Hiawatha eighth grade boys won the Big Seven League Monday with a victory over Perry Lecompton.
Coach Sherri Nelson went into Monday’s game with a 10-1 record and the only loss against Perry earlier in the season.
“With a win, we secure league champions, but with a loss we would drop to 3rd,” she said. “That was a lot of pressure for a middle school athlete. We had a plan. We had our last practice getting a plan to come out on tip against Perry. They had some players that we needed to be aware of and play a specific way to get the win. We also had to have composure and play a specific way to put ourselves in a place to grab that win.”
Nelson said the game was the most intense contest as a middle school coach that she has ever been a part of.
“The opposing coach, their fans, our fans, and even our little pep section was intense from start to finish,” she said. “The game was tied 14-14 at half. We are typically not a very good 3rd quarter team. So at half time we discussed how very important it was to make that quarter our very best of the night. Man they listened!! We outscored them 15-4 in the third quarter.”
Hiawatha went on to defeat Perry 34-23.
“I do believe this is the first time in well over 20 years that the boys have been league champions in middle school basketball,” she said. “We now have two teams that are dual league champions this season. The 7th grade girls are league champions in volleyball and basketball and the boys are league champions in football and basketball. As always it’s a great time to be a Hiawatha Red Hawk.”
Nelson said the B game was also very intense, but Hiawatha held on for a 39-32 win.
“There was a young man from Perry making some great shots keeping them in the game,” Nelson said. “Hiawatha kept up their great defense and their shots started to fall as well holding off Perry for the win.”
Scoring for Hiawatha was: Jose Valencia 10, Alex Pyle 9, Gage Cappleman 8, Deeds Hale 4, Jr Wahwahsuck 3, Blake Simpson 3, Josh Monaghan 2.
The eighth grade team played Jeff West on Thursday, holding on for a 37-34 victory.
“We put together 3 really strong quarters against Jeff West,” Nelson said. “The fourth quarter, however, was a rough one. Jeff West tried to put together a comeback, outscoring us 14-8 in the fourth.”
Scoring for Hiawatha: Cameron Boswell 18, Kam Winder 9, Connor Kettler 4, Martez Leftridge 3, Micah Oldham 2, Aden Grathwohl 1.
Nelson said the B game was also a good game, and the Red Hawks won 35-25.
Scoring for Hiawatha: Josh Monaghan 9, Gage Cappleman 7, Alex Pyle 6, Jr. Wahwhsuck 4, Blake Simpson 3, Cooper Hanke 2, Jose Valencia 2, Marcus Hinton 2.