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home : sports : sports   October 13, 2015

2/12/2014 10:52:00 AM
Prep boys basketball: Hall takes step toward goal

Jared Bell
NewsTribune Sports Writer

With the regular season winding down and the postseason drawing near, the Hall boys basketball team created a goal for itself over the final two weeks of the regular season.

“We have this goal that we want to win out going into regionals so that we’re on a good run going in,” Hall senior Miguel Villarreal said.

The goal means ending the regular season on a five-game winning streak and entering the Class 2A Princeton Regional with some momentum.

On Tuesday against Princeton, the Red Devils picked up yet another part to their goal.

Hall rode a red-hot start throughout Tuesday’s Three Rivers Conference South Division game as it built a double-digit first-quarter led and held off PHS in the fourth quarter to earn a 54-47 victory, the second of its five-win goal.

“We did just enough to win,” Hall coach Mike Filippini said. “We played well in spurts, and I thought our defense did pretty well.”

Hall (15-9, 6-4 TRC South) scored the game’s first eight points and took a 22-12 lead after the first quarter thanks in part to Villarreal, who finished with a team-high 19 points.

“The key to the game was we couldn’t keep Villarreal away from the basket, whether it was him scoring or kicking to guys for shots,” PHS coach Jesse Brandt said. “That was the difference. He got to the rim when he wanted to and either made a layup or kicked it out and we just didn’t defend well enough.”

Despite Villarreal’s efforts and Hall’s hot start, the Tigers (4-20, 2-8 TRC South) hung around.

Down by nine points midway through the second quarter, PHS rallied to cut the deficit to three points late in the second quarter, five at half and trailed 38-34 after three quarters.

However, the Red Devils started the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run — behind a 3-point shot from senior Ian Trevier, a free throw from senior Zach Urbanski and a basket from Villarreal — to take a 44-34 lead with 5:24 left in the game.

“We knew they were closing in on us and, with a team like that, you can’t let them back in or it’s trouble,” Villarreal said. “We just tried to balance it out a little bit, go to the rack and we ended up scoring some points.”

Princeton stayed within striking distance down the stretch and fouled Hall over the final two minutes to stay close, but the Tigers never pulled within five points as the Red Devils held on for the win.

“We had some opportunities that we just didn’t capitalize on on our end,” Brandt said. “We had maybe like four layups that we missed in the last five minutes of the game. Some were contested, but some were open layups. It was just missed opportunities.”

Villarreal was one of three Hall players to finish in double-figure scoring as junior A.J. Gaeta added 13 points and Trevier had 11 points. Both Gaeta and Trevier grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

Junior Garrett Duffin finished with a double-double for PHS as he had game highs of 23 points and 10 rebounds.

Note: The Princeton sophomore team escaped with a 44-41 victory. Hall’s Jake Merkel had the game-tying 3-point shot roll around the basket and go out at the buzzer to give the Kittens the win. Jake Reinhardt scored a game-high 16 points for PHS, while Drew Pullam scored a team-high 13 points for the Demons.

Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.

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