June 28, 2016

Partly sunny

Boys basketball: Hauser, Wood give Hornets more punch

GRANGER TWP. — There’s more to the Highland boys basketball team than Brogan Scott, Tanner Houska and Alex Withers.

Fellow starters Ben Hauser and Alex Wood proved that with big nights Tuesday as the Hornets rolled past Valley Forge 69-47 in non-league action.

Highland’s Ben Hauser grabs a rebound against Valley Forge’s Brad Brodek in the first quarter. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

Highland’s Ben Hauser grabs a rebound against Valley Forge’s Brad Brodek in the first quarter. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

Small forward Hauser had nine of his 13 points in the first period as Highland (8-3) raced to a 26-11 lead, while shooting guard Wood had all 11 of his points in the third period as the Hornets fought off boredom and stayed comfortably ahead of the Patriots (1-9).

“They’re a big part of our team,” Hauser said of Scott, Houska and Withers, “but if we’re all contributing, it makes us feel much better. We’re all happy with how we played at the end of the game. It builds our confidence.”

The 6-foot-5 Scott still got his 18 points, six rebounds and four assists, while point guard Houska had five points and had registered five of his game-high six assists by early in the second period. Power forward Withers wasn’t involved in the offense much because Valley Forge played a lot of zone, but still managed four points and three rebounds.

“(Those three) make the offense go, but when other people step up and get points, it makes it more of a team effort,” Wood said. “The more we get of that, the better we can be.”

Coming off an impressive Suburban League win over Wadsworth on Friday, Hauser and Scott made sure the Hornets didn’t let up against Valley Forge. Scott had 12 points in the first 5:18 of the game and Hauser hit a pair of buckets in the final 30 seconds to put Highland up 15 after one.

“We were coming off a big win Friday and we had a lot of energy in that game,” Hauser said. “It’s hard to pick your emotions back up, but we came out really well in the first half. We just executed and played our game.

“We were rebounding and I was just flying down the court and they got me the ball. It’s nice to have people who can dish it.”

The Hornets, who had 19 assists on 24 field goals and made eight 3-pointers, used pressure defense to rack up 40 points by halftime.

“We needed to come out with the same energy we had last game,” said Wood, who hit three 3-pointers in the third period. “We played hard and intense.”

Outmanned Valley Forge got 15 points and eight rebounds from small forward Tim Captain and 10 points and 14 boards from power forward Larry Jackson, who had two dunks, one of them a resounding two-handed slam off a missed shot.

Highland never trailed, however, as Kevin Greenhoe hit a pair of 3-pointers and finished with seven points off the bench, while Zach Levine added five, Billy Kirchner scored four and Jake Mall, one of 15 Hornets to see action, got his first varsity bucket in the closing moments.


Down six points, the Highland junior varsity went on a 32-0 run that started early in the first period and ended midway through the third to post a 50-33 victory. Isaac Matejin led the Hornets with nine points.

• Valley Forge won the freshman game 37-35 despite 12 points from Highland’s Andrew Earnest.

• St. Vincent-St. Mary varsity girls coach Joe Jakubick and JV coach Mike May officiated the freshman and JV games.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @RickNoland.

Rick Noland About Rick Noland

Rick Noland is the Cavs beat writer for The Gazette and the author of "Over Time," a compilation of stories he's written in more than 30 years as a journalist. He can be reached at 330-721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.