Hiland breezes into another district final

By The-Daily-Record.com

BYESVILLE — Hiland’s depth and defensive intensity sent the Hawks soaring into Saturday’s Division III East District championship.

The Hawks had no problem with fifth-seeded Martins Ferry, earning a 69-26 win in the district semifinals with their signature brand of relentless play.

“They are big. They can shoot and they defend like crazy,” said Martins Ferry coach Dave Reasback.

Kendra Shetler stuck back a miss and the Hawks were off and running.

Shetler scored again inside and Hiland led 4-0.

The big guns for the Hawks were misfiring early, but the role players stepped up and kept the ball rolling.

Kylie Horn was flying all over the floor, defensively and on the offensive end, helping Hiland jump out to 22-5 lead after the first frame.

Horn made a steal and a layup, and Brynn Mullet swished a pair of 3-pointers. Horn hit from long range and Morgan Yoder got in on the act as well.

A steal, layup and a foul for a three-point play the hard way, and two more Horn triples gave Hiland a 42-10 lead at intermission.

“Our bench, Kylie, Shelby (Miller), Kelsey (Swihart) and Aila (Miller) are all giving us great minutes,” HIland coach Dave Schlabach said. “These kids got us going on our run.

“Kylie’s been playing like that the last couple of weeks,” Schlabach added. “She’d probably be averaging 20 points a game playing somewhere else, but she knows what we need from her and is willing to do it.”

Horn had 18 of her team-high 21 points at the break, nailing all three 3-pointers she attempted in the first half. She added one more triple in the second half when the Hawks got over the 35-point threshold and the running clock helped ease the pain for the Lady Riders, who scored three 3-pointers between a pair of Shelby Miller 3s.

Then, of course, there was the defense. Hiland forced 31 turnovers and took 26 more shots than Martins Ferry.

Schlabach was asked if his team always played defense like they did against the Riders, and he responded.

“Is there any other way?” Schlabach said.

Martins Ferry ended its season with an 18-7 record.