NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio (JMN Sports) – The Hiland Hawks are advancing to the Division IV Regional tournament after beating the Malvern Hornets, 50-36, in Friday night’s Div. IV East DIstrict final at New Philadelphia High School.
The Hawks (21-4) shut down the Hornets’ high-powered offense in nabbing a 27-17 halftime lead, before Hiland outscored Malvern 18-9 in the third quarter, allowing significant breathing room for the eventual District champs.
Chris Shetler led the Hawks with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Dylan Weaver totaled 11 points.
For Malvern (21-5), KJ Thomas managed 13 points as the Hornets’ only double-digit scorer.
Dylan Phillips (six points), Bryson White (five), and Drake Delong (five) followed for Malvern.
Star center Michael Minor suffered a first-quarter injury that sidelined the IVC North Player of the Year for the majority of the contest. Minor managed two late points in the loss.
Connor Lefevre led Malvern with six rebounds.
While the Hawks posted an 18-of-44 (41%) shooting performance to edge Malvern’s 15-of-39 (38%), the free throw advantage almost completely belonged to Hiland. The Hawks drilled 8-of-10 foul shots (80%) to Malvern’s 3-of-11 (27%).
The Hornets also committed more turnovers, with 14 to Hiland’s nine.
The Hawks will play Saturday’s winner of Grandview Heights versus Newark Catholic in the Region 15 semifinal, to be played on Tuesday, Mar. 8 at 6 p.m. at Ohio University’s Convocation Center in Athens.