March 6, 2003
Hill Proves Too Much For Tigers To Climb In 72-60 Loss At Canton
Scotland County got a preview of its second round match-up in the upcoming district tourney as the regular season wrapped up its final week and found Scotland County visiting Canton February 28.
The Wildcats are the #1 ranked team in the district but the fourth ranked Tigers gave them all they wanted early on.
Scotland County's starting guards helped the team get off to a solid start. Danny Roach hit a pair of three pointers and Chase Moore poured in seven points as the Tigers led 19-16.
But it was one Canton guard that proved the problem. The Wildcats Aaron Hill must have visited a 7-11 convenience store before the game. He scored 11 points in the first period to keep his team close.
Hill put up seven points in the second period to pull Canton ahead 38-34. He continued to bomb away with seven more points in the third quarter before closing out a spectacular night with 11 more points in the fourth to finish with a game-high 38 points.
"Hill just killed us," stated Coach Jaryt Hunziker. "He's just a pure shooter that can hit from anywhere on the court. We didn't help things on defense either as there were several times that we didn't communicate, or didn't switch on screens and allowed him to get good looks."
Despite Hill's performance Scotland County stuck with the Wildcats for most of the game, answering the Wildcats runs.
"I was really impressed with the fight we showed," Hunziker said. "They made their runs but then we would battle back. Earlier in the year if a team went on a big run that would do us in. The guys really stepped up the effort."
After trailing by three points opening the period Canton went on a big run to build a double-digit advantage. Scotland County battled back as Jake Fogle hit a pair of three pointers.
"Fogle came off the bench for us and hit the key shots when we really needed them," Hunziker said. "Sometimes it's hard for kids to come off the bench but Jake realizes we need his offensive spark and he definitely delivered against Canton."
Unfortunately Canton got a spark of its own on a tip in at the buzzer that gave the Wildcats a 38-34 lead at the intermission.
The momentum carried over in the third period as the Wildcats ran off to a 58-41 advantage.
SCR-I trailed by as much as 18 points in the fourth period before rallying to pull within striking distance. But Hill was too much down the stretch, making 12 of 13 free throws on the night helping Canton secure the 72-60 win.
Moore led all Scotland County scorers with 24 points. Aaron Dale added 11 points and Fogle finished with nine.