The ball moved quickly around the court, the post was strong, the outside shots were consistent and the defense tenacious.

Hughesville looked like the team expected from the start, beating the Jersey Shore 75-43 to claim their third consecutive Bill Babcock Tournament title last Friday. More importantly, we got a glimpse of a potentially dangerous team moving forward.

After dropping a string of heartbreakers to fall to 1-4, Hughesville turned things around in the tournament, defeating Sullivan County and Jersey Shore back-to-back. With all but one of his starters returning from last year’s playoff squad now, a group with good tiers could be gaining momentum once his race for the league title begins. there is.

“We went into a slump early in the season and we got through it. Sullivan was a really big turning point. It was a big team win and we stepped up (Friday).” Tournament MVP Carter Cowburn said after recording 21 points and 8 rebounds in the Finals: “Hopefully it’s really a step up for our guys. It’s been really helpful and I really hope this carries over for the rest of the season.”

The Spartans certainly have the talent to make it happen. Hughesville (3-4) features his 8-man rotation on balance, dealing damage to the paint and perimeter. Cowburn, Josh Heiney, and Dylan Bieber have all been in action for at least his three years, and he averages double digits.

All-Tournament selection Randen King consistently fills the stat sheet, while Luke Kaiser is a versatile threat, providing three early assists before taking three 3-pointers in the third quarter against Jersey Shore. Recorded. Point his guard Cam Fetterman leads the attack relentlessly, while Jeff his Fenster Matcher and Ethan his Woolcock are the top his reserves in the area.

When everyone works as one, like Hughesville did in tournaments, this team is a lot of fun to watch.

“Hughesville is a very athletic team. Sullivan County manager Glenn Vaughan said. “They have a strong post player and a solid point guard. They’re a very good team.”

That frustrated the 1-4 start. Hughesville played every game and in the fourth quarter South he led Williamsport and Selinsgrove. The Spartans also reduced his 14-point deficit to 2 at Danville and Northumberland at Christian he reduced his 13-point deficit to 3.

With a few plays here and there, Hughesville could have won all those games easily, going 5-0 instead of 1-4. But that’s all in the past. Sure, every team wants to win every match, but Hughesville is still in control of his destiny and can learn from the mistakes he made in previous contests.

“I shouldn’t have lost that match.” King said after grabbing 11 rebounds in Sullivan’s win. “This is a team sport and we are only focused on getting better as a team.”

“All of these losses make for little educational moments now.” Hughesville’s first-year coach Cam St. James said that same night. “I used to tell everyone, just like December 1-4 means nothing, 2-4 doesn’t matter. The key is to get everything together at the right time.” ”

That is my current goal. The District 4 class AAA field appears wide open at any point in recent memory. Hughesville has all the ingredients they need to win a championship, and cooking them together consistently is key.

The league’s schedule has not relaxed and Hughesville faces a week of testing against Warrior Run and Southern Columbia. The Spartans have gotten out of the hole by winning the tournament, but their true quest is just beginning.

“The biggest thing was saying, ‘This championship is great, but we don’t take it too seriously.'” St James said. “We have to stay humble. We will get back to work soon.”

Comeback Kids: Sullivan County kicked off the season with a dramatic comeback win over NTL-I champion Troy. The two-time District 4 Class AA Champion could have reignited the season with a similarly thrilling rally to beat Wyalusing and take him third at the Bill Babcock Tournament.

After back-to-back losses, the Griffins (5-3) were 13 behind in the second half of the third quarter and 8 with less than two minutes remaining. The season feels like it’s hit a tipping point, and instead of wilting, Sullivan is back with a bang. The Griffins scored the next 17 points of the game, disallowed another field goal, and held Wyalsing scoreless for over six minutes to win 57–49 in overtime.

“I feel like our team can beat anyone when they’re playing hard.” Senior guard Maddox Burr said after scoring 16 of his career-high 21 points in the second half. “We’re going to give it our all every night and that match showed that.”

Like Hughesville, Sullivan returned a good nucleus from the playoffs and could be a tough out in a District 4 Class A field if the Wyalthing game is used as a starting point. It was almost a repeat of the season opener when they abandoned the 10-point deficit and beat the Troy team, who ended a 44-42 back-to-back 80-point show on Ben Carpenter’s buzzer beater.

It hasn’t always been pretty, but Sullivan looks like a team that never backs down, and it’s a great foundation to build on.

“We passed the personality test and kept honing. It was very similar to the Troy match where different players step up.” Vaughan said. “That’s who we are. I feel like we can be a threat when we play together.”

Building Blocks: Hughesville lost the championship, but Jersey Shore played a super game in the semi-finals, winning 53-34 and trailing by up to 26.

Jersey Shore are one of the youngest teams in the region, with just one starting lineup. Still, the team is competing hard and laying the groundwork for future success. That will double as many of these players, including All-Tournament selection Spence Brion (35 points in two games), will return next year.

“My men are less experienced at the college level, so it’s these little things that we need to work on to become a better team throughout the season.” Jersey Shore first-year coach Tyree Kirkpatrick said. “The biggest thing is that I feel like this year is going to go well, but if I don’t live up to expectations in terms of winning, I know my mindset and details will be better last year.”

PUTBACKS: Canton had a slow start to the season, with coach Brock Kitchen and most of the players being part of a football team that reached the state semi-finals. But the Warriors are on the mend and won three straight last week, giving him the CMVT Tournament crown before defeating Northeast Bradford. Ben Fitch scored a career-high 19 points in that NEB victory… Milton (4-3) also won three in a row and Luke DeLong led wins against South Williamsport and Warrior Run, scoring 18 points each time. … Montgomery (4 -3) lost four starters from last year’s team but played well, with Rain Parrish and Hayden Wilt scoring 11 points each to take Millville to 50. I went down at -19. The senior amassed 43 points and 20 rebounds.

–Masse can be reached at Follow him on his Twitter at @docmasse.

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