Owls 3-3 at Christmas break
The Hancock boys basketball team's record stood at 3-3 before the Christmas break.
The Owls have played some fantastic games and also had a couple of tough games against some very quality opponents. So far this year the boys have lost to Dawson-Boyd, BBE, and MACCRAY. All three of these schools have great basketball tradition and strong teams this year. Both BBE and MACCRAY were Class AA schools last year, but have dropped to Class A this year with a decrease in enrollment. MACCRAY is the No. 1-ranked team in Class A and BBE features four players who were 6-foot-4 or taller.
After a 1-3 start, the Owls won two straight games. Going into the Benson tournament at 1-2 the Owls goal was to get to .500 and have momentum going into the Pheasant Conference season. The Owls have wins over Rothsay, Ortonville, and Ashby. Both the Rothsay and Ashby games saw the Owls dominating their opponents early and get easy victories by more than 40 points.
The Ortonville game has been the highlight of the season thus far. After losing to MACCRAY in the first round of the Benson Tournament the Owls were matched against Ortonville for 3rd place. Ortonville typically runs some sort of gimmick defense as it did against the Owls. The Trojans came out in a triangle-and-two defense, putting a defender on Cory Schroeder and Brendon Foss. Their other three defenders played a triangle zone. Dylan Reese came out strong in the game, hitting some jump shots and ending the half with 12 points. The Owls took a 22-14 lead into the half.
Ortonville switched its second half strategy, coming out with more intensity on defense and picking up the Owls man-to-man. The Owls saw their lead diminish and were down 50-47 with 50 seconds remaining in the game. After unsuccessfully trying to foul the Trojans, Brendon Foss reached in on a Trojan player and knocked the ball loose. Foss raced after the ball and got the steal, taking it in for a layup and putting the Owls within one point. The Owls fouled Ortonville and the Trojans miss the free throw. The Owls gained control of the ball with 20 seconds remaining. Hancock called timeout and designed a play to get Foss the ball on a backdoor cut. The play was never there and Reese threw up a desperation heave from NBA range. The shot came up short, but Foss who was still cutting toward the basket, jumped up, caught the airball and without turning or coming down threw the ball over his head. The ball hit the glass and fell through the rim as time expired giving the Owls a last second win. Hancock will face Ortonville two more times this year, with the first game coming this Friday, which should lead to some close and exciting games.