Michael Moreno leaps high for a shot in Saturday’s season opener against ACCHS.

Basketball season is upon us, and the Hiawatha Red Hawks kicked off the season with a bang on Saturday night, with the girls securing a come-from-behind win over the visiting ACCHS Tigers in early action, and the boys running Effingham off the floor for a massive win in the night cap.

The Lady Red Hawks looked like they were in trouble in the early going, as Effingham had the quicker hands and were capitalizing on Hiawatha miscues on a regular basis in the first quarter, as the Tigers ran out to 20-6 lead after the first quarter. In the second frame, the Red Hawks came alive, playing the gritty defense that the team is known for and sharpening up their ball handling. Lakyn Leupold gave Hiawatha a boost with some timely scoring as part of her game-leading 16 points, and Kylie Nelson hit a big three-pointer late in the quarter as the Red Hawks closed the gap to 26-19 at the half.

Sarah Madsen started the second half with a bang, snagging a steal and racing down the court for a basket, and then scored off another turnover on the next possession to cut Effingham’s lead to 1. Leupold gave Hiawatha their first lead of the game with a basket off an inbound pass, and then the team’s traded blows for a few minutes, including a stretch that included a three-pointer by Bailey Pierce, which Effingham answered, and then Pierce responding with an immediate basket to give Hiawatha a lead they would not relinquish.

By the fourth quarter, the Hiawatha D was getting their hands on what felt like every other Tiger pass, and the Red Hawks were getting to every loose ball. Clara Lindstrom hit a big three-pointer to open the quarter, Jaye Hrencher had a big block to help close things, and with the game on the line, Hiawatha’s coaches gave the ball to Brenna Diller, who converted 3 of 4 free throws in the final thirty seconds of the game to put the game away with a 50-46 win.

Leupold’s 16 led the way for Hiawatha, followed by 7 from Diller, 6 from both Sarah and Kate Madsen, 5 from Pierce and Lindstrom, 3 from Nelson and 2 from Hrencher.

The boys game was an absolute track meet for the Red Hawks, as the boys raced out to a 15-0 lead to open the game and did not look back, posting an outlandish 38-7 first quarter behind a jet-fueled defense and much-improved shooting up and down the roster. The Tigers could not handle the Hiawatha pressure any better in the second quarter, and with Hiawatha eventually pulling out of their press up 40-7, the Tigers fared no better against the Red Hawk half-court defense, falling behind 62-12 by halftime.

A running clock, substitutes for much of the second half and the Red Hawks pulling back on both sides of the ball are all the kept the score under a hundred in the second frame, as Hiawatha played out the stretch to a 78-21 win.

Tyler Brockhoff led the way for the Hawks with 16 points, followed by Sage Meyer with 15, Joel Bryan with 12. Andrew Lierz scored 9 and led the defense, with Moreno pitching in 8 along with Parker Winters, with Alex Rockey and Austin Coffelt kicking in 4 each and Tyler Davis adding 2.

The night was a clean sweep for all of Hiawatha’s teams, as the JV girls picked up a 44-14 win, the JV boys won 61-27 and the freshmen boys earned a 32-24 win.

With both teams sitting at 1-0, Hiawatha will host Troy on Tuesday evening, before traveling to Perry Lecompton on Friday.

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