Amity gets a win over Horizon Christian in WVL showdown

AMITY — Too many missed shots.

Too many turnovers.

Too much of a deficit.

It turned out to be just a little too much for the Hawks to overcome.

The Horizon Christian High School boys basketball team, despite a seemingly never-ending valiant effort, saw its rally attempt fall short, as it was edged 55-47 by Amity in a wild West Valley League showdown played in front of a large, loud crowd Monday at Amity High DAN BROOD - BASKETBALL JONES -- Horizon Christian junior Noah Jones soars up to the basket during the Hawks' West Valley League game at Amity on Monday. Amity got a 55-47 victory.

“Both teams knew it would be hard,” said Horizon Christian guard Trent Pihas, who led all scorers with 19 points. “They stepped up. But we really put our hearts into it.”

“We never really got into good execution. You can give them credit for that,” Horizon Christian coach Dave Brown said. “But our kids gave it a great effort.”

Amity moved to 9-1 in WVL play (18-3 overall), putting the Warriors in a tie with the Hawks, who moved to 9-1 in league games (14-5 overall), for first place in the league standings.

“They’re building a good basketball program here,” Brown said. “Tonight was quite an atmosphere. They had a great home court environment.”

The Hawks struggled early in Monday’s contest. They made just one of their first eight shots from the field while turning the ball over six times in that span. That left them facing an 8-2 deficit going into the final minute of the first quarter.

Horizon did get back-to-back baskets from senior post Isaiah Hall and junior guard Noah Jones to end the period, cutting the Amity lead to 8-6 going into the second quarter.

Jones and Pihas had consecutive hoops early in the period, trimming the margin to 11-10 with 6 minutes and 18 seconds left in the half. But Amity answered with an 8-0 run, which gave the home team a 19-10 led with 2:11 left in the period.

Horizon got a three-point from Pihas and a follow-up hoop by sophomore post Jace Prinzing to cut the lead to 21-15 at halftime.

Amity took charge again early in the third quarter. Senior guard Zach Wilson sank a pair of three-pointers to help the Warriors open up a 29-17 advantage with 5:13 left in the period. Amity would go on to take its biggest lead of the game, at 34-21, on a three-pointer by sophomore Lance Nelson coming with 34-21 remaining in the DAN BROOD - POWER POST -- Horizon Christian junior post Jace Prinzing looks to go up to the basket in Monday's game at Amity.

But the persistent Hawks fought back again. Jones and senior Connor Marleau drilled back-to-back three-pointers and Prinzing sank a buzzer-beating jump shot to cut the Amity lead to 34-29 going into the fourth quarter.

Momentum seemed to go back and fourth throughout the final stanza.

The Warriors opened the quarter with a basket by senior wing Brett Hilt and a three-pointer by Wilson to up the margin to 39-29 with 7:34 left in the contest.

But the Hawks answered with a basket on a drive to the hoop by Jones, a pair of free throws by Marleau and a four-point play by Pihas to cut the lead to 41-37 with 3:39 left to play.

Amity was able to pull away again. The Warriors scored five straight point to open a 46-37 lead with 1:37 remaining.

But the Hawks rallied again. Pihas had another four-point play to make the score 46-41 with 1:30 left to play.

“That was crazy,” he said of his two fourth-quarter four-point plays.

Amity answered back with four points coming on free throws, which gave the Warriors a seemingly safe 50-41 advantage with 1:10 left to play.

But the Hawks had one more rally in them. Horizon junior guard Colton Cosner sank a three-pointer with 53 seconds remaining and then, after a pair of missed Amity free throws, Pihas drilled another off-balance three-pointer to cut the lead to 50-47 with 40 seconds left to play.

But Horizon Christian wouldn’t be able to get any closer. The Hawks were whistled for an intentional foul with 33.5 seconds left to play. That helped lead to four straight Amity points coming in a span of two seconds, helping the Warriors wrap up their 55-47 win.

“We had a cold shooting night, but it happens,” Pihas said. “But you can learn a lot from a loss. We’ll grow from this. We’ll be more motivated than ever.”

“We’ll be fine,” Prinzing said. “We’ll just go hard at practice tomorrow.”by: DAN BROOD - RALLY TIME -- Horizon Christian junior guard Trent Pihas takes a fourth-quarter shot over Amity's Billy Hale during Monday's game.

Pihas, who sank five three-pointers in the contest, scored 11 of his game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter. He also had five rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists. Jones scored 12 points before fouling out with 1:12 left in the game. Prinzing had a strong overall game with six points, nine rebounds and three steals.

“I wanted to win this more than anything,” he said. “I wanted to come into their home gym and get the win.”

Horizon Christian, as a team, made 17 of 50 shots from the field. The Hawks outrebounded Amity by a 31-21 margin, but they were plagued by 19 turnovers.

Wilson led Amity with 17 points. Nelson added 13 points for the Warriors and senior Billy Hale scored 12.

Prior to Monday’s game at Amity, Horizon Christian scored a 67-23 win over Gervais in a WVL game played Friday at Gervais High School.

Horizon was slated to play at Sheridan on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press. The Hawks will be back in action Friday when they host Colton in a league contest starting at 7 p.m. On Tuesday, Horizon Christian will travel to Dayton for a 7 p.m. league tilt.

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