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Hiland defeats Caldwell in the Div. IV district final. Will now take on River on March 3.


That winning feeling, Hiland going to district final

It never feels like any Hiland basketball team over the last several years, or ever for that matter, is out of a game.

No matter the score or situation, it seems as though the Hawks are always close enough to pounce, get back in a game and win it. A lot of that has to do with coaching, hard-working players, a winning tradition and of course those summer workouts when other teams in the state might not be working as hard.

That previous paragraph might possibly be what Hawks’ fans witnessed come to fruition on Tuesday Feb. 28 at Cambridge High School.

Trailing 35-25 midway through the third quarter in the Div. IV East 1 District semi-final to Caldwell, the Hawks had to dig deep and find some of those winning genes in their bones to overcome the Redskins and their prolific scorer Bede Lori.

They’d do it.

Hiland ended the third quarter on a 10-2 surge to cut the Redskins’ lead to 37-35 after the period. Then with 2:42 left in the game the Hawks would take their first lead 45-43 when Carson Habeger banked a runner in the lane from straight on. After the big time bucket from Habeger the Hawks would never lose the lead and finish off the Redskins by a score of 53-46.

Hiland, the number three seed in the district, will now head on over to the District final where they will face the number one seed River. On Tuesday night River took out the number five seed Strasburg by a score of 40-26.

This was the eighth straight win for the Hawks and they are now 16-9. Caldwell sees their season come to a quick end and finish with a record of 20-5.

Leading the way for Hiland was Sammy Detweiler who scored 18 points including four paramount free throws down the stretch. The big fellow in the middle, Alex Yoder had himself a game in Cambridge Tuesday night scoring 14 points and tugging down clutch rebounds all night long. The Redskins did not have an answer for the Hiland big man and it showed.

Nick Wigton added nine points for the Hawks and freshman Alex Miller tossed in eight points. Miller hit a clutch three early in the fourth quarter that tied the game at 39-39 and also made two freebies down the stretch.

For the Redskins, they got a cool 27 points from senior do-it-all scorer Lori. He was a thorn in the side of the Hawks all night long. Okay, he was more than that, he was an absolute beast in the paint and hitting mid-range jumpers against Hiland throughout the contest.

After the first quarter, Caldwell led 14-5 mostly thanks to that Lori dude who had 10 first quarter points.

But, like they do so often, Hiland hung around. Miller’s first triple came midway through the second and cut the Redskins’ lead to 21-17. After a Lori and one, Detweiler was able to beat the second quarter buzzer and Hawks would go into the half trailing 26-21.

Caldwell was able to push the lead out to 10 points when Tyce Devolld scored an gimme in the lane. Devolld, who averages 16 points per game, was in foul trouble and sat most of the first half and still ended up with seven points. After the Devolld bucket, that is when Hiland started their comeback.

During the before mentioned 10-2 run at the end of the third quarter, Yoder scored six of those ten points and Detweiler scored a fancy old fashion 3-point play and hit a free throw during the stretch.

Leading 50-43 with 21 seconds left to play the Hawks had quite the scare when Lori was fouled during a made 3-pointer. However, the 90% free-throw shooter would go on to miss the free throw and Miller and Detweiler would make three freebies over the last 20 seconds to secure the win.

Follow us on Twitter ( ) for updates during Hiland’s District final on Friday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m.