Riders gritting out wins ahead of playoffs

Feb. 9—As the regular season is coming to a close, the Hulbert Riders are grinding out wins, preparing themselves for the upcoming grind of the playoffs.

After beating the Haskell Haymakers on Thursday, Feb. 8, Hill talked about the grit of his players. During the overtime win, the Riders were down by as much as 14 at one point and came back to win 74-71.

"We were lackadaisical and I wanted us to set the tempo. We came back and had some grit about us," Hill said. "That's what I've always been proud of our boys. They have always been good at holding their composure. It is good before the playoffs to have a win like that."

During halftime, Hill got his players to lock in and it produced big results in the second half. Within four minutes into the second half, the Riders made it a two-possession ball game.

By the early stages of the fourth quarter, the Riders officially turned what was shaping up into a blowout into a back-and-forth game. Around the 6:30 mark, the Riders tied the game and continued a struggle for the lead with the Haymakers.

Once the fourth quarter hit, the Riders were playing lockdown defense. The once-potent Haymakers picked up just five points in the closing quarter to secure the HHS win.

"They were staying focused to get the win, they knew what our gameplan was. If we can focus in on that we should win a lot of our games," Hill said.

With the Haymakers in the rearview mirror, Hill in the Riders are looking towards the playoffs next week.

"We just want to keep peaking. We want to play our best basketball at the end of February, start of March," Hill said.

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