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Hillcrest boys’ basketball player Noah Brumfield recovers a loose ball during a home game Saturday against the West Central Area Knights.

The West Central Area boys’ basketball closed out their regular season with a victory and a share of the Pheasant Conference title as the Knights defeated the hosting Hillcrest Comets 63-58.

“Every guy on our team brought some kind of energy tonight,” Knights head coach Kraig Hunter said. “Whether it was on the bench or on the court.  We’re proud of our kids,they played the game the right way. ‘We above me,’ that’s Knights basketball, being unselfish. This group has become the hard work, everyday guys. It pays off, the game was extremely physical but we’re used to playing this way every day in practice.”

The two teams fought back and forth in the beginning of the first half with the Comets holding a slim 21-18 lead. The Knights turned up the heat before the half as they went into the break up 32-24 after going on a 14-3 run.

West Central Area carried over the momentum in the second half as they scored the first 19 points. Hillcrest did not throw in the towel as several 3-pointers got the Comets back into the game. The Knights did just enough down the stretch to hold off the Comets rally and claim the win.

 “Tough one tonight as we knew it would be,” Comets head coach Ryan Garvin said. “Our first 10 minutes and last 10 minutes were great but we finished the first half sputtering and committed turnovers on multiple possessions in a row to start the second half; an 8 point deficit became 26 in a short span. We went on a great run especially over the last six or seven minutes that was almost entirely due to our defensive ball pressure. But we ran out of time against an aggressive and physical and well-coached West Central team.”

The Comets were led in scoring by Sam Brumfield with 19 points, while teammates Zeke Irhke (11) and Micah Foss (10) were also in double figures.

The Knights had three players in double digits in scoring as Grant Beuckens (22) led the attack followed by Brady Reeve (15) and Ryder Staples (11).

The Knights will head into the playoffs as the fourth seed in the South Subsection 6A as they host Wheaton at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The Comets will receive the fourth seed in the North half of Section 6A as they host Rothsay at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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