The first eight minutes of Thursday night’s matchup between Hillcrest and Shelley had all the makings of a back-and-forth affair.

But the opening six minutes of the second quarter told an entirely different story between 4A District 6's top teams.

Hillcrest went on a 16-3 run in those opening six minutes to turn a one-point deficit into a 12-point advantage on the way to a 77-45 win over Shelley.

“Our boys just turned it up a notch in the second quarter,” Knights coach Dave Austin said. “We also preach that if we can get a couple of stops in a row in defense our offense will take care of itself. Tonight, we did that and played a solid game.”

Hillcrest made nine 3-pointers in the game and frustrated the Shelley duo of Alex Lott and Cannon Vance as the Russets two scorers were held to just 16 points in the game.

“We wanted to make things tough for them,” Austin said. “We really wanted to make them work for what they got. It took us a quarter and we still made some mistakes but, I thought we did a pretty good job.”

While the Russets had to work for their baskets, Hillcrest senior guard Cooper Kesler seemed to score at will.

Kesler scored 10 of the Knights' first 18 points on the way to game-high 30 points.

“I know we are going to have nights where we are going to shoot well. But tonight, was not one of those nights,” Austin said. “Cooper runs our offense very well and when he is on like he was tonight we are tough.”

Hillcrest led 36-26 at the half.

The run and gun from the first half turned into a grind and battle down low in the second half

Hillcrest pounded the low post with sophomore center Isaac Davis who scored six of the first nine Knights points in the third quarter.

“We are physical in the low post when we need to be,” Austin said. “Isaac controlled the low post most of the night and played a good game.”

Davis finished the night with 11 points.

Shelley (7-2, 1-1) was led by Lott’s team-high 12 points.

Hillcrest (7-2, 2-0) also eight points from Jase Austin and Kobe Kesler.

 

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