By Tommy Keeler Jr. - firstname.lastname@example.org
WOODSTOCK -- Skyline started its game against Central in 1-3-1 zone on Saturday night. It didn't take long for Central's Aaron Heishman to make them pay for it.
Heishman drilled three first-quarter 3-pointers to give the Falcons a commanding lead on their way to a 76-59 non-district boys basketball victory over the Hawks.
The Hawks started in the zone to try to slow down Central's inside game, but the Falcons balance countered the strategy as Heishman was able to get some looks from the outside.
"We recognized immediately that they were in a zone and we were able to move the ball around and get some open looks," Heishman said. "It was a good team effort. I was real happy with how everybody played."
Heishman, who finished with a game-high 30 points, went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc in the opening quarter to help give Central a 25-14 lead. Central's Kyle Willis also drained a 3-pointer, which forced the Hawks back into a man-to-man defense. Central was also able to take advantage of four Skyline turnovers and convert them into easy baskets.
The Falcons lost to the Hawks earlier this season and they wanted to avenge the defeat.
"We were real frustrated with how we played at Skyline, so we wanted to come out and get a little revenge on our home court," Heishman said. "Everybody came out and played well."
The Falcons (9-2, 2-0 Shenandoah) were able to get the ball inside to center Michael Marston, who finished with 17 points. The inside-outside combination has been a key to the Falcons' success all season.
"Having a good inside and outside game really makes our offense much better," Central coach Roger Wilkins said. "When Michael [Marston] makes good decisions with the ball it's hard to stop."
The Hawks (2-9, 1-3 Northwestern) made several runs, but each time the Falcons responded with a run of their own.
Skyline senior Cliff Woodard scored 12 of his team-high 16 points in the third quarter. With the Hawks down by 19 late in the third quarter, Woodard scored six points during an 8-2 run to close out the period.
"We're down by 22 and [Woodard's] out there diving for loose balls and that's the kind of leadership we're looking for from a senior," Skyline coach Sonny Dyke said. "That's the type of the thing that the younger guys see and it can become contagious, and it will help us down the road."
Heishman put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. The senior scored 12 points in the final eight minutes, including nine of the Falcons first 11 points in the quarter.
"We've played Central eight times now, since [Heishman's] freshman season, and that's the best I've seen him play," Dyke said. "I thought we played good defense on him. He just made some extremely tough shots."
Skyline's Kyle Phillips had 13 points and Ryan Dyke added eight.
The Hawks were coming off their first Northwestern District win of the season on Friday night over Millbrook. Sonny Dyke said he was happy with the effort of his team.
"We slept-walked through the first eight minutes, but I was proud of how the guys fought back," Sonny Dyke said.
Heishman also had eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. Seth Bauserman had 11 points and five rebounds, while Matt Sherfey had eight assists for Central.
The Falcons have a big week coming up as they play Shenandoah District rival Page County, who is undefeated, and Luray. The Falcons also host Broadway, who they beat in a close game earlier this season.
"They are all three good teams," Marston said. "It's going to be tough for us. But, if we play together I think we'll be all right."