“I can’t be any prouder of these kids,” said Miiller. “The second half of the season has been so much fun coaching these kids. They’ve worked very hard, they’ve worked together, they’ve been very coach able.”
After Garland, freshman Jacob Overton tallied 11 points and four rebounds, while Ghirardelli added four points and five rebounds. Connor Brown netted four points, followed by two apiece from Stephens and Matthew Sparks.
The future is bright for Hatchet basketball as Ghirardelli was the only senior to take the floor for Washington on Friday (the Hatchets’ other senior, Andy Garland, has been sidelined since a concussion suffered in mid-January). The Hatchets started two freshman - Stephens and Overton - and a pair of sophomores in Brown and Garland on Friday.
“I just couldn’t be prouder. I’ve really enjoyed coaching these guys, and I look forward to coaching them for the next two or three years,” said Miiller. “I just wished we had a couple of more weeks to work them this season.”
Washington jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead early in the first quarter, but Heritage Hills rebounded to knot the score at 8-all by the end of the period. A 10-0 run to open the second quarter gave the Patriots their largest lead of the half at 18-8, but WHS was able to whittle that deficit back to six points at 20-14 by halftime. Overton and Ghirardelli each netted four points in the opening half for the Hatchets, who shot 5-14 (36 percent) in the half.
Heritage Hills will face Jasper in tonight’s 7 p.m. championship game. Jasper (13-9) defeated Pike Central (7-14) 62-53 in Friday’s first semifinal.