Washington, IND – The Hatchet House was rocking tonight as Sectional 31 officially got underway. Heritage Hills and Southridge started off Hoosier Hysteria with a bang as they both began their journey to that all too elusive Indiana high school basketball state championship. The Heritage Hills Patriots got one game closer to that end goal as they beat the Southridge Raiders 42-37 in what turned out to be a very close and competitive game. This was not the prettiest game I’ve ever covered, but it sure was fun to watch.
How it all went down
Heritage Hills took the opening tip and immediately ran into a box and 1 zone, as Southridge was looking to do everything they could to stop Sophomore phenom Trent Sisley. The Raiders effectively did this as they held the 5 star prospect to a mere 4 points in the first half. Southridge was determined to make someone other than Sisley beat them. The problem was the Raiders could not get anything going on the offensive end. They were troubled by the Patriots press and plagued by turnovers early on. Raiders forward Colin Tooley tried to keep his team in it early on, scoring all 7 of his points in the first half, but he would not get much help as no other Raider scored more than 2.
Heritage Hills on the other hand was able to break down Southridge’s defense on multiple occasions for easy buckets. The Raiders held Sisley in check, but it was the rest of the team that they couldn’t stop. When you put two defenders on one man there has got to be somebody wide open and Heritage Hills was able to find that person time and time again.
This was a total team effort on both ends of the floor for the Patriots in the first half. In the second quarter alone all 5 starters knocked in buckets. The Patriots would take the lead into the locker room 23-15 and looked as if they would cruise to a big victory.
“When I’m getting doubled there are always people open so it was huge for them to hit shots tonight. It gave us some momentum at points when we needed it”Trent Sisley
The third quarter was much of the same. Heritage Hills and especially guard Hunter Meredith, who scored 8 of his game high 15 in the third, played great team basketball. They continued to press the issue on defense and hound Southridge into turnovers and difficult shots.
The fourth quarter was a very different story as the Raiders turned the tables on the Patriots and amped up the pressure on D forcing many turnovers and poor shots.
Southridge starting center Davis Schwartz would come alive with 5 of his 9 points in the 4th. The Raiders actually outscored the Patriots by 4 in the last quarter but had simply dug themselves too big of a hole through the first 3 quarters. Who else but Trent Sisley would ice the game for the Patriots with 2 clutch free throws to put the game just out of reach and Heritage Hills eeked out a victory 42-37.
They hit a few shots and gained some momentum and we had a few bad turnovers. We eventually got some stops when it mattered and closed it out.Trent Sisley
The Patriots will go on to face host school Washington Friday evening at 6:30 with a chance to go to the championship on the line in what should be a very raucous environment.
Hunter Meredith led all scorers with 13 while Trent Sisley added 10 for the Patriots. The Raiders were led by Greyson Buse and Davis Schwartz who both finished with 9 a piece.
For more photos of tonight’s action please click here.
Also please check out our coverage of a very exciting double OT game between the Jennings County Panthers and the Bedford North Lawrence Stars here.