New Castle Varsity Boys Basketball Team got their twenty-third win of the season against a very talented Hamilton Heights Huskies team. The Trojans got the first win in Sectional play and it was not always pretty. In tournament time just survive and advance doesn’t always have to be pretty.
The Trojans got off to a tremendous start and the Huskies could never recover. On the defensive end the Trojans got after the Huskies and forced them to take contested jump shots. On offense the Trojans pushed the basketball in transition, and shared the basketball and got any shot attempt they wanted. The Trojans were led in scoring by Niah Williamson who had 9 points. Mason Gillis had 8 points. Luke Bumbalough added 3 points. At the end of the first quarter the Trojans were leading the Hamilton Heights Huskies 20 to 9.
The second quarter the Trojans came out and had great ball pressure to start the second quarter and extended the lead to 19 points, but late in the second the Trojans got relaxed on the defensive end. Offensively, the Trojans pushed the basketball up the floor and was knocking down shots, but late in the second quarter the Trojans went cold and the Huskies were able to come back. The Trojans were led in scoring by Luke Bumbalough and Mason Gillis both with 4 points. Niah Williamson and Blake Burris added 3 points apiece. The Trojans had the lead going into halftime over the Huskies 34 to 21.
At the half, the Trojans made a few a few defensive and offensive adjustments. The Trojans wanted to do a better job of taking great shots not just good shots. On the defensive end the Trojans wanted to do better at getting through ball screens. The Huskies came out firing on all cylinders and cut into the Trojan lead at the end of the third quarter. In the third quarter the Trojans were led in scoring by Mason Gillis with 7 points. Luke Bumbalough had 5 points. Nicolas Grieser had 3 points. Niah Williamson added 1 point. After the third quarter the Trojans were leading the Huskies 50 to 42.
To start the fourth quarter, the Trojans started off a little slow and the Huskies were able to cut the game to six points, but big time players make big time plays. The Trojans picked up the defensive pressure and forced the Huskies into three straight turnovers and we converted them into points. The Trojans on offence continued to take care of the basketball and made Hamilton Heights come out and guard us and we executed down the stretch. The Trojans in the fourth quarter were led in scoring in by Luke Bumbalough with 10 points. Mason Hardwick had 5 points. Mason Gillis added 3 points. Bryce Huntley had 2 points. The Trojans beat the Huskies of Hamilton Heights 70 to 51.
Offensively, the Trojans did a great job of pushing the basketball in transition and taking what Hamilton Heights gave us. The Trojans started out hot shooting the basketball and then cooled off, but we never panicked. The Trojans also attacked the basket and shot 24 free throws on the night and hit 18 of them. To make a deep tournament run you have to knock down your free throws at a high percentage. Niah Williamson was hot from the outside hitting 4 three pointers. Mason Hardwick and Nicolas Grieser both hit a big shot when we needed it. Luke Bumbalough had 6 assist on the night. Defensively, the Trojans were really good for three quarters. The third quarter the Trojans let Hamilton Heights get any shot they wanted around the rim and did not put up a fight. In quarter one, two, and four the Trojans had great ball pressure and forced the Huskies to shoot tough shots. Mason Gillis had 15 rebounds on the night. It will not always be pretty, but a win is a win and we live to see another opponent.
The Trojans led in scoring by Mason Gillis and Luke Bumbalough both had 22 points. Next, Niah Williamson had 13 points. Mason Hardwick added 5 points. Nicolas Grieser and Blake Burris both had 3 points. Bryce Huntley added 2 points.
The 23-2 Trojans will play in the Sectional Semi-Final on Friday, March 2 at the New Castle Fieldhouse to play the Muncie Burris Owls. The game will start at 6 p.m. Go Trojans!!!