The Times photos by Andy Duvall 
Drayden Thomas (11) went 8-for-11 Saturday, finishing with 17 points for Heights.
The Times photos by Andy Duvall
Drayden Thomas (11) went 8-for-11 Saturday, finishing with 17 points for Heights.
ARCADIA - The boys' basketball game between Hamilton Heights and Sheridan Saturday at Heights was a classic tale of two halves.

Hamilton Heights took advantage of four early turnovers by Sheridan to begin the third quarter, igniting a 9-0 run that eventually turned into a 68-39 victory for the Huskies.

The first half was an entirely different situation, as the two teams traded leads, on three different occasions, before Hamilton Heights took a 29-25 lead at the intermission.

"We were finally able to get locked in on that second half," Hamilton Heights coach Chad Ballenger said. "Give Sheridan credit with their play in the first two quarters. Their defensive switches forced us into some rushed shots, and we weren't able to focus like we need to. So at halftime, we talked about playing more focused, and force them into mistakes."

Sheridan coach Chris Schrank pointed to two things as the downfall to the start of the third quarter - shots and ball control.

"We just didn't hit many shots for one, and we turned the ball over three consecutive possessions, and they were able to get on that roll," Schrank said. "Once they got that lead up past 10 points, I knew it was going to be an uphill battle the rest of the way."

Hamilton Heights outscored Sheridan 19-5 in the third quarter that would spell doom for the Blackhawks.

The Huskies continued its domination in the fourth quarter, outscoring Sheridan 20-9. The lead swelled to 32 points late in the fourth quarter, and Ballenger was able to clear the bench, getting reserves a chance to play in the final 2:45.

Hamilton Heights junior Drayden Thomas had the hot hand of the night. He led all scorers with 17 points, on 8-of-11 shooting. Caymn Lutz also hit the double figure mark, scoring 13 points. Austin Sauerteig added eight, and Max Wahl chipped in seven in an overall balanced scoring attack for the Huskies.

"He is getting very comfortable in his role as a varsity player," Ballenger said of the 6-4 junior, Thomas. "He hit big shots, and his style of play creates a mismatch for some players."

Sheridan senior guard Tommy Glidden led the Blackhawks with 11 points, and freshman Cam Weitzel added nine points.

Schrank added that Sheridan's first half play could prove beneficial to his team, as it begins conference tournament action next week.

"We were patient in the first half, and we took good shots," Schrank said. "We didn't let their pressure force us into mistakes. I'm confident if we play that way, then we can be successful in our conference tournament."

Hamilton Heights will not have much time to celebrate the victory, as the Huskies play host to Western Boone on Tuesday. The victory improved Heights record to 6-7 while Sheridan falls to 6-9.