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Friday, May 6, 2016

Blackhawks thump rival Jays

Monday, December 24, 2007

(Sentinel photo by Ty Capron) Hinton's Dustin Kruse pulls down a rebound over Gehlen's Tyler Meyer Friday during the Blackhawks' 76-40 win over the rival Jays in War Eagle Conference play.
Phil Skamser was concerned how his Hinton boys basketball team would respond against rival Gehlen Catholic Friday, having played the night before at Remsen-Union. He didn't have worried.

Junior Josh Vander Plaats turned in a career performance and Blackhawks thrashed the Jays 76-40 in War Eagle Conference play at Hinton.

"Going against a quality team - and we definitely consider Gehlen a quality team - this was probably one of our better performances," Skamser said. "We've put up some numbers before, but getting in on the defensive and offensive end made it one of our best games since I've been here."

(Sentinel photo by Brian Schekirke) Gehlen's Eric Rohe drives to the basket for a layup Friday in the Jays' loss to Hinton. Rohe led Gehlen in the loss with 13 points.
Hinton's performance was sparked by Vander Plaats, who scored the Blackhawks' first 18 points of the game en route to a career-high 32.

"I think Josh recognized early that height-wise he had a mismatch. He took advantage of that," Skamser said. "But more than anything, he just played inspired. He's shown flashes of playing well throughout his sophomore season and this year as well, but this is probably his bust-out performance."

Vander Plaats' outburst led to a 24-14 lead for Hinton after the first quarter.

"I went and watched Hinton play R-U and Vander Plaats didn't do anything," Gehlen coach Mike Langel said. "He lit it up against us though."

Gehlen didn't lose ground in the second - entering halftime down 35-24 - but couldn't gain any either, struggling from the field all night long.

The Jays shot 16-for-59 from the field and things snowballed from there, Langel said.

"Everything kid of goes with that. When you aren't making your shots, the defense goes south a little bit," Langel said. "The kids get discouraged and everything else suffers. That led to what it led to."

What it led to was Gehlen's worst loss of the season as Hinton pulled away in the third quarter to take a 54-30 lead into the final frame.

Outside of Vander Plaats, Hinton got 11 points apiece from Cory Westphal and Nate Freed. Freed also had 10 assists, while Dylan Ohl and Austin Arndt pulled down 7 rebounds each to help Hinton to a 42-30 advantage on the glass.

"Some nights we really show up and do that and some nights we've shown we can get outrebounded," Skamser said of the effort on the glass. "Going into Remsen-Union, we talked about it and we had pretty good numbers there. It just sort of carried over."

Hinton heads into the winter break at 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the WEC with the win. But the Blackhawks have had similar records in previous years. Skamser said the goal is to keep moving forward, rather than stalling out as in seasons past.

"We've sort of been here before," Skamser said. "We typically play good before Christmas, but we have a tough part of our schedule coming up here in January. We're hoping we can maybe take it a little bit further than we have in the past. This game (with Gehlen) showed us what type of team we can be."

Eric Rohe led Gehlen in the loss with 13 points and 8 rebounds, while Chris Gabriel added 10 points and 6 boards. The Jays (4-4, 1-2) also have a tough schedule ahead, returning to play Friday, Jan. 4 at Remsen St. Mary's before facing Spalding Catholic in the opening round of the CYO Saturday at St. Mary's.

For a successful run out of the break, the Jays must improve their shooting, Langel said.

"All I told the kids was, 'It's just one of those games. We have to get better at shooting the ball,'" Langel said. "We didn't shoot the ball with confidence at all. We were scared to miss. We can't play like that."

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