Sometimes all it takes to get a little confidence is to see the ball go through the hoop.
Sounds simple enough, but after losing three straight games, the Hillcrest High School boys basketball team needed a big dose of confidence against Bonneville in the second regular season Civil War rivalry game Friday night.
And the Knights got it, not once, not twice, but 12 times by dropping a dozen 3-pointers on the way to a 58-50 victory over the Bees.
The win not only snapped the Knights’ three-game losing streak, but it moved them into the top spot in 4A District 6.
“It’s about time,” Hillcrest coach Dave Austin said of his team’s hot shooting. “We’ve been in a slump and haven’t shot the ball real well. So for us to see that 3-ball drop tonight gave us all the confidence in the world. And when these guys have confidence, they can knock down that shot.”
The game was close throughout, but every time Bonneville (7-8, 4-3) would make a run, Hillcrest would hit a 3-pointer. And then another. Hillcrest set the tone early with four 3-pointers in the first quarter and took a 10-point lead before the Bees responded.
“I really thought they were physical and took us out of our offense,” Bees coach John Tucker said. “It made us timid and we didn’t play hard. That’s what we pride ourselves on, and they took us out of that.”
A basket by Jordan Perez gave Bonneville its first lead since the opening basket at 22-21. The game was tied at 24-24 on a 3-pointer by Karter Battleson, who finished with three on the night, and the Knights closed the first half with a 9-3 run to lead 33-27 at the break.
The second half was more of the same as Hillcrest (6-9, 5-1) built its lead to 10. Bonneville closed the gap, but it wasn’t enough as Kyle Austin and Dallin Weatherly connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to increase the lead to 55-44 midway through the fourth quarter.
“Realistically, we’re still young (with four sophomores) and our seniors didn’t play real great tonight … it’s tough,” Tucker said. “But at the same time, you have to move on. We have to get better.”
Garrett Freed led Hillcrest with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. A trio of other players also knocked down multiple 3-pointers, with Battleson hitting three and Weatherly and Austin each adding two.
“This is a big win for us because it’s a district game and our goal all year long has been to play well in district games and to win district,” coach Austin said. “This is a big win for us and it means a lot.”
Hillcrest plays Wednesday at Rigby while Bonneville plays the same night at Madison.