Anyone who left Hillcrest’s game with Parkview at halftime on Friday night stands to be puzzled by the final score.
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Hillcrest (14-5 overall, 4-0 Ozark Conference) put on a clinic in the third quarter, outscoring Parkview 28-3 while going a perfect 12-for-12 from the field. Their defense, meanwhile, harassed the Vikings into six turnovers and 1-for-7 shooting.
Juwan Johnson got the rally started with a bucket in the lane, the first of 13 points for the junior guard in the quarter. Brady Petry, meanwhile, heated up late in the quarter, draining a pair of long 3-pointers as the Hornets imposed their will on the Vikings.
“Our adrenaline got the best of us in the first half,” said Hillcrest coach John Schaefer. “We tried to steal every pass, and it’s not necessary. We got out of position and left their best guys open. We talked about that and I felt like we calmed down in the second half. Whitaker’s 3 to put us up two calmed us down.”
Parkview finally broke the run early in the fourth quarter, as Erik Durham stuck home a pair of free throws. The total damage: 39-3 about 10 minutes of clock time. Uncommon, but not unprecedented for Hillcrest’s HPER building.
“Kickapoo kicked our butts my first year here. I was wondering if they were every going to miss. That was a humbling thing that happened on our floor, my first loss on our home floor was getting beat 30,” said Schaefer. “It’s like a piranha. Once there’s a little blood let, they get energized and start making shots, and each one of them wants one. They just got in a rhythm tonight.”
The Vikings were on the receiving end this time.
“I thought the way we played in the first-half was really good,” said Parkview coach Bill Brown. “We had things under control. We came out in the second half a little flat defensively. We got there a step or two too late, and with that 3-point line it can explode on you in a matter of seconds.”
Johnson finished his night with a game-high 28 points, 23 after the half. Brady Petry chipped in 14, all in the second-half.
Jonah Hill, meanwhile, scored nine points and left his stamp on the first-half. He entered the game after Parkview post Nathan Reichert got off to a hot start. He not only slowed down the 6-foot-5 senior, but also got busy on the boards and helped change the complexion of the game.
“(Reichert’s) hook shot is killing everybody, and I don’t really like it either because there’s not much you can do about it,” said Hill. “My goal at halftime was to not let him score any more points. I’m out there to bang and get rebounds, and I don’t mind to do it.”
Durham scored 12 points to lead the Vikings, who fall to 16-5, 3-2 on the season. Reichert scored all 10 of his points in the first-half.
“As a coach, you want to see what kind of fight your team has. You sit back, watch, and see who’s going to compete and keep competing,” said Brown. “It came to a point where that’s what I was looking for. We were taking a whipping from a good basketball team, but I wanted to see - as the season goes on - who’s going to step up and be ready to go. I was looking for some fight, some determination, maybe a spark from some of our players. We didn’t get that tonight. That’s probably the most disappointing thing.”