There were three distinct storylines when Hiram visited Calhoun in a GHSA Region 7-AAAAA boys' basketball game Friday night, and two of them were not good for the home team in a 62-51 loss to the Hornets.
Visiting Hiram used its superior athleticism and length to lead by as many as 12 points in the first half, nearly lost the lead thanks in part to some ill-timed behavior, then pulled away to win the game pitting the region's two unbeaten teams.
A Sekai Lockhart 3-pointer put the Hornets (16-2, 4-0) up 25-13 less than two minutes into the second quarter, but things got bizarre after that. After Calhoun's Caden Schild followed with a short jumper, Walter Matthew tipped in a missed shot for Hiram, but he was called for a technical foul after the made bucket.
It would be the first of four technicals called on the Hornets in the second and third quarters — each following scores by Hiram.
Dylan Faulkner, who had a game-high 29 points for the Yellow Jackets, followed the first tech with two free throws, with Jace Johns then scoring on a drive and Faulkner adding a putback to quickly cut Hirm's lead to five with just less than three minutes left in the first half.
After a couple of empty possessions by both teams, Hiram's Chase Tyler made a 3-pointer, which was quickly followed by a technical. Again, Faulkner made two free throws and Daniel Streete later hit a 3 to make it 32-27 at halftime.
Things got strange again in the third after Faulkner scored on back-to-back drives to again make it a five-point game. Hiram's Aaron Wesley powered inside for a dunk, but a technical was called again, resulting in two Faulkner free throws and a Faulkner putback.
Hiram's Matthew drove inside and was fouled, with the call eliciting a comment from the Hornets' bench that again resulted in a technical. After Matthew made his two foul shots, Faulkner once again hit two free throws and Streete connected on a drive to make it a 46-45 game.
The Hornets, though, regained their composure to end the period on a 7-0 run, with Javoris Boyd Jr. getting a pair of buckets surrounding Tyler's steal that resulted in a three-point play.
The Jackets (10-8, 3-1) started the fourth quarter with four turnovers in their first five possessions, turning a close game into a 58-47 deficit in three minutes of play and never recovering.
STARS OF THE NIGHT
Brent Bowman, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe: The senior guard scored 37 points in a 79-53 Region 6-AAA win over Gordon Lee, becoming the school's all-time leading scorer in the process. Bowman's 1,549 points surpassed Bobby Davis on the Warriors' scoring chart.
Jonathan Swanson, Chattanooga Patriots: The 6-foot-1 junior poured in 32 points to build his team's winning streak to eight games with a 92-62 home victory over Hixson.
Caden Johnson, Boyd Buchanan: The senior point guard scored 22 points and hit four of the Buccaneers' 12 3-pointers in a 78-73 win at Chattanooga Christian. The Bucs improved to 21-3 overall.
Kaleb Gallman, Heritage: Sonoraville won 59-53 to improve to 13-7 overall and 3-2 in Region 7-AAAA, but the Heritage shooting guard nearly stole the show with 31 points, 15 coming on 3-pointers.
Drew Williams, Central: The Purple Pounders were propelled to a 63-57 road victory by Williams, who drained five 3-pointers on his way to a 21-point night.
Christal Collins, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe: She scored 19 points as the Lady Warriors downed Gordon Lee 68-26. LFO improved to 18-0 and 9-0 in Region 6-AAA and will match perfect records when it plays at unbeaten Bradley Central (20-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Noa Woodruff, East Hamilton: She scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds to help lead a 48-36 victory over Hamilton Heights.
Cole McCormick, Notre Dame: McCormick, a 6-foot-5 junior guard, hit a shot before the buzzer to defeat Silverdale Baptist Academy 56-54 on the same night he surpassed 1,000 career points.
Isiah Roddy, Chattanooga Christian: He hit six 3s while scoring 22 points in the loss to Boyd Buchanan.
Kennedy Baker, Northwest Whitfield: She helped the defensive-minded Lady Bruins (11-7, 5-0 Region 7-AAAA) down Central-Carroll 48-24 with 12 points, eight rebounds and five steals.
Contact Lindsey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.