North Star revenge

HILLMAN-The Hillman boys basketball team may have been looking for a little revenge on Thursday against the Atlanta after the Huskies routed Hillman in the football season and knocked it out of the baseball districts.

It got that revenge with an 81-55 victory on its home court. This was the 17th straight time Hillman basketball has beaten Atlanta.

“You know, (Atlanta) beat them in baseball and in football. So I’m on edge, I don’t want to lose to them too. They set the pace in the first quarter, but our boys came out and came back to take the win,” Hillman head coach Eric Muszynski said.

Atlanta struck first off a Taylor Juergens trey 15 seconds in, but was answered back by a Mike Klein three 30 seconds later to tie the game. The Huskies worked to a 7-3 lead over the next minute and a half.

Hillman didn’t put another point on the board until 4:40 when Mason VanPamel hit a three. Ty Jones sank a three 30 seconds later to tie the game up 9-9.

The Huskies stayed close when a Sam Burcicki basket tied it up, 13-13, with 2:31 left in the first.

Hillman then held the Huskies to two points for the rest of the quarter as it hit two treys in the last minute and a half. VanPamel hit back-to-back threes while Gunnar Libby pitched in his own to help Hillman take a 28-13 lead.

VanPamel hit three treys in the first quarter.

“We had 14 three-pointers in the game and Mason got seven of them. He just about had a triple-double with 23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. He had an astounding game tonight,” Muszynski said.

Klein hit 16 points for Hillman while Jones hit 15 and Libby hit 14.

The Tigers stuck to a perimeter attack, as Libby opened the quarter with a three to stretch Hillman’s lead to 31-15.

The Huskies put together successful drives at the basket, using the height and strength of Jacob Chambers to work through traffic for easy baskets. Chambers led the Huskies in the first half with 10 points.

Seth Teets dropped in nine points for Atlanta.

Teets was one of three Atlanta players to hit nine, including Juergens and Burcicki.

Hillman continued to widen its lead in the second with three-pointers. VanPamel hit two while Klein hit one. These treys helped Hillman outscore Atlanta 22-19 in the second quarter to take a 50-34 lead at the half.

Atlanta slowed down the Tiger attack in the third quarter, holding them to only 11 points while picking up nine of its own.

Chambers picked up eight of these points, leading Atlanta with 20 points for the night.

“We slowed down a bit in the third quarter; we came out a little bit soft. Chambers did a heck of a job getting the bucket in the third quarter so we had to shut down the high post in the fourth, where he was scoring,” Muszynski said.

The Tigers held a 61-43 lead going into the fourth quarter.

The fourth saw Hillman shutting down Chambers at the post and converting its own scoring opportunities more frequently.

It continued to widen the spread with accurate free throw shots. Klein hit six out of six in the fourth while Jones hit five of his own. Hillman scored 20 points in the fourth while holding Atlanta to 12 for the win.

“I’m just really proud of the boys, they played really well. I’m especially happy with the bench in the second quarter. I took out Ty Jones and Dylan Ross for the whole quarter and the bench really came out, played hard, kepet us ahead and gave us the big win,” Muszynski said.

Hillman travels to Whittemore on Monday.

The Hillman junior varsity squad beat the Huskies 58-25.

Eric Benac can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.