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Hillcrest played typical Hillcrest basketball in the first quarter against host Rich South Tuesday night, and that was enough to carry the Hawks through the rest of the way.
A 13-0 first quarter run was enough to ride to a 57-49 win.
Jovan Mooring scored nine of his game-high 19 points in the first when the Hawks (13-5) built an 18-9 lead and never looked back against the Stars (7-9). With the score 2-2, the Hawks went on the big run to lead 15-2.
“We came out in the first aggressive with intensity and forced a lot of turnovers (4),” Mooring said. “We were able to get a big lead. We let up throughout the game and they got back into it.”
Six-foot-7 sophomore Taylor Adway added 11 points, six rebounds, and five blocks for the Hawks while senior Kyle Oden contributed 11 points.
The Stars were led by Demitri Strickland’s 16-points. Jaylen Zachery and Denzel Kimbrough each added 11 points off the bench. Zachery had a team-high eight rebounds. The Stars were without Bryce Lydon most of the night because of foul trouble. He eventually fouled out with six minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The bench accounted for 29 points for the Stars.
“It just seems like we make too many physical and mental mistakes,” said Rich South coach Scot Ritter, whose team was 10-for-22 from the free throw line. “We need to know who we are and make better decisions all the time.”
Three times in the fourth quarter the Stars pulled within six points, the last was 50-44 with just under three minutes left on a layup by Strickland. Kimbrough hit three three-pointers in the fourth.
Ritter was livid on a non-goal tending call in the fourth that would have pulled his team within four.
“The ball hit the glass and then it got blasted, I thought it was a goal tend,” Ritter said.
“We came out with great intensity but became undisciplined,” Hillcrest coach Don Houston said. “This is a tough place to play and we’re happy with the win.”