Three-pointers lead Hillman past Posen

POSEN- The three-pointer has carried the Hillman boys basketball team a long way this season.

It carried the Tigers to another win on Monday.

Behind 12 three-pointers and a fast start, Hillman improved to 9-1 with an 80-56 win over Posen at Posen High School.

Mason VanPamel led the Tigers with 30 points and was one of three Hillman players to hit four treys. Dylan Ross had four three-pointers among 16 points and Ty Jones also hit four treys and finished with 16 points.

It was the latest aerial display from the Tigers who have hit upwards of eight three-pointers in a game several times this season.

“When you can hit the three and you have multiple guys that are able to do that, it’s adds a different dynamic to the game,” Hillman coach Eric Muszynski said. “It definitely adds to an already interesting dynamic in our offense.”

VanPamel put on a show for the Tigers in the first half, scoring 22 points and draining three treys in the first quarter alone. His scoring binge helped Hillman race out to a 12-1 lead with 3:45 left in the first quarter and a 26-6 lead at the end of the period.

Posen (8-2) had to contend with a tough defensive effort from Hillman most of the night and had trouble getting shots to fall along with committing some costly turnovers. During a first half stretch that lasted nearly nine minutes, the Vikings went without a field goal and were outscored 28-9.

The Vikings finally found some rhythm in the fourth quarter, but by then Hillman’s lead was too great.

“They just outplayed us. They shot the ball well and they played great defense,” Posen coach Matt Ponik said. “Hillman’s a good team and you’ve got to bring it against them.”

Leon Beccard led the Vikings with 15 points and Nick Hincka and Travis Sharpe each added 14.

Hillman hit seven treys in the first half and went to intermission with a 51-21 lead-fittingly after Klein hit a three-pointer with three seconds left.

“I thought early on Posen had trouble with our defensive pressure and we able to create some turnovers and get some easy baskets,” Muszynski said. “About midway through the three-ball kicked in and we started hitting from the perimeter.”

The Tigers’ prowness from beyond the arc continued into the second half, but Posen was able to match them shot for shot for a few minutes. Eventually however, Posen didn’t have the firepower to keep pace with Hillman and could only watch as Jones and Klein continued to get open at the three-point line and bury their open looks. After Posen cut Hillman’s lead to 60-34, Jones hit two triples as part of a 10-0 run that re-established control of the game in the Tigers’ favor.

Posen finally got some offense going in the fourth quarter and opened the period on a 10-0 run to close the gap to 73-48 as Hillman experienced some of the same struggles the Vikings had early on.

The Tigers won the season’s first battle against Posen on Monday, but both teams will likely be keeping their eye on Feb. 27 when the two sides meet again in Hillman. The second meeting will count in the North Star League standings and Posen will almost certainly be aiming to play spoiler to Hillman.

HILLMAN (80): M. VanPamel 12 2-2 30; M. Klein 6 0-2 16; D. Steinke 1 0-0 2; T. Jones 5 2-2 16; D. Ross 4 1-2 9; G. Libby 2 0-0 4; B. Zimmer 1 0-0 2; K. Henigan 0 1-2 1.

POSEN (56): N. Hincka 5 4-5 14; T. Sharpe 4 4-6 14; B. Sukas 0 2-2 2; L. Beccard 5 4-4 15; C. Lewandowski 2 1-2 5; J. Zaborney 1 0-0 2; J. Jakubcin 1 2-2 4.