Last Tuesday night the Rich Hill Tigers headed south for another conference game against the Jasper Eagles. The Tigers were coming off the Archie Tournament the previous week with a victory over the Whirlwinds for a win in the consolation game on Saturday.
The Tigers had a very modest two game winning streak coming to this game. The Tigers got off to a slow start in the first quarter but after a timeout by Coach Moles the team really seemed to pick it up. Again the full court pressure by the Tigers helps spur their offense into high gear. As well as the Tigers offense was running Japer was even more determined to keep pace and after one quarter the Tigers lead 16-14. In the second quarter Rich Hill maintain their hot shooting hand and were able to build a double digit lead going into the half. In the first half the Tigers were able to land 8 treys and with solid defense and rebounding were having one of their best halves of the season. In the second half the host team kept applying pressure by trying to match the Tigers offensive outputs never letting them relax. After three periods the Tigers lead 60-45. In the final period of the evening the Eagles made several runs to drop the lead below ten points but Rich Hill maintained their composure by hitting 10/13 free throws and were able to win the game by a score of 78-66. Even though the Tigers gave up 66 points for the evening they played good defense and credit had to be given to Jasper for having a good shooting night. In the end the Tigers hit 13 treys for the evening for a season high in that category, 15-20 free throws and strong rebounding allowed the Tigers to come away with a big win. The Tigers improved their record to 11-7 for the second and 3-1 in the conference. Rich Hill placed six players in the scoring column with four of those in double figures.
On Friday night the team from Rich Hill traveled to Archie for their fifth game in eight days and all had been on the road. This would be the third meeting of the year between the two teams and second game in six days. The Tigers had won the two previous meetings. The first few moments of the game started out a little sloppy for the Tigers but they were able to take better control the tempo and were leading after the first period by a score of 16 to 10. The second quarter the Tigers found their offensive stride with better defense and went into half time with a 35-19 lead. The second half was a cold and hot quarter for the Tigers. What had been a 16 point lead at half time evaporated quickly for Rich Hill and the lead was only 8 points barely in the third quarter when a time out was taken and the boys were able right the ship and rebuilding the lead to around twenty points several times. At the start of the four period the Whirlwinds again made some runs but were unable to overcome the double digit lead the Tigers held. With about 3 minutes left in the game both teams went to the benches and in the end Rich Hill defeated the Whirlwinds by a score of 64-48. This win improved the Tigers record to 12-7 for the season and 4-1 in the conference. The Tigers placed five players in the scoring column with three of those in double figures.
The Tigers will get busy in the final two weeks of the regular season with a JV girl and boy only contest on Monday night, followed by a home game on Tuesday night against Liberal in a conference contest. The last of the week will see the Tigers travel to Drexel on Friday night for another conference game and ending the week at Appleton City for the conclusion of the tournament that was rescheduled due to weather in January. The boys will meet the Montrose Blue Jays for the championship at 8:00 PM. Next week the Tigers travel to Lakeland on Tuesday and Leeton on Thursday before coming home to close out the regular season on Friday night against the Appleton City Bulldogs for the final conference game. That night will also be Senior night for the Tigers