By Robert Edmonds - firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- Skyline continued its winning ways Friday night when it hosted Brentsville in non-district boys basketball action.
The Tigers put up a fight but struggles from the floor combined with a huge second quarter from the Hawks led to the Skyline 56-36 victory.
When the game got underway, it looked as if it could very well be a close game. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead with 3-point baskets from Tre Ford and Andrew Reighard to stake a 6-4 lead. That would be the only Tigers' lead of the night with the Hawks wasting little time to respond.
Senior Nick Helmick led the charge scoring 14 of his 15 points in the first half by constantly challenging inside in the paint. When his shots didn't fall, he often found himself at the foul line by drawing fouls from the Tigers' defense.
"I think we played a great game as a team tonight," Helmick said. "Our guards did a great job of getting the ball inside to our bigs and we were able to spread the ball around and get everyone involved."
A pair of free throws followed by a 3-pointer from Hunter Stewart started a 10-4 run to end the first quarter. The run was capped off by Helmick who scored off an assist from Kylmen Breeden and converted on a conventional three-point play after being fouled in the act of shooting.
Next came the most lopsided quarter in the game, which tilted the game in the Hawks' favor. Skyline carried the momentum of its resurgence into the second quarter by outscoring the Tigers 19-5 including 14 consecutive points during the drought for Brentsville.
Casey Stewart started the run with back-to-back shots from 3-point range. Helmick delivered the next four points before Hunter Stewart hit his own perimeter shot when he was assisted by Casey Stewart.
"We were able to get some of our perimeter shots to go in tonight and that was big for us," Skyline coach Jacob Bates said. "We haven't been able to connect on some of those shots in the last couple games. We were actually out-matched in perimeter shooting the last two games, but we have done a great job with the intangibles and that's how we were able to win those games."
Marcus Turner got into the act by connecting on a foul shot when he went to the line after the Tigers got into foul trouble before Nick Schwarz ended the Hawks surge.
Trailing by 20 points at the break, the Tigers could only manage to stay even with Skyline in the second half failing to trim the deficit. The win takes Skyline to 6-0 to begin the season leading into a tough four-game schedule next week.
"It's definitely nice to get a start like this, especially after losing two weeks at the beginning of the season because of the success of our football team," Bates said. "It really is a testament to our team and how hard they work and practice. Next week we have some repeat games and we play three of our four games on the road. We are really excited to get battle tested."
"This is the first time our basketball team has ever started the season 6-0," Helmick said. "We are just going to keep building things as a team, and hopefully keep the momentum and keep rolling."