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Hartford Press Box

Boys Basketball scores two wins during 3-game week

Last week, the Hartford Husky boys basketball team returned to the court for their busiest stretch of action thus far in the season, as the team played three conference contests during the seven-day stretch. The men have started the season off strong, winning three of their first four games by an average of just over eight points in those victories. However, they came out of the gate from holiday break looking rusty, so there is plenty of room to build and improve.

In their first game of the week, a home conference contest against the Mendon Hornets on Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Huskies continued their recent ragged play, as they showed flashes of great basketball and periods of not-so-great basketball. The team did play enough good basketball to squeak out of the home gymnasium with a six-point victory, 51-45. The game was tied at 11 after the opening eight minutes of action, before the Huskies outscored the Hornets, 17-9 in the second stanza to take a 28-20 lead at the half. The second half featured plenty of suspense, but there was only a two-point difference in the total scoring; Mendon won the scoreboard battle in the third quarter, 11-8, before Hartford responded by finishing the game with a 15-14 scoring advantage in the fourth stanza to seal the deal.

Six players scored for the Huskies, including three that finished the night in double figures. Brody Johnson led all Hartford scorers with 22 points, while Caiden Smith and Zach Truelove each chipped in 10 points in the win. Other players finishing in the scoring column included Dylan Kuehnle (4 points), Julien Rodarte (3 points) and Austin Reyna (2 points).

In their second game of the week, a home conference contest against the Bloomingdale Cardinals on Thursday, Jan. 19, the Huskies looked like the team everyone expects them to be. They had their highest scoring output on offense for the season thus far, which led them to their third consecutive victory, 72-53. Hartford dominated the first quarter on the scoreboard, leading 20-5 after the opening eight minutes. After both teams scored 11 points in the second stanza, the lead remained fifteen, 31-16, at the half.

Both teams experienced an explosion on offense in the second half, as Hartford scored 41 points to Bloomingdale’s 37; the Huskies won the scoreboard battle in the third quarter, 22-13, while the Cardinals finished the game strong in the fourth stanza, outscoring Hartford, 24-19, over the final eight minutes.

Seven players scored for the Huskies, including two that finished the night in double figures. Brody Johnson led all Hartford scorers with 27 points, while Caiden Smith chipped in 16 points in the win. Other players finishing in the scoring column included Dylan Kuehnle (8 points), Bryan Torres (8 points), Zach Truelove (6 points), Austin Reyna (5 points) and Julien Rodarte (2 points).

In their third game of the week, a home conference contest against the Bangor Vikings on Friday, Jan. 20, the Huskies started the game awfully slow on both offense and defense, as they dug themselves a deep, double-digit hole by halftime. Despite a second half rally that saw them get within one point, Hartford would lose for just the second time this year, 53-49.

As we just mentioned, Bangor dominated the first half. They were in front, 12-7, after the opening eight minutes, before extending their lead to fourteen points by halftime, taking a 28-14 lead into the locker room. The Huskies rallied from behind all throughout the second half, winning the scoreboard battle in the final two quarters; Hartford outscored Bangor, 15-8, in the third quarter, and 20-17 in the final stanza, but costly missed shots and poor appearances at the charity stripe doomed them in the end.

Seven players scored for the Huskies, including two that finished the night in double figures. Brody Johnson led all Hartford scorers with 14 points, while Zach Truelove chipped in 11 points in the loss. Other players finishing in the scoring column included Austin Reyna (7 points), Dylan Kuehnle (6 points), Caiden Smith (4 points), Bryan Torres (4 points) and Julien Rodarte (3 points).

Hartford is currently 5-2 on the season and is 4-2 in Southwest 10 Conference play. The men will take the court for three more home games in the coming week, with one counting towards the conference standings. The team will have started the week with back-to-back non-conference contests on back-to-back nights. They will have hosted the Watervliet Panthers on Monday, Jan. 23, before the Saugatuck Trailblazers came to town on Tuesday, Jan. 24. They will finish the week by hosting the Lawrence Tigers on Friday, Jan. 27, for the annual ‘Winterfest’ game.

Lady Huskies Basketball suffers two close defeats during rough patch

The Hartford Lady Husky basketball team returned to the court last week for another week full of action-packed excitement. The team played a pair of road conference games during the seven-day stretch. Despite the team’s early 3-5 start to the campaign, they came into weekly competition having won their previous two games, giving them a little boost in confidence. It’s going to be quite a learning year for the team, but if they can put it together they will win games.

In their first game of the week, a road conference contest at Mendon against the Lady Hornets on Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Lady Huskies went up against a very tough Mendon squad, which came into the game boasting a strong 8-1 record on the year. Hartford gave it a valiant effort, but in the end the ladies came up just short of an upset, as they fell, 33-23.

The Lady Huskies led, 20-17 at halftime, but Mendon turned the game around in the second half outscoring Hartford, 16-3 in the final two quarters, including holding the Lady Huskies scoreless in the fourth. Four players scored for the Lady Huskies, including one that finished the night in double figures. Ava Bachman led all Hartford scorers with 11 points, while Raven Ledesma chipped in six points in the loss. Other players finishing in the scoring column included Rylee Deckard (4 points) and Abby Valdes (2 points).

In their second game of the week, a road conference contest at Bloomingdale against the Lady Cardinals on Friday, Jan. 20, the Lady Huskies and Lady Cardinals played their first game since a classic district final the two teams played last winter, won by Hartford. This time around Bloomingdale got their revenge, as they reigned victorious on their home floor, 40-34.

Hartford led after the opening eight minutes of action, 9-8, before Bloomingdale turned that one-point deficit into a six-point halftime lead, 20-14. They outscored the Lady Huskies, 12-5, in the second stanza. The third quarter saw Hartford win the scoreboard battle, 13-9, to battle back to within two, at 29-27, with eight minutes remaining. But the Lady Cardinals finished strong, outscoring the Lady Huskies, 11-7 in the final stanza to take the victory.

Six players scored for the Lady Huskies, including one that finished the night in double figures. Raven Ledesma led all Hartford scorers with 12 points, while Ava Bachman and Brooke Birmele each chipped in six points in the loss. Other players finishing in the scoring column included Rylee Deckard (5 points), Fantasia Eastman (3 points) and Abby Valdes (2 points).

Hartford is currently 3-7 on the season and is 3-4 in Southwest 10 Conference play. The Lady Huskies will take the court for a trio of home games in the coming week, including two that will count towards the conference standings. The team will have started the week by hosting their non-conference rival, the Lady Panthers of Watervliet, on Monday, Jan. 23, before hosting the Lady Bulldogs of Centreville on Wednesday, Jan. 25 (a game which was postponed from before winter break due to illness). They will finish the week by hosting the Lady Tigers of Lawrence on Friday, Jan. 27, for the annual ‘Winterfest’ game.

Hartford Wrestling sweeps conference duals, places Top-5 in Invitational

The Hartford Husky wrestling team returned to the mat on two separate occasions last week, as they competed in their third conference meet of the season, in addition to participating in a late-week individual tournament. The wrestlers have remained quite active so far this winter and are doing quite well despite their tough schedule to date. The team remains right in the middle of the battle at the top of the conference standings and came in with eleven team dual wins thus far.

In their previously mentioned conference meet, which was held inside the friendly confines of their home gymnasium on Wednesday, Jan. 18, the Huskies had team duals against the Comstock Colts and the Lawrence Tigers. Hartford went 2-0 on the evening, defeating Comstock, 72-10, before finishing the night by taking down Lawrence, 75-6.

Hartford wrestlers that won matches against Comstock included Chandler Morsaw (106 pounds), Noe Arreola-Santos (113 pounds), Ernesto Rodarte (120 pounds), Anya Watkins (126 pounds), Alex Saldana (132 pounds), Armando Garcia (138 pounds), Braeden Birkhead (150 pounds), Mason Garner (157 pounds), Mikayla Hartline (165 pounds), Adrian Flores (175 pounds), Angel Sanchez-Martinez (190 pounds) and Govani Gonzalez-Perez (215 pounds).

Hartford wrestlers that won matches against Lawrence included Chandler Morsaw (106 pounds), Noe Arreola-Santos (113 pounds), Ernesto Rodarte (120 pounds), Alex Saldana (126 pounds), Ian Parker (132 pounds), Angel Rocha (138 pounds), Braeden Birkhead (150 pounds), Mason Garner (157 pounds), Mikayla Hartline (165 pounds), Linken Birkhead (175 pounds), Angel Sanchez-Martinez (190 pounds), Govani Gonzalez-Perez (215 pounds) and Hunter Tipton (285 pounds).

In the late-week tournament, the Comstock Friday Night Invitational, on Friday, Jan. 20, the Huskies competed in an individual tournament attended by a total of twelve schools. In the twelve-team field, the Huskies finished in fifth place overall with a total of 105 team points.

Wrestlers finishing in the top four in their weight class included Braeden Birkhead (2nd at 144 pounds), Alex Saldana (3rd at 126 pounds), Govani Gonzalez-Perez (3rd at 215 pounds), Ernesto Rodarte (4th at 113 pounds) and Linken Birkhead (4th at 175 pounds).

Hartford is currently 13-9 on the team dual meet season and is 6-0 in Southwest 10 Conference action. The wrestlers will appear on the mat twice in the coming week, competing in their fourth conference meet and in a weekend individual tournament. The team will have traveled to Comstock on Wednesday, Jan. 25 for a conference meet in which they competed against Cassopolis and Decatur, before traveling to Fennville on Saturday, Jan. 28 to take part in the Fennville Blackhawk Invitational.

As always, GO GREEN! GO WHITE!

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