SYCAMORE - Talk about a reversal of fortune.
The last time Hopewell-Loudon played, it managed just 24 points in a 60-24 loss to Van Buren.
Three days later, Chieftain coach Adam Smith was in Sycamore, watching his team not only score, but keep the Warriors from scoring.
PHOTO BY KYLE HUNTER
Hopewell-Loudon’s Tyler Imes blocks a shot from Mohawk’s Mitch Parker during Friday’s game in Sycamore.
Using a 15-4 rebounding advantage, H-L surged ahead in the first quarter Friday night at Mohawk. Ryan Lommerse made two free throws. Tyler Imes made a jumper. Garrett Sendelbach converted a layup.
It was 6-0.
Lommerse made a 3 from the left wing.
It was 9-0.
Imes made a layup, Gauge Sadler hit back-to-back 3s, and Hill had a stick back.
The first quarter was over. The Chieftains led the Warriors 19-0. Mohawk committed six turnovers, and missed eight shots. It also missed three free throws.
It continued in the second quarter, as H-L opened with an 11-0 run. Waleed Salem's free throw made it 30-0 with five minutes left in the half.
"We scored 24 points in four quarters on Tuesday, so, no, we've never scored the first 30 in the game," Smith said. "Our pressure really got to them, and we stressed to our guys we really wanted to get out and run."
"It was great," said Imes, who finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. "It made everything just fun, took all the stress out. Just had a great time."
Mohawk's first points came when Hunter Fitschen connected on a 3 in the right corner. The basket came with 4:48 left in the second quarter. While Mohawk's offense got going after that, the game never was close, and the Chieftains won, 72-48.
H-L improved to 3-5, 3-0 in the Midland Athletic League. The Warriors fell to 0-6, 0-3 in the MAL.
Mohawk's offense was hurt in the early going when Mitch Parker picked up two quick fouls.
"It hurts, definitely," Mohawk coach Mike Mathey said. "But like I told the guys, 'when Mitch goes out, we've got to work through it. We just can't be relying on Mitch Parker. We're a team.'"
Parker ended up leading all scorers with 19 points, but all of those came after halftime. Hopewell-Loudon got 11 points from Lommerse, 10 from Hill and nine from Sadler. It also held a 52-22 rebounding edge. Hill had eight of those boards.
"Tyler Imes got a lot of rebounds, Weston got a lot of rebounds, and what we haven't been doing, they got the rebound and they looked for the outlet pass up the floor," Smith said, "rather than looking to hand the ball to the point guard and walk the ball up."
Mohawk got 13 points from Brayden Dunlap, who made three 3-pointers. The Warriors outscored the Chieftains, 41-35 in the second half.
"They didn't give up," Mathey said of his squad. "They could easily have folded in when we were down 27-0, but they played hard to the very last whistle, and that's all I ask."