A pair of defensive minded teams met Tuesday night at The U Center and Heritage Christian ended University’s seven game winning streak with a 51-46 win over the Trailblazers.
The defending Class 2A regional champion Eagles held University scoreless for a seven minute stretch spanning the second and third quarters to wrestle control of the game, then converted on free throws down the stretch to hold off the top ranked Class 1A Trailblazers.
University never trailed in the first half and led by six in both the first and second quarter. Baskets by Ethan Sickels and Sam Mervis gave University a 19-13 lead early in the second quarter. A Zack Hodgin basket and a David Howard free throw gave the Blazers a 22-18 lead with 5:07 remaining. University did not score again in the half, but still held a 22-21 lead at the break as the Eagles managed only a free throw until scoring with two seconds remaining in the half.
Heritage Christian took their first lead of the game at 23-22 on a pair of foul shots just 21 in to the second half and the Eagles led the rest of the way. Heritage Christian led 34-27 after three quarters and stretched their lead to 41-31 with 3:18 remaining before University mounted a comeback. Five quick points from David Howard cut the lead to 41-36 with 2:27 remaining, but the Blazers could not get the game to a one possession contest until 14 seconds remained at 47-44. The Eagles made four straight foul shots to close out the game.
Howard led University with 15 points, while Hodgin had 13. Howard had a team high five rebounds and the Eagles outrebounded the Trailblazers 16-12. The Eagles won the game at the foul stripe, converting 15 of 17 free throws while University was just three for six.
“Heritage is a well coached team.” said University Coach Brandon Lafferman. “They came in with a good game plan and executed it very well.”
University, who earlier in the day was announced as the top 1A team in the Associated Press for the third consecutive week, falls to 17-2 and will look to rebound Friday night at Lebanon against the Class 3A Tigers. Heritage Christian improves to 12-8 and will host Brebeuf Jesuit on Friday.
Heritage Christian 51, University 46
University FG FT TP PF
David Howard 6-12 0-0 15 1
Ethan Sickels 3-7 0-0 7 3
Foster Flamion 1-2 1-2 3 1
Eyal Friedman 0-0 0-0 0 0
Sam Mervis 2-2 0-0 4 3
Josh Watson 1-3 1-2 4 4
Zack Hodgin 6-10 1-2 13 3
Totals 19-36 3-6 46 15
Score by Quarters
Heritage 13 8 13 17 – 51
University 14 8 5 19 – 46
University 3-point shooting (5-12) Howard 3-5, Sickels 1-4, Watson 1-3.
University rebounds (12) Howard 5, Flamion 3, Hodgin 3, Watson 1.