Anthony Beltran drives past a Haxtun defender in Holyoke’s 50-39 win against the Bulldogs. — Johnson Publications

Tables turn in 2nd Holyoke-Haxtun game

    After a loss to Haxtun earlier this season, the varsity boys’ hunger for a win was evident. On Jan. 5, they got just that, beating their county rivals 50-39 in a high-energy game at home.
    All season coach Scott Dille has praised the team’s hustle, energy and aggression. In Friday’s game, they finally seemed to pair those traits with the patience they’d previously lacked, playing a smart game.
    “I was very pleased with the adjustments that our kids made for this game,” Dille said, pointing to tempo, defensive rebounding and their rotation on defense as specific areas in which they improved. “It is efforts like this that we need to continue to build on,” he added.
    Haxtun and Holyoke proved a fairly even match early in Friday’s game. Both teams successfully shot a range of baskets from the field and from the line. Going into the second quarter, they were tied at 16. There, the Dragons pulled ahead. “Our kids were really a lot more selective about the shots we took and the ball movement was better than it has been,” Dille said.
    At the half, Holyoke had a narrow three-point lead. In the third quarter, they did a great job defensively, slowing the Bulldogs down and extending their lead to 39-29. Haxtun came back strong in the final quarter, but the Dragons fought hard for the win, 50-39.

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