Hawks struggle against Pirates

By KEVIN LYNCH Staff Writer Published:

Garaway's group of senior guards took the young Hiland backcourt to school Tuesday, as the pressure of the Pirates forced 22 turnovers and sent the Hawks to their first loss of the season.

Senior Duane Troyer poured in 23 points to go with seven rebounds, three steals and an assist to lead the Pirates past the Hawks 60-49 in the backyard brawl in Sugarcreek.

"As the game went on, he said, 'This is my baby. I'm going to take over.' And he did," Garaway coach Dave Shutt said of Troyer.

After Hiland had trimmed Garaway's lead to two, 34-32, on Jordan Yoder's second 3-pointer early in the second half, Troyer took over for Garaway, scoring two free throws, a jumper, a layup and the bonus, making a steal and feeding Sammy Gebhardt for a 3-pointer that put the Pirates up 43-32, and the Hawks never recovered, in falling for the first time this season after posting five straight wins. The Hawks are 4-1 in the Inter-Valley Conference, while the Pirates improved to 5-0 in the IVC, 5-1 overall.

"At the half, our message was: 'Don't melt down. We've got to buckle down, execute and get stops.' I thought we did," Shutt said. "That was a turning point, that steal and then that 3."

The third quarter ended with Garaway ahead 46-34, and after Troyer swished a triple early in the final frame, it was just a matter of hanging on down the stretch.

"Our pressure was excellent. We had a lot of steals and deflections because of it," Shutt added. "I thought it was a great team effort."

In contrast, Hiland coach Mark Schlabach was not pleased with his team's effort.

"When you don't play very well, it doesn't hurt quite as bad," Schlabach said. "We didn't play real well. They were the aggressor. That showed. They had a lot of free throws because they were more aggressive than we were. We had a lot of turnovers because of their aggressiveness. They had us on our heels all night.

"You expect to have some turnovers against a team that's going to press you the whole game," the coach continued. "The unforced errors hurt, but it's the ones they capitalized on that hurt us the most, like that stretch in the third quarter that allowed them to make their run."

Jordan Yoder led the Hawks with 15 points, and Todd Ropp added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Brennan Coil chipped in 10 points and 10 boards.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.