HOLLIDAYSBURG -Although the Hollidaysburg boys basketball team entered Wednesday's game against Indiana at just 2-7, and Indiana at 9-2, one of those Golden Tiger victories came at Indiana in its Tip-Off tournament in December.
In fact, all of the teams that Hollidaysburg has faced so far still own winning records. The tough schedule may have brought the best out of the Golden Tigers as they defeated the Little Indians, 54-44, at the HAHS gymnasium.
"Our schedule is nothing but teams with winning records, so every little weakness shows up," Hollidaysburg coach Mick Pentoney said. "Indiana is one of the better WPIAL AAA teams, and everyone we play is really good."
Leading 8-4 with 3:57 remaining in the first, the Golden Tigers surrendered an 11-4 run featuring Riley Stapleton and Blake Shields 3-pointers to end the quarter trailing, 17-12.
Stapleton led Indiana with 17 points, to go along with Darrious' Carter's 12 and Shields' 10.
Hollidaysburg came out with renewed energy in the second quarter, going on a 16-0 run of its own before Indiana ended it with two Carter free throws with just 2:08 remaining in the half.
"We went over our scouting report [between quarters] and went over things you get caught up in as a young team, "Pentoney said. "We took away some of their shooters and our defense picked it up, which turned on the offense."
Tigers' forward Zach Ottaway led the charge, hitting two 3-pointers and completing a three-point play after being fouled by Carter.
"You can't say enough about all the things that he does," Pentoney said. "He makes free throws, hits 3-pointers, posts people up and he drives well, too."
"He's definitely a matchup problem and that opens up some of the others to score."
Ottaway led all scorers with 22 points, while Brian Urban added nine and Eric Miller chipped in eight.
"I just know how I can play and shoot," Ottaway said. "I was just trying to find the best shot possible."
The Golden Tigers went on to keep the lead at half, 28-24.
The third quarter was more evenly matched, as Hollidaysburg changed from its man-to-man defense to a 2-3 zone.
"We were getting a little tired playing at the perimeter," Pentoney said. "We made a quick adjustment to change things up before going back to the man."
To start the fourth, Ottaway completed another three-point play followed by another jump shot with 5:01 remaining to give the Golden Tigers a 45-37 lead.
Dom Viduya, Brian Urban and Eric Miller each tacked on two free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
"It means a lot to the kids that they can see we're getting somewhere," Pentoney said. "We're working hard and not lying down at 3-7."
"We were their only loss, except for last night," Ottaway said. "So it felt good to win, especially since we have been on a bit of a losing streak."
Hollidaysburg will travel to Central Mountain on Friday.
INDIANA (44): R.Stapleton 6 2-2 17, Shields 2 5-6 10, Carter 5 2-3 12, Jack 0 0-0 0, D.Stapleton 0 0-0 0, Hudzicki 2 0-0 5.
HOLLIDAYSBURG (54): Miller 2 2-2 8, Urban 2 5-6 9, Mason 0 0-1 0, Consiglio 2 1-2 6, Ottaway 8 3-4 22, Viduya 1 3-4 5, Ruggery 2 0-0 4, Holsopple 0 0-0 0.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Indiana17 7 13 7 - 44
Hollidaysburg12 16 12 14 - 54
3-point field goals: Indiana 5 (R.Stapleton 3, Shields 1, Hudzicki 1); Hollidaysburg 6 (Ottaway 3, Miller 2, Consiglio 1).
Records: Indiana (9-3); Hollidaysburg (3-7).