us on Twitter ( @330insiders ) for score updates on Saturday night as the Hawks take on Portsmouth Notre Dame.