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Boys basketball: Boyle’s 25 points lifts Hillcrest past Highland

By JEFF PAPWORTH | Idaho State Journal | jpapworth@journalnet.com

POCATELLO – Hillcrest made one 3-pointer after another until the Knights had 10 total to propel them to a 61-52 win Tuesday at Highland.

Jaxon Weatherly guards Highland forward Daxton Carr Tuesday night. Hillcrest beat Highland, 61-52. Photo by Madison Guernsey | Idaho State Journal

Guard Parker Boyle was responsible for over half of Hillcrest’s treys, with six for the game. The junior finished with a game-high 25 points.

“The team ran the right plays, setting good screens for me,” Boyle said. “It wasn’t really me. My teammates were just giving me open looks and I knocked them down.”

His first 3-pointer came after one of many extended Hillcrest possessions following an offensive rebound, pushing the Knights’ lead to 21-11 midway through the second quarter.

When Highland led a charge to retake the lead, it was Boyle who dashed the Rams’ hopes. After a momentous third-quarter play in which Rams forward Garrett Crane got a steal and layup to cut the deficit to 36-31, Boyle knocked down a 3-pointer on the other end. He compiled two consecutive triples before the period came to a close, increasing the margin to 45-33.

While Boyle was leading the offense, the Knights (12-2, 2-0 5A District 5-6) were deploying a disruptive defense, especially in the opening period, when they held Highland to six points. The Rams (6-5, 0-2 5A District 5-6) seemed befuddled by the zone defenses Hillcrest deployed to start, including a 1-2-2 formation.

“We start out that way so we can get that intensity and energy going,” Hillcrest coach Dave Austin said. “With all of our kids having to talk, communicate and fly around, they just buy into things; we get a little emotion going. And when we get emotion going, we’re tough to beat.”

Defense is what the team wants to be known for this year. While the 52 points allowed Tuesday is the team’s second-most this season, it is still a sign of how far Hillcrest has come as it is 5.3 points below its average last season.

“We came out really well and played some good defense,” said Austin, whose team hosts Bonneville on Jan. 17. “We gave up a few extra shots because we didn’t box out and stuff, but I thought we played defense aggressively. It was what we asked for.”

Highland’s loss is its second in a row after falling 73-56 at Madison on Friday. As far the culprit for the latest defeat, Rams coach Ty Person listed faults that included not contesting shots, starting slow and a failing to convert makable shots.

“We’ve got to execute,” said Pearson, whose team hosts Bonneville on Thursday. “We definitely improved in terms of effort and intensity from the other night. That was good to see. But it boils down to being confident in shots and trusting each other and making the right reads. That’s on me as a coach to help the kids and prepare.”

HILLCREST 61, HIGHLAND 52

Hillcrest 11 18 16 16 — 61

Highland 6 11 18 17 — 52

Hillcrest – Jaxon Weatherly 10, Derek Marlowe 14, Bryce Cook 6, Parker Boyle 25, Parker Stevens 6,

Highland – Daxton Carr 16, Garrett Crane 6, Kolmon Farnsworth 8, Kobe Tracy 4, Andrew VanSickle 3, Dylan Anderson 13, Tanner Warrell 2.

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