As a result, the Hornets picked up a 59-51 victory over Woodland Friday night at Woodland High to move the Wildcat’s record to 3-3 on the season.
Woodland went to a soft 2-3 zone in the first quarter to try and make Hiram hit shots from the perimeter. Kervins Chaumette forced Woodland out of the zone quickly as he connected on three 3-pointers in the period to give the Hornets a 24-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“We got to see them on film and got to see them in person a couple of times, and they didn’t shoot the ball very well from the perimeter, so we went to a soft zone to start off the game,” Woodland head coach John Howard said. “No. 1 hit three 3s on us to start off the game and it disrupted what we wanted to to do, defensively.”
At one point, Hiram made a 10-0 run in a litte over two minutes of game clock.
Senior guard Romello Hicks kept the Wildcats close with two 3s in the first half to slow down Hiram’s momentum. Hicks had 12 in the half and 16 for the game to lead the Wildcats.
Woodland switched to a man-to-man defense in the second quarter and held the Hornets to 10-of-31 shooting the rest of the game.
Because of the defense, Woodland got off to an 11-2 start to the second quarter to get back into the game.
“Defensively, our man-to-man defense wasn’t bad,” Howard said. “[Hiram is] a good basketball team. They hit some tough shots.”
Woodland trailed by a score of 34-30 entering the second half thanks to eight second-quarter points from Hicks. Junior center Carrod Watson added five points, four rebounds and two blocks in the period.
The Wildcats made a concerted effort to get the ball down low to Watson in the third quarter. He finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in the game. The move put Watson at the free throw line and Woodland tied the game at 38 with 12 minutes remaining.
The Hornets responded, however, with a 6-0 run.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they did not shoot as well in the second half. Woodland went 6-for-22 from the field in the last two quarters, and as a result, were unable to close the gap on the Hornets.
Hiram also went to a 2-2-1 press at times in the second half and the pressure defense led to two critical turnovers at the end of the third quarter to give Hiram a six-point advantage heading into the final period. Woodland had 19 turnovers in the game.
“We were ready for it,” Howard said of the pressure. “We just got a little lazy with the ball.”
Hiram took a six-point lead into the fourth quarter, but expanded it to 10 early on in the period thanks to the poor shooting from the Wildcats.
As a result, Hiram was able to hold on for the victory.
Woodland is now 0-2 in the region, but has a chance to pick up a region win today at East Paulding.